Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Solo Thanksgiving

I just looked at the calendar and saw that Thanksgiving is next week! It's going to be different for everyone this year because of the pandemic, but especially for widows. Covid might be a blessing in disguise--a ready and acceptable excuse to keep to yourself. 

Isolation/quarantine, however is not good for the long haul. Try to get outside for a walk or a drive. Sunshine and fresh air are healthy for you! Mask up and go somewhere to at least be visually around people too. One widow friend of mine said a walk at the mall or just a trip to the grocery store helped her when the walls started closing in.
Here are some ideas to help keep your "Solo Thanksgiving" from becoming a "So LOW Thanksgiving."

IF YOU WILL BE ALONE ON THANKSGIVING looking forward to something for the day is key. 
* Plan ahead to avoid a pity party. Find some widows or family members and set up times to phone them. Yes, I know some of you might think they should make the first move and call to you---but that sort of thinking is a recipe for depression. Most people will be glad to hear from you. Phone calls will give you something to look forward to.
* Treat yourself to a special meal. Even if it's your favorite Lean Cuisine frozen turkey! The important thing is that YOU get to decide what you like best.
* Do NOT COMPARE this year to "the good old days." You may reminisce if that brings you comfort, but if it makes your future look bleak and purposeless then slam that scrapbook shut! 
* If you are a baker, don't let that talent go to waste, but cut back a little. Because of covid, people are not sharing food so much this year. But there may be neighbors or friends who would love a piece of pie or cake. You get a piece too and freeze the rest to enjoy or share later.
* Choose some favorite movies to stream, or if you're like me, go to the public library and get some DVDs.
* Buy some Christmas cards this week and start addressing them on Thanksgiving Day. You might want to compose a short letter about how you are doing since your beloved died. Most caring people secretly do want to know. Sleep on it and read your letter over a couple of times so its just the right balance of what you really want to say. Make photocopies of the letter so you can send it to as many people as you'd like. 
* If tears well up, that's ok. Let them flow, you'll probably feel better in about 20 minutes. If it turns into a whole day, though, please realize that sometimes that's what's needed too. "Lamenting" is an important part of our journey. Almost half of the Psalms are laments. Read some and let God's Word give its words to your sorrows---I can tell you it's one of the most effective things you can do to help yourself along the widows path. Click here for an example.
* Understand that this is an investment in your future. You can be proud of how you spent this day! 

* Decide ahead of time what to do if you have a "grief attack"---an unexpected wallop of sadness and loneliness. Sometimes the loneliest place on earth is in a crowd of people. Before it happens, let someone who can speak for you know that you might have to just disappear into the bathroom or bedroom to have a little cry. Let them know whether or not you want to be alone, and that you'll be ok and will be back in 15-30 minutes. This is normal!
* If you are visiting in someone else's home, try to drive there in your own car. That way you can stay as long as you are comfortable. Sometimes being around people is very draining and you might want to leave earlier than you did in the past. Assure and thank your hostess that everything was lovely but you're just exhausted.
* Most people will take their cue from you about talking about your loved one. Don't be afraid to mention their name. But if you'd rather not speak of them that's ok too! 
* Understand that this is an investment in your future. You can be proud of how you spent this day! 

Here's a really good and quick video that can help too: go to https://www.griefshare.org/holidays

I will be praying that your "Solo Thanksgiving" is not "So LOW." If you have tips or Thanksgiving memories you'd like to mention please be sure to comment. They are an important part ---sometimes the best part of blogging! ❤ ferree



  1. Hi, Ferree! Thanks for a very encouraging post! It's amazing that you're able to blog such an encouraging post and still be in the middle of that move!

    One of the great blessings about giving thanks is that, to my knowledge, it's not written in stone that we're to have family gatherings with turkey & trimmings, let alone the games and other entertainments. The Lord is SO good to us through thick & thin--no matter what! All the other trappings are something the advertisers & media push on us. Happily one of the good blessings our gracious Heavenly Father has given us is you and your sweet encouragements so count yourself as one of those things for which I'm giving thanks--not just on the 4th Thursday in Nov but whenever your good posts come my way! May blessings and joy and peace, perfect peace, be yours as you live through all the troubles of this world!

  2. Thank you Bobbie, sometimes the Lord makes a way to write and this particular one was God's perfect timing from others I've heard from too. I appreciate your reminder that some of the holiday trappings truly are fabricated by commercialism. This will be a chance to reset our culture, perhaps, and remember that God's gifts are so precious , sacred and everlasting. Many blessings and peace to you as well, Bobbie!


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