You don't have to have Thanksgiving alone. After all, it's a time to share, right?
As a single gal for a dozen years, I can tell you that you learn some new behaviors during holidays like this one. Growing up, our Thanksgiving was a HUGE event. When I was married, I invited friends who were single or had nowhere to go and my husband's huge family. Everyone went home with a plate of leftovers (best part of the holiday).
If you can't rustle up any friends who have nowhere to be that day, consider Nextdoor.com to find neighbors you can meet and who also are doing a lonely supper. There's nothing as bonding as cooking together, parade playing in the background on the TV, and cutting up veggies and basting the turkey, to make people bond.
Consider getting some of those little lidded tins in the grocery store, allowing everyone to take leftovers home or construct sandwiches with the stuffing, turkey, gravy, and cranberries, wrap them up in pretty colored saran wrap and give them as parting gifts.
Another option is to start a new single holiday. Either you make a supper and enjoy the trimmings for days, or you make and anti-thanksgiving supper, order out, or hit the road and go to a nearby town's diner.
If I didn't live in the desert, I'd probably for a hike with a turkey sandwich in my backpack. Thanks can come in many forms and I'm mostly thankful for nature and especially autumn. Collect some leaves. Press them in waxed paper. Do some crafting.
I remember my first Christmas as a single person, I didn't want any identifiers to the old way of doing it, so I went out in the desert, dug up a tumbleweed, brought it home and decorated it with 25-cent Arizona souvenirs like keychains and pencils.
One of my favorite things to do is watch MST 3000 movies with my son while supper is cooking. We've done it since he was a kid, but you might opt for a new approach, like Christmas movies or the Terminator series; whatever is your thing.
Try barbecuing. Sometimes, a whole different arena for cooking is what you need to feel you're starting your own traditions. Don't forget to grill some pear slices too.
It's important when you are alone on a holiday to recall that your family/parents worked hard to be sure you enjoyed and fell in love with the holiday. They wanted it to be magic for you. If you don't continue their adoration of the holiday, that is the saddest tribute. If they were around, they'd whack you in the head and knock some sense in you. Afterall, you and that holiday were an arranged marriage. Your parents know best!
As the very meaning of Thanksgiving involves setting aside differences and getting along, a good ritual might be to forgive someone, reopen a discussion with someone you miss and had a falling out with.
However you spend Thanksgiving as a single person, you are never truly alone. We are all united in that human experience. Believe me, if you're alone, there are millions more who are too.
Enjoy the meaning of Thanksgiving and give thanks.
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