Celebrating Thanksgiving – 7 Simple Tips for Singles and Small Groups

Celebrating Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends gather together to celebrate.  We love the camaraderie, hearing the laughter and sharing memories and stories. 

But 2020 decided to give us a fight for what we hold near and dear.  It has tried to strip all that joy right out from underneath us.  We are bent, broken and bruised from the beating it has attempted to give us.

And now it wants to keep us from celebrating Thanksgiving. The question is, are we going to let it? Or are we going to stand up and fight back?

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eating along doesn't mean not celebrating Thanksgiving

Another Thought about Celebrating Thanksgiving

Here is another thought.  Although most of us do have large family and friends celebrating Thanksgiving together, there are some who do not.  2020 hasn’t changed that fact for them.  Some find ourselves celebrating Thanksgiving alone.  Others may only have two or three people sitting around the table.

In all of these cases, we feel depressed, alone in the world, and would just prefer the holidays to pass us by.  We feel we have little to no reason for celebrating Thanksgiving, since there is no one to celebrate with.

Celebrating Thanksgiving even if you are alone

Believe it or not, I get that.  I have experienced a holiday or two where it was only the Country Boy and I.  Others I have spent entirely alone.  So I fully understand those feelings of being left out, lonely, and even isolated.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. One thing we need to learn is that WE control our feelings, at least to a certain extent.  We can find ourselves celebrating Thanksgiving with enjoyment, or hiding under the bed to escape it.

If we choose to stand up and celebrate, there are ways around the loneliness.  There are things we can do alone, or with only one or two others for celebrating Thanksgiving together.

Celebrating Thanksgiving at Home with a Proper Holiday Meal

Celebrating Thanksgiving by setting the table with the seasonal dishes and flatward

Do it Right – Set the Table

Go ahead, and set the table.  Add placemats, the fine china, the silver flatware and the linen napkins.  Don’t even think of grabbing a paper plate, or eating Chinese take-out from a carton. 

By setting the table, it adds a festive flair to your meal.  It sets this day apart from every other day of the year, and allows you to embrace the spirit of celebrating Thanksgiving. (Go ahead – add flowers to the table, too. I dare you!)

Say a blessing over the food.  Tell Him just how thankful you are for everything you have been given.  If you have eyes to see, are drawing breath, and have food – however simple – sitting in front of you, you have reasons to offer thanks.

We as humans have a tendency to forget about the ‘little things’, and begin to take them for granted. Stop and give each of them the appreciation they deserve.

The Farm Wife in the Kitchen Cookbook

For the Singles:

Don’t allow the holidays to cause you to miss out on the delicious food.  It is perfectly okay for you to bake a turkey, prepare side dishes, and create a heavenly dessert or two. 

Eat your fill on the specific day, and enjoy your leftover turkey sandwich later that evening.  As for the rest of the food, create several frozen dinners you can pop into your freezer for other meals.

And as for that turkey carcass?  Make a broth with it, then make a soup base and can it.  Throughout the winter, you can pour a jar into a pot, add some rice or pasta, and have a delicious soup on those cold, dreary days.

For Two to Five:

All of the same things apply to those who only have two or three people celebrating Thanksgiving with a meal.  Although there may not be as many leftovers, you can still create a few for dinners later.

You may also want to prepare a bit more, which will in turn stretch your freezer meals a bit further.  Instead of trying to make frozen meals with all of the dishes served, change them up. 

Add a serving of turkey and dressing to each one.  Then add different vegetables. Make sure to add which veggies are in which meal on the label (turkey/dressing/broccoli casserole/sweet potatoes, etc.). This makes it easy to serve each family member their favorites.

Activities for Celebrating Thanksgiving

Most of these activities can apply to celebrating Thanksgiving for one person or a few.  It is something you can do to take your mind off of the quiet, and focus on your own value.

Invite a lonely neighbor to celebrate Thanksgiving

‘Invite a Neighbor’

There may be someone else you know of who will be alone for the holidays.  You may even be aware of an older person who lives in your neighborhood whose family lives some distance away and cannot visit.  If they are mobile, invite them to share the holidays with you.  If they are not, ask them if you can bring a meal to them to share.

This is an excellent way to care for your neighbor, and to get to know them better.

Volunteer with a soup kitchen during the holidays


So many groups are striving to feed those who are less fortunate or homeless.  They can use all the help you have to offer.

Contact the Salvation Army, local churches, the Red Cross and other local Community focused groups.

Movie Marathon and Game Day

If you are single, consider activities such as a movie marathon or curling up with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book.

If you are planning handmade gifts for Christmas, plan the day around your craft.  This would also be a good time to create gifts for groups who do Secret Santas.  Knitted or crocheted scarves work well for this, as well as throws, shawls, toys, books and other items for both adults and children.

You may also want to have a Baking Marathon.  This would be the perfect time to bake ahead for your freezer and have items on hand to share with others.

If you are a small group, consider having a Game Marathon.  If the weather permits, consider going outside for some lawn games.  If it is too wet or cold, then consider Dominoes, Trivial Pursuit, Backgammon or any other board and card game.

count your blessings with a Gratitude Jar

Celebrating Thanksgiving with a Gratitude Jar (or Count Your Blessings)

One thing both groups can do for the month of November.  Create a Gratitude Jar. Or, if you prefer, a Count Your Blessings Jar.

Using a pint or quart canning jar, fill it with slips of paper on which a simple gratitude has been written.  Each family member can contribute.

You may also ask close friends and other family members to send you their gratitude thoughts.  Add them to a slip of paper, and place them in the jar.

Each day of November and December, pull a slip out of the jar.  Truly ponder the Gratitude on the slip of paper.  Think of ways you can add that to your daily life, and learn to be even more grateful.

For example – if you are grateful for the food you eat, then consider ways to cook at home more, grow a garden, or share that gratitude for baking and cooking for those who are struggling.

We all have been blessed abundantly.  Take the time to turn your mind and heart away from what you don’t have, and instead, count the blessings you do have.

Just because you are celebrating Thanksgiving alone, or only have a couple of people to sit down at your table doesn’t mean you cannot celebrate the holiday. 

have a merry, simple Christmas ebook banner

Plan For Christmas

If celebrating Thanksgiving is quieter than usual this year, take advantage of it and begin planning for Christmas. It is a good time to get organized, decorate, bake ahead, and work on those DIY gifts you want to make.

celebrating Thanksgiving by embracing the beautiful fall day

Embrace the Moment and the Day

Learn to embrace the day and the life you have been given.  Take a walk. Appreciate the beauty of the world. Then step out of your comfort zone and find ways to express that joy and gratitude with others during the rest of the year.

Want to read more about Life during the Holidays? Keep Reading!

Enough is as Good as a Feast

How to Create New Holiday Traditions

How to Set a Simple Holiday Table

Decorate and Plan with Love for a Better Thanksgiving

Volunteer: Learn How to Live, Love, Serve

Lawn Games – How to Have Old-Fashioned Fun

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Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

1 Comment

  1. Great tips! I especially like this “Learn to embrace the day and the life you have been given. ” -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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