Turkey Thanksgiving Should Be ...

Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.  ~William Shakespeare

If You Are Alone...

Page Created: 11/26/2000 Page Last Updated: 11/05/2023 00:44

Step 1 - Remember, you’re not the only one. Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas witness a peculiar self-selection effect: anyone who has anywhere to go is out and extremely visible, while folks who have nowhere to go tend to huddle inside their houses and apartments. So while it may seem as if everyone is enjoying Thanksgiving with friends and family, there are actually a large number of (very normal) people spending the day alone, just like you.

Step 2 - Look on the bright side. Many of the folks you see packing the kids into the family SUV, inching their way to the airport through heavy traffic and juggling their carry-on luggage with one hand while trying to keep a pumpkin pie level with the other would kill for the chance to spend Thanksgiving alone. For the vast majority of people, this is a holiday to be endured rather than actually enjoyed—so all in all you’re probably better off.

Step 3 - Plan your TV viewing carefully. The worst possible thing to watch on a solitary Thanksgiving is some treandy movie on the Lifetime Network, which will likely be titled “I’ll be Home for Thanksgiving,” “A Thanksgiving to Remember,” “The Best Thanksgiving Ever,” etc. If you’re a guy, there are three football games airing on Turkey Day, at 12:30, 4:15 and 8:00—you know what to do. If you’re a gal, you may want to rent a non-Thanksgiving-themed DVD or turn off the set entirely and read a good book.

Step 4 - Don’t feel obliged to have turkey for dinner. While some authorities insist on the therapeutic effect of going to your local diner and ordering the Thanksgiving special, this will just as likely make you feel even more lonely and self-conscious than you already do. It’s better to relax at home and prepare yourself a simple meal. Something with turkey is fine, but something without turkey is also fine—after all, who’s gonna know?

Step 5 - Be thankful. Not to get as treacly as a Lifetime Network Thanksgiving movie, but it helps to remember that other folks are in much worse shape than you—homeless, jobless and/or seriously ill. Sure, a little self-pity is fine, but when you think about it, in the grand scheme of things, spending the holiday alone is a minor inconvenience.