This year, I am spending Thanksgiving alone.
Before you start to worry or think that I am crying in a bourbon over this development, take a deep breath. I decided to spend this Thanksgiving alone. On purpose.
Thanksgiving is, hands down, my favorite holiday of the year. Since I moved away from home ten years ago, it is the one holiday where I don’t have to travel anywhere, dragging suitcases through airports and worrying about flight delays and cramming myself into the “single lady” twin bed at Mom and Dad’s house. I don’t generally have Friday off, so flying home to Atlanta for one day is not even expected.
For the last seven years, I ended up cooking the meal. People groan on and on about having to cook a turkey and 90 side items and 6 desserts. But, whether I was cooking for just me and the ex, or for the ex’s whole family plus a gaggle of orphan friends, I love the cooking part. I love waking up early in flannel pj’s and putting the turkey in the oven while I watch the parade on t.v. and have a glass of cheap champagne. I love putting out my turkey-shaped salt and pepper shakers and turkey-shaped gravy boat and turkey-shaped confetti on the table.
Friends knew I didn’t have any guests this year- all the orphans got snatched up pretty early this season. And I got kind and sweet offers to go to three different family Thanksgivings- from a friend bringing a new boyfriend home for the first holiday (no thanks to being a third wheel on that trip), from a friend with a dramatic family situation (a little too tense for me), and from a person I’m just getting to know which probably would have been the most fun (but I’m car-free and too far away to get there on my own).
But, I’m looking forward to my favorite holiday anyway. I bought the turkey, and the cheap champagne, and the ingredients for the side items that I like. The flannel pj’s are freshly washed and waiting. The parade will be on in the background. I don’t have to watch football since neither of the two teams I care about are playing that day. I can even drag up my tiny plastic Christmas tree with no one groaning that it’s too soon.
If I burn the biscuits, no one will know. If the turkey takes an extra hour, no one will be complaining that they’re starving in the background. If I never change out of my flannel pajamas and take an extra helping of stuffing and mashed potatoes with an entire cup of gravy, no one is the wiser. And if I want to skip the heartwarming specials and watch ThanksKilling after dinner while I finish off that bottle of cheap champagne, no one else gets a vote.
May your Thanksgiving be exactly what you want. I am thankful for you.