Creative Ways to Spend Thanksgiving (Far from Home)

After a long and unpredictable year, the holiday season is finally upon us! Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many people, as it offers a special time to gather and celebrate with those closest to us - and eat of course! But with the coronavirus pandemic still a major concern for everyone, safety and health is our priority.

Thankfully, a safe and socially distanced Thanksgiving at home doesn’t have to be boring! We simply need to summon a bit of creativity when toasting to gratitude this Thanksgiving. Here we’ve gathered a few fun ways to celebrate Thanksgiving when you’re stuck at home, or even far from home. Let’s get creative!

But first! Tips to Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely 

But first! Tips to Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely

Thanksgiving is all about celebrating the good in life and sharing our gratitude for what we’ve been blessed with. Thankfully, technology has made it so easy for us to stay safe and stay at home while still celebrating the holidays through this difficult pandemic. 

Whether you plan to celebrate alone or far from home this year, or you do plan to gather safely, remember to always put your health first. Continue to practice social distancing and wear a mask with anyone you do not share a house with and remember to wash your hands regularly. If you have guests over, set up mini sanitizing stations around the house for easy access and frequent use. 

Fun and Creative Ideas to Spend Thanksgiving in 2020

Fun and Creative Ideas to Spend Thanksgiving in 2020

Volunteer to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving. 

Volunteer to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving.

Volunteering at homeless shelters and soup kitchens is a Thanksgiving tradition for many people. With the threat of Covid-19 this year, volunteering is still greatly needed, but in a way that is safe for everyone. 

Many organizations have restrictions and rules in place that allow volunteers to still donate their time, skills, and service with safe social distancing. Research which local soup kitchens and organizations are still operating in your area this year.

But, volunteering to serve the homeless isn’t the only way you can help others on Thanksgiving. Consider volunteering to help out or donate to a food bank, offer grocery store runs to the elderly or vulnerable populations, or even start a clothing drive with your group of friends. And don’t forget to look close to home, too. There may be someone right in your neighborhood who needs an extra hand or even a friendly “hello” this holiday season. 

Organize a Thanksgiving food drive.

Organize a food drive

Gathering food for shelters and soup kitchens is a great way to spend your Thanksgiving holiday. It can be as simple as having a “drop off” location outside your house for colleagues, neighbors, or friends to contribute to, then donating the goods.

If you are used to buying lots of food for a big Thanksgiving celebration, but find yourself celebrating much smaller this year, consider doing your regular grocery shopping for someone in need. Many grocery stores have donation boxes this time of year where you can donate bought goods for food banks and other charity partners. Then, enjoy your smaller, cozier, grateful meal at home. 

Want to host a full-on food drive? Learn how here!

Participate in a virtual Turkey Trot. 

Participate in a virtual Turkey Trot.

On Thanksgiving morning, people from around the country usually gather to take part in a Thanksgiving run such as Turkey Trot or Drumstick Dash. This year, many of these organized runs are being offered virtually as well, so you can lace up and join the race wherever you are. 

So, start your Thanksgiving with a small donation to a charity run and get your feet moving to help others. Not only will you get to take part in a bigger effort across the country, but you’ll also have already enjoyed some brisk exercise for the day and worked up an appetite for your Thanksgiving feast!

Host a virtual cocktail or dessert hour with family far away. 

Host a virtual cocktail or dessert hour with family far away.

Spending Thanksgiving alone or far from relatives can be tough, which has many people planning to connect virtually this year. However, planning and eating a full Thanksgiving meal in front of the computer screen can be difficult to juggle - and conversation might be lacking with all that delicious food to enjoy! 

Instead, plan a pre-dinner cocktail hour or post-dinner dessert meet-up. For even more fun, encourage everyone to make the same healthy cocktail or dessert and see who can whip up the best version. Try one of these healthy Thanksgiving recipes:

Healthy Thanksgiving Drinks: 

  • Mocktail Toddy
  • Zesty Pomegranate Ginger Mocktail
  • Cranberry Kombucha Mocktail
  • Slow Cooker Spiced Wine
  • Dairy Free Eggnog

  • Healthy Thanksgiving Desserts:
  • Low Carb Pumpkin Pie
  • 3 Ingredient Gluten and Sugar Free Flourless Cookies
  • Raspberry Chia Seed Pudding
  • Spiralized Apple Crumble
  • Send Thanksgiving gift baskets to friends and family.

    Send Thanksgiving gift baskets to friends and family.

    Being far from your loved ones on Thanksgiving is tough. Lighten the mood by sending a thoughtful gift basket, treats from a favorite local shop, or even a simple Thanksgiving ecard. If possible, buy gift baskets from local shops, or create your own by sourcing creative local goods.

    While most gift baskets are made of healthy eats and treats, the sky's the limit! Consider making a self-care gift basket for a friend who needs a little TLC (complete with Dr. Danielle’s Adrenal Wellness) or a healthy holiday kit to keep your friends and family well through the winter (with extra gut and immune support). 

    Dress up, just for you!

    Dress up, Just for you!

    If you love to dress up and feel special on the holidays, there’s no reason you can’t keep the tradition alive even if celebrating alone. With all the canceled events, dinners, vacations, weddings, and other celebrations worth dressing up for, it’s about time we enjoyed dressing up just for us! Studies even show that taking the time to dress up can boost our confidence and mood and make us feel more empowered. After a few months of quarantine sweatpants and pajama sets, a little dressing up could do wonders!

    Put yourself in the holiday spirit by thinking up some Thanksgiving outfit ideas. Jewel and earth tones are favorites for Thanksgiving, anything that makes you feel special is a great choice. Is there an outfit that’s been hiding in the back of your closet waiting to see the light of day? Now is the perfect time to pull it out and enjoy feeling special, no matter where you celebrate this year.

    Make a plan for Giving Tuesday. 

    Giving Tuesday

    The Tuesday after Thanksgiving (not to mention Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday) is Giving Tuesday. On this day, we are asked to save a bit of our holiday spending to donate to a charity or cause that you support.

    On Thanksgiving, spend a few moments to consider what you are truly thankful for, and how you might be able to show your gratitude to an organization in need. For example, if you are most grateful for your home and having a warm place to sleep at night, consider donating to a cause that supports the homeless. Or, if you are thankful for your good health, why not support an organization that brings necessary medical care to those in need?

    Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, but it is also about giving. And, you’ll find that giving to others is one of the best ways to warm your heart – especially when far from home.

    Wishing You A Grateful Thanksgiving 

    Give Thanks

    No matter what cards you have been dealt in 2020, there is something to be thankful for. On a very special Thanksgiving, let’s focus on the good things that life has brought us this year and use our power to make the world a better place moving forward. Cheers to a grateful Thanksgiving!

    To your health and happiness, Doctor Danielle

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