In the last 15 years, I think I remember going home for Thanksgiving twice maybe three times. When I was in college and on the east coast, it was far too short a break (right before Christmas break) to justify the hundreds of dollars that would need to be spent on a plane ticket. And honestly, my family nor I had the money for that.
Luckily for me, I had made friends who invited me to their homes. By Sophomore year, I crossed and became a Delta and also became a member of one of my linesister’s families because I was always at her house for the Holidays. It got to the point that her relatives were asking where I was. I was in there…ADOPTED!
This year, I’ve decided not to drive home for Thanksgiving for a variety of reasons. Initially, my best friend was going to come down but that didn’t end up working. Then, I was just going to cook for myself. Unfortunately, I felt a sadness welling up about it but knew I’d be fine by myself as I’d adapted to being away for so long. My friend Crystal Marie was not having any of it. She pushed me to accept an invitation to at least go to someone else’s home for the day. And I think that will be good for me. I know everyone doesn’t have the option of being constantly adopted by families and I haven’t been blessed with that yearly so I want to give a few tips on how to still be thankful.
1. Be Thankful that you have a place to be. Even if it’s home alone, you have your home and can feed yourself and shelter yourself. It may seem like it’s trivial but a lot of people don’t have this and are also on the verge of losing it.
2. Start your own traditions. There comes a time in most of our lives where our traditions switch. We become the adults. Start perfecting those recipes you want to pass on and serve to your future family. And eat it all with no shame.
3. Have a Friendsgiving! If you know other people who aren’t going home. GET TOGETHER.
4. Go out to a restaurant. Even if you have to do like A Christmas Story and go out for Chinese. Do that.
5.Self Care. Catch up on sleep. Decorate for Christmas. Plan your Black Friday Shopping. Binge Watch Netflix.
Even while doing these things, the sadness of being alone can still creep up. Call or facetime your family and friends but don’t just sit in it alone. Be honest about how you’re feeling. You may even need to cry. Do it. But always make sure you have some pound cake to eat right after the tears. That makes me happy.
Be thankful for the emotion, for the love, for the pound cake. Even if you’re alone on Thanksgiving, you won’t be forever.