Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! It’s a beautiful, sunny, cold (for Florida) Thanksgiving Day in my corner of the world. Women all across America are probably basting turkeys and putting finishing touches on the side items and begging (or yelling at) husbands and kids to keep the place clean. Some folks will be braving holiday traffic or crowded airports to make merry with relatives or friends. Some may be headed to the park for a Thanksgiving picnic. Others may be volunteering at soup kitchens.
And then there are a few of us who, by choice or not, are spending it alone. I’m one of those this year. My choice. I’m deferring my gratification until the Friday after, to avoid Thanksgiving traffic. I’ll be visiting my boyfriend for the week-end and we’ll celebrate then.
It feels a little weird not being with family on this very family-oriented holiday, but I have plenty to do and the day will go quickly, with blueberry pancakes for brunch, a walk in the park, packing for my trip and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on TV. I might even visit a local nursing home and see if they need some help.
Here’s what others have to say about spending their Thanksgiving alone:
NPR asks on Facebook: “Are you planning to spend Thanksgiving day alone by choice or out of necessity?”
They received more than 300 responses, and comments varied. Some people were working, or studying for exams, some didn’t want the hassle of traveling, some didn’t want the hassle of cooking, some didn’t really enjoy being with their family, some were new in town or didn’t have friends or family to share the day with, one didn’t want to celebrate a holiday about “…Pilgrims who massacred the natives and eventually put them on reservations in their own land,” some just preferred spending the day relaxing by themselves.
It’s All About Intention
According to Yourtango.com, “Enjoying the holidays on your own is all about intention,” says Author Sasha Cagen, sharing insights from her book, Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics. “Spending time alone during a holiday, if you’re intentional about it, can be really meaningful and a beautiful experience,”she told the Huffington Post.
Some tips from ehow.com. to take the sting out of being alone:
- Remember, you’re not the only one…while it may seem as if everyone is enjoying Thanksgiving with friends and family, there are actually a large number of (very normal) people spending the day alone, just like you.
- Look on the bright side. Many of the folks you see packing the kids into the family SUV, inching their way to the airport through heavy traffic and juggling their carry-on luggage with one hand while trying to keep a pumpkin pie level with the other would kill for the chance to spend Thanksgiving alone.
- Plan your TV viewing carefully. The worst possible thing to watch on a solitary Thanksgiving is some treacly movie on the Lifetime Network, which will likely be titled “I’ll be Home for Thanksgiving,” “A Thanksgiving to Remember,” “The Best Thanksgiving Ever,” etc.
- Don’t feel obliged to have turkey for dinner, this will just as likely make you feel even more lonely and self-conscious than you already do. It’s better to relax at home and prepare yourself a simple meal. Something with turkey is fine, but something without turkey is also fine–after all, who’s gonna know?
- Be thankful. It helps to remember that other folks are in much worse shape than you–homeless, jobless and/or seriously ill. Sure, a little self-pity is fine, but when you think about it, in the grand scheme of things, spending the holiday alone is a minor inconvenience.
The Male Perspective
And, finally, if you want a chuckle from the male point of view, the GQ Guide to Spending Thanksgiving Alone might just do the trick.