Whether you’re spending Thanksgiving away from home because of work, or celebrating in a different city due to budgeting and scheduling constraints, you’re not alone! Many people choose or have to spend this holiday away from their hometown for a variety of reasons.
However, just because your holiday might not look as “traditional” as you’d like, doesn’t mean you have to sit at your table sulking and dreaming of mom’s pumpkin pie. Use the tips below to celebrate Thanksgiving with a grateful spirit and without missing out on the company of your long-distance loved ones.
Virtually Dine Together
If you’re not going to be home with your family and friends for a holiday, you can get creative and recreate that feeling of joy and frenzy and in the kitchen by having a virtual dinner party — and it starts with the cooking.
Have each household independently prepare the same batch of recipes and then share the experience via Zoom, Facetime, or other video conferencing tools. Once you agree on a menu, create a shared spreadsheet that includes the recipe links and a column for helpful tips, funny fails, and suggested variations.
Once you have the time of the meal figured out, fire up the video conferencing, get out your dinnerware and the food, and enjoy the meal together — albeit in a slightly different way, although different can also be good!
If you don’t want to connect on the small screen of your phone or your computer, consider
enhancing your viewing experience is by taking advantage of other electronics you may already have — like your TV. If technology allows, use your TV to broadcast your computer display, which will make your far-away family and friends appear a little bit more scaled to size.
Stick To (Some) Traditions
If you’re home alone on Thanksgiving, you might be tempted to pretend it’s just another day and order out a pizza — and there’s nothing wrong with that! But if you’re really into the holidays, by all means, stick to the traditions that make the holiday special for you (and maybe your tradition is pizza!) Make whatever dishes get you into the holiday spirit.
Apart from the food, take time to enjoy the traditions most important to you, whether that’s watching football, the parades, or putting up your holiday decorations! Keeping a sense of tradition can help you to make the most of your day. However…
Start New Traditions
Who says you have to do everything the same way every year? Now is a great time to start new traditions, whether you’re away from home or away from your loved ones. Try switching up your recipes — like making pecan pie instead of pumpkin, or new activities — like watching scary movies instead of your uncle’s favorite NFL team!
Do you love watching a particular movie or series? Going for long walks through the neighborhood? Whatever it is that makes you happy is a great new tradition to start this year.
Serve Those In Need
Speaking of new traditions, Thanksgiving is a great time to check out volunteer opportunities available throughout the area. Choose a cause that means something to you, whether that’s putting on a mask and feeding the houseless at a soup kitchen, donating care packages to the military, running errands for the elderly, or walking dogs at the animal shelter. Not only does this provide you with company, but it will also make your Thanksgiving more meaningful — and more memorable.
Create a Cozy Space
Whether you’re at home or away for work or school, it’s essential to create a cozy space where you can feel comfortable doing whatever will make your Thanksgiving more memorable.