Family Life

Friendsgiving and Solitary Celebrations: Make the Most of Thanksgiving

The long-held tradition of the family gathered around a table for a savory Thanksgiving feast carries fond memories for most. Yet, many will spend the day alone, either out of circumstance or by choice. Whatever the case, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday without family. So, whether you go in alone or decide to hold a Friendsgiving, follow these tips to make the most of your holiday.

Solitary Celebrations
The upside of spending Thanksgiving alone is that you can celebrate any way you choose. But, be sure to plan ahead, so you don't waste it away. Unless that's what you want to do, which is perfectly fine, too.

One of the benefits of spending the day alone is that you can feast on anything your heart desires. If you like cooking, it's the perfect day to pull out your favorite recipes and treat yourself to a gourmet meal.

If cooking isn't your thing, you can still indulge by eating out. A few restaurants are open on Thanksgiving, and some will even serve a Thanksgiving dinner. Just make your reservation a week or so in advance because restaurants book up early for the holiday.

One thing that doesn't shut down on Thanksgiving is the movie theater. So, you can catch a flick and treat yourself to hot buttery popcorn. 

If weather permits, get some fresh air and go for a bike ride or hike.

On the other hand, you can stay in where it's cozy and warm, and bask in a home spa treatment. Give yourself a manicure, pedicure, facial, or try out a new hair color.

Thanksgiving is also an excellent day for a trip down memory lane. Pour a glass of wine, play some music from your past, and flip through photo albums.

Is there a book you've been dying to read? Curl up on the couch and spend the day relaxing and reading.

It's also the perfect opportunity to call family or friends you haven't spoken to in a while. So, give them a ring and catch up.

Maybe you'd really like to do something good for the soul and others. If so, offer to help at a soup kitchen. Another option is to take up a coat collection. Then on Thanksgiving, deliver the coats to a shelter or distribute them in areas populated by the homeless.

Friendsgiving Fête
Even if you don't have family around for the holidays, you don't have to spend it alone. In fact, many people opt to spend the day with friends to avoid the hot political climate that all too often erupts at family Thanksgiving gatherings.

Odds are, you have friends, co-workers, neighbors, or acquaintances who will also be spending the day alone. So, why not get together for a Friendsgiving?

Even if you spend Thanksgiving with family, Friendsgiving has gained so much popularity. Many people hold a Friendsgiving on Friday or Saturday so they too can enjoy the company of their friends.

There are a lot of ways to do your Friendsgiving, which might depend, in part, on the size of your guest list. If there are only a couple of you, split the grocery list. Then, plan to cook together that day. You could also skip the hassle and enjoy dinner out with friends. If you choose the latter for Thanksgiving day, make reservations well in advance.

If you'd like to celebrate with several friends, a potluck might be best. Plan everything ahead so the day will be a success without a ton of work and stress on your part. As the host, you might offer to do the turkey or meat yourself. Then, ask each person to bring one or two specific dishes. For example, ask friends to bring a vegetable dish and to let you know in advance what specifically they plan to bring so you don't have multiples of the same vegetable. You can assign a couple of other guests to bring dessert, and another to bring dinner rolls and snacks.

For beverages, you could offer to supply soda, but ask everyone to bring their own alcoholic drinks. Or, if you know everyone likes beer or wine, ask each person to bring something to share so you can all enjoy the excitement of having your very own tasting of everything shared.

Additional items you can ask guests to bring to your Friendsgiving include ice, coolers, tableware, serving utensils, folding chairs, folding tables, and tablecloths.

In addition to the day's main event–the delicious food–you could also plan for some form of entertainment. Put together a variety of music to fit everyone's tastes. You could also play cards or games. If all your guests are football fans, it couldn't get any easier.

Do any of your guests have kids coming with them to the celebration? If so, have a clean childproof room available where they can play away from the adult ruckus.

However you choose to spend your day, the most important thing is to enjoy it and know you're in good company–whether it be by yourself, with your acquaintances, or simply by spending time with your friends.

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