Never ever skip Thanksgiving. Always give thanks no matter what your circumstance may be.
Oprah Winfrey said it best… “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
If you are spending Thanksgiving alone, celebrate life. That in itself is one of the best things you could ever have.
As you all know, I live with chronic pain following failed back surgery. For this reason, I don’t always make it to Thanksgiving dinner with the family. The first year that I spent Thanksgiving alone, I had a pity party to beat all pity parties. While everyone else was surrounded by family, I was home, alone, and I thought it was the worst situation to be in. I was 90% bed bound. I could get up and fix something to eat if I’d of wanted to but my back brace was so uncomfortable and my pain was so intense that I couldn’t make myself get up.
That was the one and only time I had a pity party about spending Thanksgiving alone. I had to get in the right frame of mind to realize just how much I had to be Thankful for and the good Lord helped me in that area over the next year. By the time Thanksgiving came around, I was prepared for it and have been every since. Yes, I still had pain and yes I still had to wear my back brace, but I was prepared to give thanks for life, for the fact that I could walk despite all of the specialists I saw that gave me a quite different diagnosis. So, not only did I have life to celebrate, I found even more reasons to give thanks, by. myself.
Now-a-days our family gets together in another area of the state and we all try to make it to catch up with each other. An hour drive might just be an hours drive for most people but an hour drive is a lifetime when my pain level is soaring at ER level pain. Anytime I don’t make the trip, someone always brings me a plate back, or plates I should say because there is always enough food for several meals.
But, every since that one Thanksgiving that resulted in a pity party, when I’m alone, I fix my own Thanksgiving because it’ makes me feel like I’m really living in the moment and not at home alone struggling to make it through another day in pain. This year we are having our Thanksgiving the week following Thanksgiving and hopefully I’ll be able to make it but I’m still going to have my own Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving day.
When I wake up, and I don’t rush this, having Thanksgiving alone means I’m on my own time and my time is never rush time, I turn on Christmas music. I have Netflix and a smart TV so I find a playlist on YouTube on my TV and it really puts me in the mood for Thanksgiving.
I then make a homemade pot of hot cocoa using Nestle Toll House cocoa. Sometimes I add marshmallows and sometimes I don’t. There is something special about a homemade cup of cocoa to me. I remember my dad making us some as a child and it’s a fond memory that really does help me cope any day of the year.
Traditions can help us get through the holidays alone. You might not have a childhood tradition but it’s never too late to start one. Make some cocoa to sip on while you are listening to Christmas music. If music isn’t your thing, turn on the Macy’s day parade instead. Let my traditions be yours and know that somewhere in Georgia, I’m listening to Celine Dion singing “So This is Christmas” while sipping on homemade hot cocoa with you. Send me a message and I’ll make sure we’re sharing these traditions at the same time.
I love planning my Thanksgiving meal because I’m the only one that has to like what I fix. Me, just me. I can make anything I want and everyone is going to love it ;).
I always like to get a little creative and fix something I wouldn’t necessarily fix throughout the year. This year I’m going to try a new recipe I found on Pinterest and I’m going to fix some of my favorite dishes as well. I’ll have plenty of leftovers for a few days in case all of the standing and moving about puts me down for a few. I’m going to prepare what I can ahead of time like my ham, dip and potato salad. I can make my cake 2 days prior because keeping it in the fridge keeps it moist and delicious. Just knowing I won’t have to rush my preparations just seems to make it even more enjoyable.
This year I’m having Kentucky Legend Original Sliced Hickory Smoked Ham. I picked one up really cheap for Thanksgiving and I’ve made a couple of them this year. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite hams.
I cook mine in the crock pot on low all night with 1/2 stick of butter and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. You might need to adjust this if you are making a smaller one than I am. I like having leftovers for sandwiches.
I got this recipe from my DIL and could eat the entire thing and just might. I lost my recipe but I found what looks to be the same recipe on Pinterest.
Brussels Sprouts Gratin (this is the new recipe I’m going to try this year).
This is one of two recipes that I’m going to make the day of Thanksgiving.
I make the best potato salad and maybe I only think it’s the best because I can add whatever I want to it.
I plan to make these the day of Thanksgiving, it takes about an hour to make.
I make this from scratch, it’s a 3 layer cake and I’ve never had one that taste better. I’m not bragging, I’m just stating.
If I can find fresh strawberries, I always add them in and on top. The last time I made one, I used frozen strawberries and it just didn’t taste the same. No more frozen fruit for my signature chocolate cake.
I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to make stuffing yet because mine isn’t nearly as good as my moms no matter how many times I make it. I think I’ll just wait until our family Thanksgiving and eat mounds of hers ;).
I don’t normally make a big breakfast although I have. I usually just slice off a piece of ham and make ham and eggs on Thanksgiving morning.
After my meal *rubs full belly* I watch Christmas movies. Between Hallmark and Netflix, I find enough Christmas movies to watch before, during and after Thanksgiving.
There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate Thanksgiving and I just wanted you all to know that it’s okay to spend Thanksgiving alone. It’s okay if you don’t make a turkey. It’s okay if you’d rather have a BLT. Just don’t skip this important day. Plan it, get excited about it and wait for it.
What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving if you spend your Thanksgiving alone? Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving recipe you’d like to share for 2 to 4 servings?