When You Can’t Be “Back Home” For Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day, is a time for acknowledging the fall season. It’s a time when everyone gets a day off work in order to eat large amounts of food. For others, it’s one of those predictable times to catch up with family members before Christmas.


Everyone has seen the dreamy photos in magazines that depict large family gatherings, the perfectly decorated table, and what looks like the perfect family sitting around a huge turkey with all the trimmings. We’ve also seen this scene time and time again on television shows. Maybe you’ve actually been able to live this dream. Maybe you have a great family with great cooks that have yearly organized wonderful events like this. But now you’ve moved away and will be facing this special time apart from extended family members. Something tells you it’s going to be very different this time.

What Can You Do If You Can't Be"Back Home" For Thanksgiving Day

What Can You Do If You Can't Be"Back Home" For Thanksgiving Day

This is a job transferring nation, and while we want to take the big and exciting job offers, doing so doesn’t come without losing something we hold dear. If you will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day in a new city this year as a single person or as a small family that has transferred, you might be wondering how to spend the day.

When special days like this can’t be spent the way we’re used to, we’ve got to become creative if we are still to enjoy such times. One of the first things to do, if you’re going to prevent the blues, is to realize that millions of individuals just like you have also moved and are feeling the same way. Instead of pining about what you’re missing, figure out something that will make the time special. Create your own new traditions. Here are a few suggestions:

There are some people who can barely function in the sleep-blurred interim between the moment they stumble out of bed, and their first three cups of morning coffee. There are others whose caffeine tolerance is so low, that the effect of a few gulps of Joe is akin to a generous dose of high-grade amphetamines. Most of us probably fall somewhere in between.

There are benefits and drawbacks to coffee consumption, but most of us aren’t entirely clear on what they are. Whether or not you’re a coffee connoisseur, it’s still a good idea to know what you’re getting into when you’re gulping down your Venti Latte.


You Are Single

You Are Single

If you are single, let it be known to your workmates, club or church family that you won’t be travelling back for the holiday. Maybe someone will let you tag along to their party.

Alternatively, if you’re single and there is a shift that needs to be worked (maybe even with overtime pay), you might want to be the one to work it in order to allow a fellow workmate time off to enjoy with his family.

If you won’t have a large enough group in to eat a full turkey, you can buy turkey parts to cook. There are some turkeys and turkey parts that are completely stuffed, that can be cooked from frozen, making for an easy Thanksgiving dinner. All you do is pop it in the oven. Just having the aroma of a turkey cooking, can give you that holiday feeling.

If you like spending time outdoors at this special time of year, plan a hiking trip or visit a pumpkin patch, apple farm or corn maze. See if there are any events like this going on in your town, where you can join in with others if you don’t want be alone. Having a good physical work-out followed by a hearty meal is satisfying.


You Were Married

You Were Married

If you are a couple with children, you might want to look for another recently moved family to get together with.

Thanksgiving time is when the best apples and the freshest pumpkins are ready. That’s why it’s sometimes referred to as “Fall Harvest”. Bring home pumpkin or apple muffins or a pie for dessert. Just because you have fewer people sharing, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a great dessert.

At dinnertime, take out your good dishes and wine glasses even if it is just your immediately family dining together. Fill young children’s glasses with sparkling juice, pour a glass of wine for yourself and start the meal with a toast.

Always Be Ready For Everything

Always Be Ready For Everything

Make plans ahead of time, no matter how large or small. Don’t be the single person who pines away in a depressed corner because, for some reason, you forgot this special day was approaching. If you haven’t been successful in finding someone to join with, declare it a reading, gardening, touring, photography or cooking day, or whatever else it is you find fulfilling. Let the day be different on purpose. When the relatives call, have something fun to tell them about how you spent your day.

If you are a small family trying to make your own celebration, change your expectations. The large family celebration you’re accustomed to can’t be duplicated abroad. Instead, make a point of communicating to your immediately family how you see the day unfolding. There’s nothing worse than getting let down because of mismatched expectations.

For instance, you might think the ideal way to spend the day is to begin it with a family breakfast, followed by hiking through a colorful forest, and ending with a turkey dinner; but your husband might imagine sleeping in, watching football and eating hot dogs and chips for dinner. If there isn’t adequate communication and an agreement on how the day will be spent, someone is going to end up let down.


These special days are meant to add pleasure to life. Just because you’ve moved away doesn’t mean these dates will cease to exist. Be creative, plan for them, and see what new traditions you come up with.

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