Celebrating Thanksgiving Without Family or Friends

You’re probably not looking forward to having a low-key Thanksgiving, but with COVID-19 restrictions, you might have to spend it alone or just with the people in your own household. But, despite that prospect, you still have much to be thankful for and can still have a fabulous day with help from some of the tips listed below.

Lower Expectations to Combat Stress

The holiday season is the time of year when our family problems, insecurities, personal problems, and other issues loom large. There is an infinite number of expectations we set for ourselves that make us look ourselves in the mirror with a critical eye and believe that we have something inherently wrong with us. It is important to lower our expectations this Thanksgiving to prevent succumbing to depression.

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Make the Day YOURS

If you are going to be alone, do what you feel like doing and not what you think you should do. Sometimes it’s a peaceful blessing to be alone. Having to be at somebody else’s family celebration can make you feel more alone than being alone. Do what you want to do. Feel like going to the gym? If it’s open, do it. Feel like taking a hike or going to see a movie? Do it.  If you don’t feel you have to eat turkey either and your idea of a great meal is pizza, then get a pizza. In fact, it might be a good idea to NOT go anywhere near traditional Thanksgiving food if you are on your own for the day.

Do Good for Others

If your church has a soup kitchen or if there is a local food pantry or charity dinner, you might want to plan to work for them on Thanksgiving. There is nothing to make you grateful for what you have like helping those who have less—they do call it Thanksgiving for a reason, you know.

Stay in Touch via Facetime/WhatsApp/Zoom

If you really long to be near your family for Thanksgiving, once you have the Internet and Wi-Fi at your house you can easily keep in touch through video chat. Apps such as Zoom, WhatsApp video, Facetime, etc. have helped us tremendously in staying connected during this pandemic and will continue doing so. 

Turn on the Television

Television offers loads of entertainment over the Thanksgiving holiday. On Thanksgiving Day there’s plenty of football from midday until way late into the evening. So, if you are a football fan, you’ll be in football heaven. If you are not, and your partner or other family members are, then you may learn the game at last.

I you are up early on Thanksgiving Day, whether you are alone or with close family members you can settle in and watch the Macy Thanksgiving Parade.

And, if you like neither football or parade, you can catch a movie on TV, or binge watch by watching a Netflix series or any series on any other streaming platforms like Peacock, Amazon, or Hulu.

By the way if you have Netflix, a great series to binge watch is season 4 of “The Crown”. The acting is superb.

Rest, relax recuperate 

A thankful blessing of spending Thanksgiving alone and away from the usual family crowd is that it offer a great time to catch up on rest and relaxation. If you have been working hard, whether at home, or out the home, you may just want to sleep in for extra hours, cuddle with your partner, or a good book, or watch TV. Some people are fortunate to be off from Thursday to Sunday. That make it even more ideal to rest, relax and pamper yourself.


More Tips for Celebrating Thanksgiving Alone

Lots of people have to work on Thanksgiving. If that’s your situation, know that your coworkers will be working too and make a point of enjoying the day with them. For nurses who may be forced to be at works because of the demands of COVID-19   Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time to share with patients and their families.  

Thanksgiving Dinner for One

One way to take the lonely out of alone on Thanksgiving is to go all the way and cook a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner for yourself or the few immediate family members living with you, with all the trimmings. Whether you polish up the family silver and get out the best china or buy a package of holiday paper plates, set a festive table and make it special.

Frozen turkey dinners can seem pretty pathetic, but for the truly hopeless cook, they can be a Thanksgiving solution if, and ONLY if, you nuke the dinner and then put it on your best china plate, use real sliver and cloth napkins, and sit yourself down at a real table to eat it like a real meal. 

Presentation, as the French are fond of saying, is everything when it comes to food. No scarfing your Thanksgiving dinner down in front of the TV. Sit down at a real table in a real chair and eat like a real human being off real plates with real cutlery and chew with your mouth closed, ok? Oh, you can listen to music if you want—but NO TV.

Portions of this article was adapted from the article “Spending Thanksgiving alone by Roberta Kyle – Holidapyy.com.