Not everyone has the stereotypical Thanksgiving gathering. But whatever your scenario, Collegiate writer Andrea Bailey Willits offers some tips on how to make the best of your holiday celebration.
Funds Are Limited
If the thought of cooking up a four-course spread makes you wonder how you’ll pay the electric bill, don’t worry. Especially if it’s just going to be a few of you, change up the traditional Thanksgiving menu. Who needs an expensive (and expected) turkey? Go with a big pan of lasagna or meatloaf. Or be unconventional and serve a buffet of hors d’oeuvres and desserts.
Parents Are Aging
Maybe Mom or Grandma has always cooked the meal, but her health is deteriorating or you’re afraid the task will overwhelm her this year. Offer to host Thanksgiving at your place and share the cooking duties with other relatives. Propose the idea tactfully, making sure not to cast doubt on your loved one’s abilities. If she insists on continuing the tradition, arrange to help with preparation.
Loved Ones Have Passed
Without dear friends or family members, holidays can be painful, especially the first one after a death. Allow yourself to feel sad, but boost spirits by asking everyone to share a happy memory of the deceased. And make sure to volunteer to fill the person’s usual role in the celebration.
Family Isn’t Nearby
Sure, you’ll miss Grandpa’s gravy, but gather friends who are also far from home for a Thanksgiving potluck, plus a movie marathon, a sing-a-long, or games. For an even easier option, order a Thanksgiving meal from a local restaurant and share the cost.
You Are Alone
Maybe you had to work, the weather turned out nasty, or you had a family falling out. Whatever the reason you’re flying solo, don’t get depressed. Create a quiet, cozy evening at home around your favorite foods, hobbies, books, or movies. Journal everything you’re thankful for. And don’t forget to call a few friends or loved ones and wish them a happy Thanksgiving.