It’s officially winter time now, which means that the holidays are finally upon us. Thanksgiving is around the corner, but you don’t want to do the usual–turkey just seems so subpar. Maybe your family is busy or you want to do something totally different for the big day. In 2018 there’s plenty of ways that one can spice up this old holiday. Sure, it’s based on the original colonist’s feast in 1621, according to Scholastic, but the holiday has come to be a day centered on being grateful for what you have more than anything. It’s also become a day where you can give back to the community. Sometimes it’s more than the turkey and mashed potatoes. If you’re looking for ways to change up the holiday, then this blog is for you. It’s good to think outside of the box occasionally. Here are eight alternatives for Thanksgiving, courtesy of Bustle.
Conduct a “Friendsgiving”
Maybe you can’t or don’t want to be with family this year, for whatever reason. That’s okay, there’s a backup plan available. That’s when you find all the “Thanksgiving orphans” in your friend group that don’t have any plans and get together. A Friendsgiving doesn’t have to be extravagant; it can be as simple as takeout, cards, and coffee. According to Urban Dictionary, a Friendsgiving is the celebration of Thanksgiving dinner with your friends, occurring on the Wednesday before or the Friday after Thanksgiving Day.
Have a Potluck
One person should never be left to do all the cooking and cleaning anyway, but if you’re feeling especially lazy, then have a potluck. Let your friends and family bring whatever entree or side dish they’re really good at making. This way more time can be spent enjoying each other’s company and less time in the kitchen burning up by the oven.
Go For Non-Traditional Food
This is a great way to spice up your Thanksgiving by diving into the unknown. Instead of turkey, do turkey tacos. Instead of mashed potatoes, do guacamole instead. It’s the little things that mean the most in the long run. And in the end, it’s all about making the holiday memorable. Pick an ethnic food type to change things up a bit. There’s anywhere from Indian to Ethiopian to Mexican and Italian, with your options seemingly endless.
Go to a Restaurant
Contrary to popular belief, there are more than a few restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day if you look, with menus often ranging from the classic turkey and stuffing plate to steaks, salmons and everything in between. Thanksgiving cooking can be a lot to handle, and not everyone wants to put up with the hassle. Don’t put yourself through something that can be avoided. Taking yourself or your family out to eat is a nice alternative for those who want in on the holiday without all the nitty gritty behind it.
Take a Trip
Have a little money put on the side and feeling like being spontaneous? Great. Take advantage and get out of town for a little bit. Maybe hit the beach someone with a warmer climate while everyone’s out having a typical feast. A trip out of town might be the breath of fresh air that you need to push through the rest of the holidays. And to top it off, you’ll get to avoid all family Thanksgiving dinner conversations. There’s no shame in needing a breather.
Run a Race
Also known as “turkey trots”, many cities across the U.S. plan for 5k marathon runs on Thanksgiving every year. Maybe you love health and that’s your thing. Maybe you’re not as healthy but want to try something new. It’s fine. Get out there and get running. According to Daily Burn, there are over 30 different cities participating in the tradition, including San Jose, Sacramento, Denver, San Francisco, Atlanta, New Orleans, Detroit, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, and Dallas, just to name a few.
Start Black Friday Shopping Early
In recent years, more and more stores have begun their Black Friday shopping deals the day before. Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Sears, Office Depot, Macy’s and Kohl’s are just some of the places that start their festivities on Thanksgiving Day, according to iDigitalTimes. Without that turkey to make you sluggish, you have no excuse to not go shopping. On top of that, you’ll effectively beat out the Black Friday rush.
Volunteer Your Time
This is probably the most obvious option for giving back, but it’s a small, meaningful way to make a big difference in someone else’s life, according to Thanksgiving.com. By serving, you’re bringing a positive impact on other people. You can serve by volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting a nursing home or hospital, or collecting clothing and toys for the needy. You can also go out and donate blood to the American Red Cross, create care packages for soldiers overseas or play with animals at a local shelter. Or if you’re a lover of the outdoors, go outside with a trash bag and a rake and start cleaning up your local park. The possibilities of giving back on Thanksgiving are endless.
Long story short, your Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be boring or traditional. Make it a fun, positive experience that benefits both you and society as a whole. Whether you’re volunteering your time, having a Friendsgiving or end up running a race, it’s your Thanksgiving to enjoy as you see fit. Embrace it and live in the moment.