Thanksgiving has been branded as a holiday that’s all about spending special time with family. While that is true for some, there are people who spend the holiday alone. For some it’s a choice, but others may not have family around to share the day with. Either way, a solo Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be bleak or boring. It’s a chance to kickstart a new adventure or spend quality time with yourself.
Some people don’t like the idea of doing things alone, while some cherish solo time. Either way, you can make the day memorable by being intentional about enjoying it. Here are a few ideas for alternative fun.
Pamper days aren’t overrated because you can never love on yourself too much. If you’re feeling blue about doing the holidays solo, consider creating a special pamper day; the Thanksgiving edition. Pampering is a personal matter so think about what makes you feel relaxed. A bubble bath and massage isn’t everyone’s idea of relaxation and you are free to do it your way. Is sitting in pajamas all day your idea of ease? Do you prefer painting your nails and listening to some of your favorite R&B jams? Essential oils and the sounds of nature? Curate a day that will make you feel at peace.
You may also decide to turn your pamper day into a fun experimentation. Go on TikTok and try out a few different facials, hair regimens, and skincare ideas that you’ve seen are trending.
Thanksgiving can be triggering for some people, especially if they have toxic family members or unpleasant childhood memories surrounding the holiday. Show love to your younger self and cater to your inner child by creating new and more pleasant memories. Where to start? Write down a list of all the things you loved doing as a kid. Was your favorite movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids? Did you love drinking hot cocoa in the morning? Did painting make you come alive? Take the time to list out some of your favorite childhood activities and rituals. You can then plan a solo day that’s all about you and tapping into the things that brought you joy growing up.
If you’re in the spirit of giving back and want to take the focus off yourself, consider volunteering. Check if there are any events going on in your local community, which you may be able to find on Eventbrite. Local churches may also have events they’re organizing to support those in need.
Alternatively, create your own initiative that aligns with how you want to give back. For example, you could create care packages for people in shelters or cook, package and distribute hot meals for homeless people in your area. Doing this can be a selfless way to remember how much you have to be grateful for.
Road trips can be a way to be alone with your thoughts, see beautiful views, and discover new cities. Think about taking a road trip to destinations you’ve been curious about during the upcoming holidays. If your goal is to see stunning aesthetics, try making your way to Trail Ridge Road, which happens to be the highest road in the state of Colorado. You’re likely to spot some wildlife during the drive and get some views of Rocky Mountain National Park. If you’re more keen on going down South, try a National Trace Parkway road trip, which starts in Mississippi and touches other locations like Alabama and Tennessee.
If you have any road trip fantasies you haven’t yet lived out like camping or bar hopping through different cities, this is the time to bring them to life.
Consider doing a cookout for one at home that is comprised of all of your favorite foods. This is probably best for people who enjoy cooking. It’s a chance to get out your favorite wine glass, put on your best music and fall in love with the process of cooking Thanksgiving dishes or whatever meals make you happy. If cooking isn’t your thing or that doesn’t sound like a fun way to spend your day, consider utilizing a catering service. They can cook your meals for you so that you can kick back, relax and indulge. Another alternative is taking yourself out to eat since some restaurants are open on the holiday.
Getting out of your home country and traveling somewhere new can be refreshing as the holiday is mainly an American staple. Look up places that may be off-season if you’re worried about budget restrictions, which just means they’re cheaper to travel to during this time of the year. Traveling to a new destination can help attach pleasant memories to Thanksgiving for you and perhaps kickstart a new tradition.
A solo thanksgiving doesn’t mean you don’t have to see loved ones at all. Consider doing your rounds and calling different friends and family members throughout the day. You may even decide to do a toast with each one you call so you get a chance to wish each other well in a simple yet meaningful way. Another alternative is to take a few moments to tell each other what you’re thankful for on each call to keep a longstanding tradition going.