Are you spending Thanksgiving alone this year and wondering what you can do by yourself in order to enjoy it and not feel lonely? Thanksgiving is usually a joyous holiday for anyone who celebrates it, and it is, especially, more fun for those who get to spend it with their family and friends. But, unfortunately, not everyone is lucky to spend this holiday with their loved ones, and some people usually feel lonely on Thanksgiving because they have no one to celebrate it with due to various reasons.

For instance, many people end up spending Thanksgiving alone either by choice, because they have no family or friends, have to work, live too far away from home, are single, aren’t invited by friends, can’t travel because of bad weather or lack of money, or for whichever other reasons. If you are one of these people, you are probably asking yourself questions like; How can I spend Thanksgiving without family or friends and not feel lonely? or Can I celebrate Thanksgiving by myself and enjoy it?

The good thing is that being alone on Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to feel lonely or bored. So, if you are wondering what to do when spending Thanksgiving alone without family or friends, there are many fun activities you can do by yourself at home or outdoors to celebrate. In this post, we shall discuss some of the fun things to do when spending Thanksgiving alone in order to entertain yourself, relax, stay busy, and thereby stop feeling lonely during this holiday. Let’s dive in…

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12 Fun Activities to Do When Spending Thanksgiving Alone

  1. Cook your favorite foods

Who said you have to be with family or spend Thanksgiving with other people in order to cook the best foods or roast a turkey? When celebrating Thanksgiving alone, you have the freedom to make whichever foods you like however you like them. You are no longer trying to cook foods suitable for a group of people but only what you love, using the ingredients you like and making only enough for you, so there is no wastage.

Also, since you are spending Thanksgiving without family or friends, you can try out many of the recipes you never have time to make without rushing or worrying about meeting anyone else’s expectations. Keeping yourself busy by making your favorite foods is one of the fun activities to do when spending Thanksgiving alone. If you don’t feel like cooking, you could also take yourself out on a date or order takeout Thanksgiving dinner.

READ ALSO: Single During the Holidays? Here’s How to Survive the Holiday Season

  1. Make video calls to your family

How do I stop feeling lonely on Thanksgiving? If you are asking yourself this question, you have to realize that being alone on Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to feel lonely or not talk to your family and friends if you have them but can’t be with them in person.

In the past almost 2 years now, most of us have gotten used to video calls as the means to stay connected with our loved ones. So, if you are spending Thanksgiving without family or friends this year because of work or you live too far away from them, take advantage of FaceTime, Zoom and Skype and call them. During your virtual Thanksgiving celebration, you can use this time to catch up, cook dinner together, stream movies or do any other fun activities.

Video calls can never replace face-to-face conversations, but calling your family or friends and talking to them in real-time will make you feel close to them and stop feeling lonely on Thanksgiving.

READ ALSO: Returning to Your ‘Normal Life’ Post-COVID Might Be Harder Than You Think

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  1. Catch up on the latest movies and your favorite TV shows

Are you afraid you will feel lonely on Thanksgiving if you spend it by yourself? You don’t have to be because there are so many ways you can entertain yourself when alone. Binge-watching your favorite TV shows and catching up on the latest movies you haven’t had time to watch are some fun activities to do when spending Thanksgiving alone.

When you are all caught up, you could also watch any classic or modern Thanksgiving and Christmas-themed movies that are usually available on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other streaming platforms at this time of year.

Some movies to watch on Thanksgiving include; A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973), Friendsgiving (2020), The Turkey Bowl (2018), Anne of Green Gables: Fire and Dew (2018), Tower Heist (2011), The Vicious Kind (2009), The Holiday (2006) and Stuck in Love (2012), among many others.

  1. Watch a football game

Watching American football is a Thanksgiving tradition dating as far back as the 19th century. Hence, it would be a crime not to include watching football on this list of fun activities to do when spending Thanksgiving alone. There is always a game airing at this time. So, if you don’t like movies and TV shows, you could entertain yourself on Thanksgiving by watching football instead if you are into it.

By watching the football game alone, you will not miss any moment, get interrupted, or have to listen to comments from family members and friends who are not fans. To avoid getting bored if you are not too into football, choose a team to support, grab a beer and use social media to engage with other football fans who are also watching the game. Not only is watching football fun, but it will also make you stop feeling lonely on Thanksgiving.

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  1. Practice gratitude

What are you thankful for? What has happened in the past year that you are grateful for? You don’t have to be surrounded by family at the dining table to say or write down what you are grateful for. When spending Thanksgiving alone, take this opportunity to practice gratitude and celebrate the small and big wins in your life.

Even if the year hasn’t been too good for you, choose to have an abundance mindset and focus on your achievements instead of the failures and missed opportunities. When celebrating Thanksgiving by yourself, be thankful for anything and anyone that added value to your life or made you happy in the past year. Since giving thanks is what this holiday is all about, expressing gratitude is a must-have on your list of things to do when spending Thanksgiving alone.

READ ALSO: 21 Things to Be Thankful for and Why

  1. Give back to the community

Doing something good for someone else is one of the best things to do when celebrating Thanksgiving by yourself. Recognize that even though spending Thanksgiving without your family and friends may feel like the worst thing for you right now, some other people are in a worse situation than you. You will stop feeling lonely on Thanksgiving if you find ways to bring joy to those who are less fortunate.

