Today I looked at my calendar and realized that Thanksgiving is next week. And thought, Huh. 🤷
I thought I’d be overwhelmed with sadness. This is normally when I’d be in whirlwind prep mode for our beloved Friendsgiving dinner – making lists, assigning dishes, getting creative with seating (it’s always just a wee bit snug with 20 people packed into our apartment’s not-huge living room).
But we decided months ago that we would have to cancel this year’s festivities, so I grieved about it then, along with all the other pandemic-scrapped plans. And now I feel… fine, I guess?
I’ve mostly accepted that the holidays will look different this year. I’m sad to forego annual traditions and be far from my family. But with so many things out of my control, I’m trying to focus on what I can do – and hope that this year’s sacrifices will let us celebrate safely in person next year.
Here are some things I’m doing to make this Thanksgiving feel special, despite it all:
✨ Embrace the small. Brian and I are going to make a scaled-back Thanksgiving meal just for us – which will definitely include way more mashed potatoes and stuffing than is reasonable for two people. Cocktails, comfy clothes, fewer dishes, all the leftovers.
✨ Connect. I know some folks are doing Zoom dinners (and Zoom is even lifting its 40-minute time limit for free meetings on Thanksgiving Day). That’s not really my jam, but if it’s yours, I love that journey for you! I do hope we can catch loved ones for quick FaceTime chats throughout the day.
✨ Take time off. I’ve lived outside the U.S. for almost a decade, and it can be tempting to treat Thanksgiving like just another weekday. We usually have our Friendsgiving on a Saturday since Thursday isn’t a Spanish holiday. This year I plan to take Thursday and Friday off completely for a real long weekend – no work, no email, no guilt.
✨ Express gratitude. This is a tough year. And I have a lot to be grateful for. I want to find a few small ways to channel that gratitude into action this holiday – reflecting on my Three Good Things, donating to an org doing work I care about, reaching out to people I love, maybe even writing some snail mail thank-you notes if I feel like getting really wild?
How are you making Thanksgiving special in this strange year? Hit reply and let me know what you’re looking forward to 💕