How To Spend Thanksgiving Alone

How to spend Thanksgiving alone

Image: Facebook/Bridget Jones’s Diary

Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday of the year, and not just because I’m actually the descendant of weirdo loyalists who, themselves, were descendants of Mayflower passengers (no joke. I’m first Thanksgiving royalty… or first-generation North American poison, depending on how you look at it). But that’s not why I love the harvest-centric holiday. I look forward to Thanksgiving all year because it’s Christmas without the bullshit. No one ever cries at the Thanksgiving dinner table, or accuses a family member of loving another family member more than the rest of the clan McForcedToBeTogether. That’s the shit we save for Noël. Thanksgiving is just about eating, hanging out, catching up, and falling asleep early… and then eating cleanup-free leftovers and hanging out all over again the next day.

I rarely feel lonely when I’m single because I’m a fairly busy person, but I do feel a void in my life when the holidays roll around… if I can’t go home, but also happen to not be dating anyone. With no one to mess up cooking a turkey with, I could not only easily die from salmonella poisoning; it’s hard to convince Swiss Chalet to prioritize delivery-for-one when they’ve got families full of lazy failures to bring chicken and fries to. But that doesn’t mean I need to download “All By Myself” so I can sing at the top of my lungs while crying into a bowl of ice-cream… but it doesn’t mean I won’t do that either. In fact, it’s kinda awesome to feel free to have a total meltdown with no one around to watch. Thanksgiving alone doesn’t have to be sad… but it can totally be sad, if that’s something you’re into because Thanksgiving-for-one can be anything you want it to be. Here’s how to spend thanksgiving alone (and own it).

Cry like a f*cking baby (but cap it at three hours)
Nothing feels quite as therapeutic as having one of those meltdown cries that has you gasping for breath, wiping gooey snot streams from your nose, and having to down two litres of water when you’re done just to rehydrate. Fuck, it feels GOOD to cry. But when can you ever do it when there are so many people buzzing around — from co-workers to annoying neighbours — in our daily lives? That’s why spending Thanksgiving alone gives you the perfect opportunity to go full “I Dreamed A Dream” Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables breakdown cry-fest. Not only is everyone you know tied up with plans with people who love them, you have so many amazing reasons to cry,  such as a) you’re all alone because b) you’re single, and c) maybe your family thinks that’s sad, but d) how would you even know that given that you can’t even afford to go home right now to be judged by the people forced by blood to love you, right? That blows. Cry it all out! Watch yourself in the mirror just because you can. I bet it’s beautiful. No one ever has to know about it.

Work out and eat (mostly) well
You know what everyone’s going to be saying at the office on Monday? “I feel soooooo fat!” and “gawd, I need to do a cleanse!” Use the long weekend to try something new like a Pilates class or maybe join an underground fighting ring. The usual suspects won’t even be there because they’ll be too busy being loved, so there will be far less people to embarrass yourself in front of during your amateur debut at, say, Body Pump at Good Life. I’m currently Googling “Beyonce-style dance instructor Toronto.” Let’s get fit together and be the envy of all of next week’s bloated people who seem so smug today about having plans.

1-Fullscreen capture 09102014 104414 PM

Spend at least $50 on yourself
Chances are the reason you’re alone is partly financial or you’d have booked a flight or train ticket to the closest relative or awesome person you know by now. That said, if you don’t even have a dinner invite from an acquaintance to attend this Sunday, that means you’re at least saving a little cash on a hostess gift. That’s right — I’m playing the Pollyanna card here. Spend the hostess gift money or whatever you would have spent on dinner on yourself instead. Buy yourself a new top or a pair of all-black Converse — something that makes you feel special because you are special… and your rainstorm of Instagram selfies looking hot in your new gear can let all the people who didn’t invite you to dinner know that too.

Do something for someone less fortunate because, dudes, that’s what it’s all about
Growing up, my parents always made sure to invite at least person to our house for any given holiday who didn’t have anyone around to celebrate with. That doesn’t mean I’m going to sit around feeling sorry for myself this weekend if no one extends a similar kind of offer to me. In fact, it will inspire me to do the opposite. Thanksgiving in my house was never about comparing what we had and didn’t have to whatever other people had and didn’t have; it was always about looking at what we did have and seeing how we could share the wealth, even if it was just in food and good company. Call me cheesy or sappy if you must, but cheesy, sappy people are the reason for the season. Now… go on out there and Thankgiv’er. You’ve got a three hours to cry your eyes out guilt-free, and then it’s time to stop sulking and start realizing that spending a self-reflective Thanksgiving alone might just be the best idea you didn’t mean to have.

Related Link: The best Toronto restaurants open for Thanksgiving 2015

How do you deal with spending Thanksgiving alone? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe

Vicki Hogarth

Vicki Hogarth is an award-winning writer and the Managing Editor at Vv Magazine. The former Senior Editor of Strut Magazine and Passport Editor of enRoute,she has interviewed Justin Timberlake in the penthouse of the Chateau Marmont, talked film over tea with Keira Knightley and gone head-to-head with Kanye West in an unedited battle of the egos. She has a Master's degree in English literature from McGill and is currently working on her first book. Follow her on Twitter @vicki_hogarth.

Latest posts by Vicki Hogarth (see all)