Ah, Thanksgiving. A time for family, eating abnormal quantities of food, and basking in all the eccentricities of your extended family. It’s an American tradition that now represents the spirit of being grateful for the things you have.
However, for those of us who have moved hundreds of miles or more from home, sometimes going home just isn’t an option. If you find yourself having to spend Thanksgiving away from home, here are some ideas for making sure your holiday is just as cozy and delightful.
— Southern Living (@Southern_Living) November 23, 2017
Nothing embodies the Thanksgiving spirit more than giving back to your community. Consider volunteering at a food bank, homeless shelter, spending time with kids, or even going to an animal shelter and playing with the dogs. When you’re all alone on a holiday, nothing will make you feel more connected or fulfilled than by helping others. Plus you’ll never know who you might meet!
2. Go to the Movies
Everything else might be closed, but not your local megaplex. Skip the crowds and opt for a matinee, where you’ll likely have much more space in the theater to enjoy the movie. Treat yourself to your favorite snacks or drinks, then get cozy. The best part of going to the movies by yourself is that you don’t have to cater to anyone else’s tastes. Want to see the latest rom com? Go for it!
3. Book a Fancy Hotel
Sometimes, you just want to get away from the familiar, and enjoy a vacation. If you’ve got money to spare, treat yourself to a stay at a nice hotel in town, or in another town nearby. You won’t worry about picking up after yourself, and you can take advantage of the fitness center, the hot tub, the hotel bar and room service.
4. Cook Dinner For One (or Two)
Thanksgiving is all about food, so if you do anything EAT. Pick out two or three recipes that you want to try out. If you’re spending Thanksgiving with a partner, all the better; go all out with beverages, appetizers, entrees, and desserts. There’s nothing more Thanksgiving-esque than recreating the feel of a big feast. Plus, you’ll have leftovers for days!
5. Take a Staycation
Sometimes, the best holiday is one where you do absolutely nothing. Take advantage of not having to travel home or go to work by catching up on sleep, getting your eating back on track, or finally binge watch Breaking Bad. Work on your passion projects or catch up with friends you’ve been neglecting for a while. Whatever the case may be, take some time for yourself.
6. Run a 5K
We all know how Thanksgiving ends: with massive, slightly regrettable food babies. How it begins, though, is up to you: start the day out right by running a local 5k (look for a “Turkey Trot” near you) or just get out a tackle a workout on your own, so you don’t feel so bad when you are scarfing down pecan pie by your lonesome.
7. Host (or Attend) a Friendsgiving
Dare we say it? Sometimes, a Friendsgiving is better than an actual Thanksgiving with the fam. If you’re not attending any Thanksgiving dinners, consider hosting one yourself; there will always be friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and coworkers who can’t make it home for Thanksgiving, either.
8. Have a Skype Date
Thanks to technology, you can still see your family for Thanksgiving! Set up a time to check in on Skype with your family. Maybe even have dinner at the same time, if you can swing it.
9. Start Your Own Thanksgiving Tradition!
Thanksgiving is all about tradition, and perhaps one of the sadder parts of not being able to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family is that you’re missing out on years of family tradition. However, there is no reason why you can’t start your own!
Whether it’s wearing a specific set of jammies, cooking a particular dish, watching a certain movie, or taking a long, luxurious bubble bath, this Thanksgiving is YOUR day. So make the most out of it.