Some of the activities to do when spending Thanksgiving alone in order to give back to your community include donating to charities, volunteering at shelters, nursing homes and local food banks, serving food and giving blankets to the homeless, or inviting other people who you know are also going to be alone on Thanksgiving.

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  1. Turn Thanksgiving Day into your me time

If you are still wondering what to do when spending Thanksgiving alone, finding ways to pamper yourself, practice self-care, and relax should be on your list of things to do. You have probably been working non-stop since the year began and never take a day off to spend on yourself, unwind or do things that make you happy. Since Thanksgiving is a National holiday in the United States, most people don’t have to go to work or school and thus, have ample time to spend on themselves.

You can use this time to catch up on sleep without worrying about the alarm going off, unplug from your digital devices, practice meditation to create a deeper connection with your inner self, practice self-care, or pamper yourself. Some fun activities to do when spending Thanksgiving alone in order to pamper yourself include organizing a spa day at home, getting a massage, giving yourself a manicure or pedicure, taking a long bubble bath, giving yourself a facial, etc.

Celebrating Thanksgiving by yourself doesn’t have to be boring or lonely. Spending this time to make yourself look and feel good is one of the best things to do when alone on Thanksgiving. By the time the Thanksgiving weekend ends, you will feel well-rested, recharged, and ready to go back to your usual daily activities.

READ ALSO: Put The Oxygen Mask on Yourself First: Tips on How to Put Yourself First

  1. Do some shopping

Since Thanksgiving Day is almost at the end of the year and is closely followed by Black Friday on the next day, it is the perfect time to reward yourself for making it through the year and for all the wins along the way. Fortunately, most stores offer discounts on their Black Friday sales, and you could take advantage of them to buy Christmas gifts for your loved ones, get something you desire, or splurge because you deserve it.

Shopping either online or by physically going to the stores is one of the fun activities to do when spending Thanksgiving alone as a way to reward yourself or in preparation for Christmas.

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  1. Go on a Thanksgiving weekend getaway

Now that most people have been vaccinated, places have reopened, and restrictions on travel have been lifted, it is easier to move around the country and go on vacation. Even though Thanksgiving is only one day, many employers allow people to take Black Friday off as well, thus, making Thanksgiving a 4-day weekend.

If your workplace has given you time off for both Thursday and Friday, going away for a tropical holiday or going skiing during the long weekend are some fun activities to do when spending Thanksgiving alone.

There are many places you can visit on Thanksgiving, even if you are traveling solo. And although it is a short holiday, it is worth it. The Monday after Thanksgiving, you will return to work with new memories, new friends, new experiences, feeling relaxed, and having explored a new place. Therefore, taking advantage of the 4-day weekend and going on vacation for the duration is one of the best things to do when spending Thanksgiving without family and friends.

READ ALSO: How to Stop Hating Mondays

  1. Plan a staycation

If you can’t get away, have to work, can’t afford a vacation too far away from home, or are still apprehensive about traveling, you can always plan a staycation at home as a way to celebrate Thanksgiving by yourself. Some of the fun activities to do when spending Thanksgiving alone on a staycation at home include organizing a spa day, becoming a tourist in your own town, going on a day trip, bringing the vacation destination you wish to visit to your home by playing music or eating foods inspired by that place, staying at a local hotel, sleeping in, and going hiking or biking if the weather allows it.

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  1. Curl up with a good book

Depending on the part of the country you live in, or where your family lives, bad weather might be the reason you are unable to travel home and have to celebrate Thanksgiving by yourself. If this is the case for you or you just love reading, you can reduce your feelings of loneliness on Thanksgiving by curling up with a book near the fireplace or by the window while rain or snow is falling.

Books use imagery and create scenes that suck you into the fantasy world created by the author even more than movies do. So, if the book you choose to read is really good, you might not even notice the passage of time, get bored, or feel lonely, thus making reading one of the fun activities to do when spending Thanksgiving alone.

  1. Begin a new Thanksgiving tradition

Depending on your reasons for spending Thanksgiving alone, you probably can’t be sure you won’t be celebrating this holiday by yourself each year. You, therefore, have to come up with new Thanksgiving traditions for yourself because you can’t keep waiting for only when you will have company in order to celebrate. And even if you aren’t alone every year, you could include them in your Thanksgiving family traditions if you get a roommate or partner, get married, and/or have children.

Some things you can have in your new Thanksgiving holiday traditions include making a particular dish, watching a specific movie, visiting a certain location, watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, or doing anything else from this list. Establishing new holiday traditions is one of the fun activities to do when spending Thanksgiving alone. It is also a way to make great memories you will always look back on fondly later.

Final words

How can I spend Thanksgiving without family or friends? How do I stop feeling lonely on Thanksgiving? If you were asking yourself these questions, hopefully, the above list of fun activities to do when spending Thanksgiving alone has given you some ideas on what to do. As you can see, you can celebrate Thanksgiving by yourself and still enjoy it. Add the above activities to your list of fun things to do when spending Thanksgiving alone in order to ensure you have fun, stay busy, and stop feeling lonely during this holiday.


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6 thoughts on “12 Fun Activities to Do When Spending Thanksgiving Alone

  1. Sheri, you are so thoughtful in your posts. I appreciate the time you take to put these together. They are always educational and informative. On this list, I enjoy gratitude and cooking most. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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