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Nov 19, 2010 08:27 AM

Spending Thanksgiving alone.

For the first time ever, I will be alone for Thanksgiving. I'm sure there are others here who are alone. What do you do? I don't want to prepare a big feast, but don't want to do nothing either.

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  1. I've done it twice as my man's job sometimes took him to Malaysia for long stints. I would find a restaurant that was open and that had bar seating, dress nicely and just go out. If you're comfortable dining out alone, it's a pretty good option.
    Whatever you decide, I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving.

    1. There's nothing wrong with indulging yourself with a special meal. I've spent several T-days by myself, and I made myself good food and read the day away. The food doesn't have to be holiday-related either--whatever's your favorite. Solitude on a holiday can be very cool.

      12 Replies
      1. re: MandalayVA

        One year when i was alone I served at the local food pantry's meal. I really liked it.

        1. re: magiesmom

          I've done that too and they always appreciate the help!

          1. re: MandalayVA

            What a nice idea!!! then go home and treat yourself to a nice meal and a great book :)

          2. re: magiesmom

            If your local shelter is inundated with volunteers (many are this time of year) also look for a Thanksgiving Day 5K run-lots of shelters do fundraiser 5Ks. A nice long morning run, then go home for a long bath and a big meal sounds like the perfect day to me!

            1. re: iambecky

              I agree. Many shelters are inundated with people with the best of intentions. But it's still a great way to make a connection with people who need help in your community. At the place I worked in DC, we took no volunteers ( thanks , lady who brought over all the spoiled shit from your fridge)but in Charleston, anybody who shows up is put to work. It's different.

              1. re: Sue in Mt P

                in DC I tried to volunteer outside of the holiday season at a local kitchen and all I got was "ummm we've got hands, we need shelf-stable food or money"

                so to the OP while it's late for this year, the need is year-round.

                1. re: hill food

                  Truly, it is. I worked in a DC shelter for years. And we needed people to help all the time. Families would knock on the door with their children and we turned them back home. You can't just show up.

                  1. re: Sue in Mt P

                    how heartreaking, but every effort counts.

                2. re: Sue in Mt P

                  I'll be doing the So Others Might Eat Turkey Trot in DC this year for Thanksgiving: I've seen so many news reports about shelters running out of food, every bit of fundraising will help.

                  1. re: iambecky

                    It's too late for this year, but I've volunteered for this is in the past: We pack boxes of ingredients for Thanksgiving dinners and bring them to families in need.

                    1. re: funniduck

                      Cheers to all of you! When I have done such things I have felt sort of guilty how good it made me feel (and a little heart-broken)

                  2. re: Sue in Mt P

                    For those in th DC area who want to volunteer time, check out Karma Kitchen..

            2. Years ago, I started doing that which led to a total social work career, but I digress.

              Fix your favorite dish, kick back with a good book, and relax. Make a list of things for which you are thankful and review it during the day.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sue in Mt P

                sue, i'll bet you know my niece-in-law if you were in social work in the charleston area!

                when i've been alone on thanksgiving, i dressed up and treated myself to a nice meal. i have also volunteered for the needy.

              2. Make the best of it. Roast yourself a Cornish game hen, and make yourself a nice baked potato, and a salad. Try making a dish that reminds you of home but a small version. The day before go pick up a nice slice of dessert from a bakery. Get some movies, and good books, and popcorn. Helping serve meals at a local church will chase away any loneliness, while you become more more thankful.

                4 Replies
                1. re: mara44

                  These are some excellent ideas! I almost feel as though I'll have Chowhound company for Thanksgiving. Thanks all!

                  1. re: marymac

                    i'll be with you in spirit as i, too, am flying solo this year. feels a bit strange because i'm used to hosting T-day dinner and doing all the work myself to feed a crowd, but i'm really looking forward to spending a quiet, relaxed day at home alone watching football and reading, since i got shut out of volunteering at the local mission.

                    i'm planning to roast a small turkey breast and some brussels sprouts for dinner, and i'll likely make a pumpkin custard with maple whipped cream for dessert. i'll whip up some cranberry sauce earlier in the week, and if i'm really motivated i may bake a dish of my stuffing casserole.

                    do what feels right to you - cook if you want to, go out or order in if you don't. most of all, just *relax* and don't stress about it...and realize that though you may be spending the day by yourself, as long as you're a member of this CH community you're not *alone* ;)

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Another option is to invite someone to your home for Thanksgiving. Check with a local church or service organization or military base to see if they have people they can match with you.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Great suggestions for anyone who is up to it. It's especially meaningful for young military. It's often their first holiday away from family, and while all military mess halls have great meals on Thanksgiving, it just doesn't compare to a home cooked meal with a tablecloth and new friends who care. I've done it in the past and recieved some wonderful thank you letters from moms who were happy their kid had had a good holiday. It's fun...!

                2. Not sure if you're a football fan, but many places are sure to be open with the games on. Regardless, if you don't mind going out to eat, I'm sure you can find a place having Thanksgiving dinner special. If you have your mind set on dining in and making yourself something special. May I suggest making a duck, squab or cornish game hen? Or take the easy way out and hit up the supermarket for a rotisserie chicken the day before. Make some potatoes, some stuffing and some green beans and don't forget the pie. I've done it before, due to being sick and friends brought me a plate when they were done. it was great...pretend you'r sick!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jhopp217

                    Good idea! I'm not much for going out alone, but thought a cornish hen and sides would be nice.

                    1. re: marymac

                      I love a good cornish hen (turkey for one?) and always make enough mashed potatoes to have potato cakes the next day. Sometimes I cheat, and make the mashed ahead of time, don't eat them, and skip right to the potato cakes.

                      And definitely as someone on this thread mentioned, do the 3 Cs--China, cloth napkins and crystal.

                      Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

                      Warm Regards,