Thanksgiving is one of the toughest holidays of the year.
It really centers around a family dinner.
And if you don’t have a family and are alone, that can be difficult.
I do not have much family to start with.
But since my children and me are still isolated because of Covid, it makes it even more challenging.
It seems as though we can always get by with the other holidays because they involve more than dinner.
For Easter, we can hunt for eggs and enjoy some Easter treats.
For Christmas, we can look forward to putting up a tree and writing letters to Santa.
But there is no Santa or Easter Bunny for Thanksgiving.
There is simply a turkey.
And you can’t expect much from the Turkey because he is about to get eaten.
So, what is there to look forward to for Thanksgiving besides a big family dinner?
And if you’re alone – it is almost torcher.
Unless you follow these suggestions from someone who has been experiencing Thanksgiving alone with her children.
1. Take it in as it is
Have a seat.
And realize that you are going to be alone with your child for the holiday.
If you start thinking about it now and realizing it now, you can prepare yourself for the big day.
Now, you don’t want to depress yourself here.
You just want to really take it in so that you can start thinking about how to resolve the loneliness on that day.
The good news is that it is only for one day and then life will probably go back to normal.
The thoughts of friends and other family all gathering without you can be heartbreaking.
And if you don’t have much family or friends then the thought of strangers all gathering and having a place to go can be just as saddening.
Take a few moments and cry about it, if you feel like it.
It is okay.
Because what comes next is how to make your Thanksgiving right and even fun!
2. Tell Tradition to Go F— itself!
I just said it!
I just threw tradition to the wolves!
We grow up learning how holidays look.
We may always go to Aunt Mary’s and bring apple pie for Thanksgiving.
Or we may always go Black Friday shopping with the same group of friends.
Because it’s tradition!
We don’t think about how else our holidays could possibly look to us.
I always thought that we had to get together with relatives and bounce from house to house for Christmas.
But that was simply how we (and even much of society) traditionally celebrates.
There is no law that you have to celebrate Christmas that way!
Have you ever thought about how else you might like to celebrate Christmas?
What would it look like if you were suddenly the creator of every Christmas from here on out?!
It can be just about any way that you want it!
3. Write it Down!
If you read my articles, there is almost always something in there about “writing it down.”
Because when you write things down, it becomes real.
I don’t care where you write it.
Type it into your phone or onto a laptop.
Jot it down in sloppy handwriting on a notepad.
It doesn’t matter.
What matters is that when it is written down, it is out of your head and into the real world.
You can look at it.
And even touch it.
It becomes real.
And when your thoughts and ideas become more real, they become more possible.
So, write down what your Thanksgiving or other holidays could look like if you were in charge!
Remember, you’re the boss!
Just about anything can go!
From now on, make chicken your main bird!
Everything in your Thanksgiving can revolve around a chicken!
4. Mold Your New Thanksgiving!
Well, now, you’ve written down how you would like your Thanksgiving to look for you and your child.
Some things may not be quite possible.
If you long to be surrounded by family and friends, but you cannot be, then you may need to find a different way.
It may look like Facetiming family right after dinner so that you can see Uncle Louie snoozing on the couch.
Or it may be that you and your child volunteer at a senior living center.
There are many seniors who could use some company for Thanksgiving just as much as you!
Perhaps you wouldn’t mind a quieter holiday and some special time with just you and your child.
Maybe your Thanksgiving could look like staying in PJs all day and binge-watching Blue’s Clues.
TV dinners, eating in the living room and eating chocolate donuts for dessert could be your new Thanksgiving tradition!
Focus on creating your Thanksgiving so that it is special to you and your child.
Start new traditions!
Or vow to mix it up every year to give you and your child something more to look forward to!
How ever you’d like it to go, make it so!
5. Review Your New Tradition
Nowadays, everyone seems to be looking for a good review.
We review purchases online with stars.
One star is a poor review.
But a five star is a great review!
Think about your Thanksgiving with your new traditions.
How would you rate your Thanksgiving?
Would you give it a one star or a five star?
How would your child rate it?
What did you both enjoy?
What did you both not like?
Maybe going to the theme park was a little too much excitement for you and your child.
You end up giving it a two-star holiday.
No big deal!
Next year, try celebrating Thanksgiving at a different venue that’s a little more reserved.
Talk about what you enjoyed and what you didn’t.
Then start thinking about what you may want to do differently next year!
Remember, it is just you and your child.
So Thanksgiving can look however you want it to!
Get Ready for a Great Turkey Day!
(Or chicken day!)
(Or chili day!)
(Whatever you decide to make it!)
Traditions are wonderful and help to keep memories going for generations to come.
But traditions can also be changed and altered over time!
Just like life changes, so do our needs and wants.
And that’s okay.
We can also modify our Thanksgiving or other holidays to fit our needs at the time.
Don’t be afraid to make some changes that way.
You may find that it is just you and your child for the holiday.
But what a better time to mold that special day to make it into something fun, new and different!
No matter how you decide to spend this Thanksgiving, I know it will be great!
How do you plan to spend Thanksgiving with your child?
Feel Free to Share in the comment section below!
Mama Morgan is a single parent by day and a writer by night! She is raising two, young children with special needs during a global pandemic. She aims to give other parents confidence, hope, and a practical, down-to-earth reading adventure through her own experiences. While Morgan is heavily focused on caring for her little ones, she is also dedicated to helping others and making the world a better place. Mama’s Grilled Cheese is just her delicacy!