7 Ways To Celebrate Thanksgiving If You Can't See Loved Ones

Get a jumpstart on Black Friday shopping online.

by Lauren Grant
A woman with an afro scrolling on her phone with a glass of wine, as she is alone during the pandemi...
valentinrussanov/E+/Getty Images

The holiday season has officially kicked off and this year is bound to look a little different. The coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to how much of the world typically does anything, let alone celebrate the holidays. Since March, we’ve had to get used to virtual work meetings, happy hours, and birthday celebrations.

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, many have been left wondering if it’s wise to see family and friends or ride the solo train until traveling conditions are deemed safer. The current conditions have left many of us with the blues before Winter has even arrived, but thankfully (pun intended) in 2020, there have been a multitude of ways to get the socialization and solitude you need.

But what does celebrating the holidays alone look like during a global pandemic? Luckily, there’s a couple different ways to get in touch with your inner introvert and make the most out of spending time with “me, myself, and I." Between long overdue projects that have collected cobwebs on your Pinterest board, volunteering to help those in need, and just treating yourself to a couple days of TLC, there’s something for everyone to feel that will make you thankful the holidays are finally here.

Hiraman/E+/Getty Images

1. Solo Travel

What perfect way to spend the holiday alone and social distance than by getting away. With other countries having travel restrictions, it's a great time to rent a car and head out to your favorite nearby destination or try something new like Getaway. Grab your hiking gear and some marshmallows for roasting and treat yourself to roughing it in both comfort and style. Be sure to prepare a solo travel plan and check the COVID-19 restrictions as they vary from state to state.

2. Volunteer

It’s called the season of giving for a reason and volunteering is a great way to give back. No worries on the socially distanced part of it. Organizations have begun setting up virtual food and toy drives that will allow you to give back from the comfort of your home. You can also participate by volunteering with organizations like Meals on Wheels and delivering food to the elderly.

3. Host A Virtual Thanksgiving Party

As everything has gone virtual this year, of course Thanksgiving has too. For fellow extroverts like myself, this is an idea that I can get behind. Exchange recipes with loved ones, create a festive Zoom backdrop with some decorations, and chow down.

4. Start A New Project

No better time to start a new endeavor than when you’re alone and uninterrupted. Whether it be a new writing project, potting and rearranging your plants, or finally painting your room, now is the time. That new blog that you started isn’t going to write itself, ya know.

5. Write Out What You’re Thankful For

Need help getting in the holiday spirit this year? Writing out what you’re most thankful for is a good way to start. Even though 2020 has been rough, it helps to focus on the things that have made you a better person.

6. Start (Online) Holiday Shopping Early

Thanksgiving is followed by the notorious Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and while it still isn't safe to physically go out this year, you can get a jumpstart on your holiday gift shopping online.

7. Treat Yourself To A Spa Experience

A great way to end your solo Thanksgiving is to treat yourself to an at-home spa day. Try out a DIY body scrub, paint your nails, or just have a nice soak to melt your cares away.