It’s just a couple days until our major autumn holiday of Thanksgiving. Most folks will gather together with their families for plentiful food and festivities. Gatherings, both small and large, will be celebrating the day we give thanks for the harvest. Blessings will be counted and prayers said around a table full of enough food to feed many more. Memories will be remembered and created for both young and old.
But what if you don’t have family to fill all the chairs at the dinner table? What if by choice or circumstances you are spending Thanksgiving alone this year? Over the years, I’ve gone from dreading holidays and crying in my Diet Coke, to embracing my time alone. Here are 5 tips to help get you through the day.
- Know what makes you happy. Forget about what everyone else is doing that day. Let someone else drown their sorrows in the gravy boat. What brings you joy? What makes you happy? What are your favorite foods, TV shows, movies, games, books, activities? Foods? Make a list of everything.
- Make a plan. Narrow your list to the things you most want to do. Make a menu of food you are going to prepare or go out to eat. Pay attention to details. If you’re cooking at home, make a list of all items you need from the grocery store. Plan when you’re going to eat and what you’ll be doing before and after. If you’re volunteering at a shelter to feed the homeless, know which one and contact them. If you’re going to wrap up in a blanket and watch old Doris Day movies, have that blanket freshly washed and the popcorn and movies ready. Be prepared.
- Act on your plan. Go to the grocery store. Line up the movies you want to rent, borrow, or check out at the library. Download a book you’ve been wanting to read to your Kindle. If you plan on crocheting or knitting, have your yarn, hooks, and needles ready and waiting. Get all your craft supplies together for a crafty day, or all the pampering skin care products for a home spa day. Prepare yourself for having an awesome day!
- Think positive. Maybe you’d rather be with Prince Charming than a DVD of When Harry Met Sally, but Prince Charming didn’t show up so forget about him. This is your day to take care of you. Take advantage of this time alone to do something you love to do and brings you joy.
- Be grateful. You may rather have had the day be different, but focus on the positive, all the great things you can do and maybe even a new tradition or two. God has blessed you with this day. Put joy in it and be thankful for all you do have.
How will you be spending Thanksgiving? Do you have a plan?