Turkey and all the trimmings and family might be the picture of the traditional Thanksgiving holiday. Things have changed in our modern world and the dysfunctional family has come into the picture. Families are separated by thousands of miles and the economic situation might make it impossible for the family to gather this Thanksgiving. Here is a primer on some ideas for the non traditional holiday.
Plan a family trip. If you cannot go home for the holiday, plan a trip somewhere close for the entire family. This could mean going to the next town and eating dinner at a restaurant. Make memories for the family even though you might not have the traditional family fare. If you have money to spend, take the family to a destination for a fun holiday. Invite other members of your extended family to join you.
Cook a dinner at home. Turkey cooking sometimes mystifies the cook, so cook something you know how to prepare. This could be a ham, a roast, or even a meatloaf. There is no rule that says “Turkey on Thanksgiving.” Enlist the aid of the entire family in the preparation.
Join a community-wide celebration of Thanksgiving. Usually a church or organization in town plans a Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless and those who will spend the day alone. Volunteer your time to help prepare or serve the meal. You will be blessed for your time and effort by meeting people that you normally would not meet. The comradeship of one of these dinners is worth the time. Once you volunteer, you will try to do it annually.
Invite someone who has no one for the holiday. Perhaps you know a lonely widow or widower or someone without a family who might enjoy the company of your family for Thanksgiving. This is a “win-win” situation for them and for your family.
Deliver a dinner to a shut-in for Thanksgiving. Take the family along and cheer up a person who cannot get out and celebrate the day.
Visit someone in the nursing home Thanksgiving day. The residents get a good meal, but sometimes lack the company of friends and family. Take the entire family along to brighten someone’s holiday spirits.
Holidays bring families together. However, for those who do not have family, it is a rather lonely day. Try to think of ways to brighten the day for those who do not have family to celebrate with. Make your Thanksgiving non-traditional this year and do something different for the holiday.