Make the most of your Thanksgiving spent alone

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.

Meal planning.

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.

Thanksgiving Menu.

Sliced Ham

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.

Make the most of your Thanksgiving spent alone

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.

Cranberry Dip

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.

Potato Salad

I make the best potato salad and maybe I only think it’s the best because I can add whatever I want to it.

Make the most of your Thanksgiving spent alone

Dinner Rolls

I plan to make these the day of Thanksgiving, it takes about an hour to make.

Chocolate Cake

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.

Make the most of your Thanksgiving spent alone

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.

Make the most of your Thanksgiving spent alone

Stuffing?

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 ;).

Make the most of your Thanksgiving spent alone

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?

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18 Comments

  1. Wildish Jess

    November 18, 2015 at 12:08 am

    More props to you for not having a pity party! I was all alone for Thanksgiving on year and it was terrible. I did the same thing and cried in loneliness!

  2. kiwi

    November 16, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Sorry to hear about your back issues. I know some people could feel some type of way spending the holidays alone, but alone time can be a good time sometimes. Glad you see a positive aspect in it.

  3. Stephanie of The TipToe Fairy

    November 12, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    I think spending Thanksgiving alone might be nice every once in awhile. It can be such a stressful time.

  4. michele d

    November 12, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    I don’t have my family either during the Holidays which makes it hard. Making the most of any Holiday alone shows great strengths. Glad to see you’re still enjoying it.

  5. Rebecca Swenor

    November 12, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    What Opera said is so true and awesome quote indeed. I have never spent Thanksgiving alone because I was always the one cooking but past couple of years my brother has been cooking which I am most thankful for the break. It is nice to spend time with family and be thankful for them all.

  6. Shobha George

    November 12, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Never thought of making hot cocoa in a pot, but sounds delish! Thanks for sharing your meal planning with us!

  7. Rosey

    November 12, 2015 at 6:20 am

    I am thinking of the holiday season and so happy I have so much to be thankful for… Things are not perfect by a long shot, but this year I’m counting my blessings. :)

  8. Savannah

    November 12, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Love this article!
    And I love that you pointed out that you should give thanks no matter what- even if you are alone. Not only that, but never, EVER pass up on the opportunity to treat yourself to a feast (: BTW, your menu looks FAB!

  9. Franc Ramon

    November 12, 2015 at 3:33 am

    It’s really important to look back and be grateful for what you have at Thanksgiving. It’s also nice to make the most of it by enjoying good head and great company during the Thanksgiving celebration.

  10. wendy

    November 11, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    I have not spent a Thanksgiving alone but I have lived alone for over a decade. I have learned to enjoy the quiet and the time to think. You have great attitude.

  11. aaronica (the crunchy mommy)

    November 11, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    your menu looks so delicious and i love that oprah quote! i’ve never spent thanksgiving alone but i love your tips here!

  12. Angelic Sinova

    November 11, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    I am LOVING your Thanksgiving menu! While I’ve never spent Thanksgiving alone, last year was my first time celebrating Christmas away from my sister and while it was tough I still had a great holiday <3

  13. Lisa

    November 11, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    We are often not with family for the holidays. As a result I try and make it the best Thanksgiving possible for just us. And focus on what we do have, not who is missing.

  14. Vera Sweeney

    November 11, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    That would be hard to spend Thanksgiving alone. I love your idea of making new recipes to try out for your Thanksgiving meal.

  15. Megan Elford

    November 11, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I love your positive attitude about Thanksgiving! Although I think one of these years, your friends and family should bring Thanksgiving to you, lol!

  16. Shell

    November 11, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Your menu looks amazing!! I think you should make the stuffing! I might have to try the Brussels sprouts as well. Those look so good.

  17. Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    November 11, 2015 at 8:24 am

    These are great ideas to enjoy Thanksgiving! That cake looks and sounds delicious. Now I want to try it myself… maybe this weekend!

  18. Alli

    November 11, 2015 at 7:54 am

    I love your positive attitude! And your stuffing (dressing to me) looks just like my mom’s. Because we live so far away and I have such a large family of my own, we don’t get to go to my mom’s for Thanksgiving like we did when we were first married. I do host a large group (15) including the grandkids. I remember the first year I missed Thanksgiving with my parents. It was horrible, but I’ve adjusted over the years and started my own traditions.

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