By Liz Lampkin, Crosswalk.com
The holiday season has once again graced its presence upon us, and there are so many things to do. From planning family get-togethers to preparing an elaborate meal, this time of year is always a joyous time. While the holiday seasons are known for spending time with loved ones, how do those who are alone, by choice or force, celebrate? If you’re planning to spend the Thanksgiving holiday solo this year and don’t know how to celebrate, look at the list below for some practical ideas.
1. Volunteer Your Time
Look up some local shelters or soup kitchens in a nearby area that need volunteers and serve others this Thanksgiving. You can also prepare a thanksgiving meal for a family in need. If your culinary skills aren’t where you think they are, they donate a meal from a local restaurant and bless a family with it. If these don’t quite suit your taste, then you can always begin a can good drive, collect and donate clothes to a local shelter or begin/start a winter school supply drive. No matter what you decide to do, be sure it’s from your heart so it can reach someone else’s.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Poike
2. Take a Solo Trip
Pick a destination you’ve always wanted to visit, pack your bags and make plans to go. Why should you travel alone?
• For starters, you can use this trip to discover who you are. Many people fail to understand the blessing and peace alone time can bring. However, time alone allows you to settle down with yourself and get to know who you are. Engage in new activities, journal about your time in a different space, and think about the person you want to become.
• Solo travel can also boost your confidence. It’ll give you a chance to hear and trust your instincts. This is also the perfect opportunity to step out of your comfort zone. You can make your own schedule and try new things outside of your box.
• A trip alone will allow time for you to reflect on your life and express thankfulness. Often we are caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, friends, family, and responsibilities that we miss the chance to have moments of thankfulness. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you take time to express gratitude to the one who allows you to wake up every morning.
3. Indulge in Creative Dining
Thanksgiving dinners are typically filled with traditional comfort foods. This year, if you’re dining solo, visit a restaurant that you’ve wanted to go to and order a dish you’ve never tried. If dining out doesn’t suit your taste, plan an elaborate meal for one. Try preparing a new entrée, something outside of your regular dining habits. Whether it’s a new dessert, new appetizer, or a main dish, select something that will comfort you in a new way. No matter what you decide, be sure it’s something that makes you smile.
Photo credit: ©Unsplash/Ezequiel Garrido
4. Plan a Cozy Day or Evening In
If you want to unplug from the outside world during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, prep your home for a cozy day or evening in. You can begin by identifying a space in your home, dousing it with body/throw pillows, comforters, or coverlets, and arranging them to suit your needs. You can also spruce up your favorite area in your home with items that bring you comfort. Once you’ve created a cozy space, decide what you’ll do. Movie marathons, binge-watching your favorite show, lighting candles, and meditating on positive things or journaling your thoughts are different things you can do to add to your relaxing time. To add icing on the cake of your day, you must indulge in an array of cozy delicacies that warm your soul. However you decide to spend your day or evening in, be sure it refreshes and relaxes your heart, mind, body, and soul.
5. Deliver Notes of Gratitude
What better way to spend your single holiday than by giving outward expressions of gratitude to those around you. You can start this by writing heartfelt notes of gratefulness to your family and friends. During the busyness of life, we quickly take the time to thank people for what they do for us. However, we rarely take the time to thank people for who they are to us. This needs to change. Take some time to write out messages of gratitude to the people you love. Let them know how valuable they are while you have the chance. If you can’t find the words to personally express to your loved ones, find a card that says it for you. You can hand deliver or mail them out.
6. Begin or Finish Reading an Inspiring Book
If you’ve been trying to finish a book you’ve started but can’t seem to find the time, do it during Thanksgiving. On the other hand, if there’s a book you’ve wanted to start and haven’t, start reading it! Nothing refreshes the mind better than getting lost in the words of a good book.
Photo credit: ©David Lezcano/Unsplash
7. Make a Collage/Word Wall of Thankfulness
Select a wall in your home where you can place reasons you are thankful or things you are grateful for. If you don’t want to plaster words all over your wall, you can make it smaller. Use a canvas, small piece of cardboard, or a sturdy poster board and place your words or thoughts there. Make it fun and decorative. Frame it and hang it on your wall. Look at it every time you’re feeling down to remember you have so much to be grateful for.
8. Take Some Time for Exploration
If you’re in a new or familiar location, make a list of places you want to explore. It can be challenging to get acquainted with the area where you live due to day-to-day responsibilities. Over the break, take a day to tour your town. You can have a list of places you want to visit mapped out, or you can go on a whim! You never know what you’ll discover or who you’ll meet.
Solitude has its ups and downs. Many people fear spending time alone because of the negative social stigma that accompanies it. They believe they are being misjudged, no one wants to be in their presence, or if not used purposefully, alone time can leave a person vulnerable. However, contrary to popular belief, being alone is a thing of beauty with many benefits. It allows you to reconnect with yourself, with God, and it’s an essential part of self-discovery. When the holiday season has passed, be intentional about making time each week, day or month for solitude to reconnect and reflect on life. During this time, be sure to create a space that allows you to clear your mind and focus on what’s important. Spending time with yourself will enable you to understand better who you are and whose you are. Your time alone can be used for anything your heart desires to do. Just be sure it’s purposeful, balanced, and leaves you with a refreshed mind, body, and spirit.
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Author Liz Lampkin is an experienced writer, teacher, and speaker. She is an advocate for singles who encourages them to live their best life God’s way. Follow her on Instagram @Liz_Lampkin.