How to Survive Thanksgiving Away from Family

Last year on Thanksgiving marked the first time I ever spent a holiday away from my family.  To be completely honest, I was not looking forward to Thanksgiving last year at all.  Thankfully, I had Chris with me, but I still didn't think it would feel the same.  I knew it would be different and I knew I was not prepared.  I wanted to make everything feel like home as much as possible, but there was one problem.

With Thanksgiving, there usually comes a turkey, a ham, and about ten other side dishes of food. Sure, I could cook boxed macaroni and green beans, but a turkey?!  Like a whole freaking bird that you have to brine, clean, inject and god knows what else... that's a whole different story and a mama's job.  So I did what any other twenty-something would do and avoided a disaster that would otherwise mimic a Christmas Vacation dinner scene and placed a to-go order for a turkey.  After taking the somewhat easy way out, I turned to Pinterest and gathered a few side dish recipes that would taste like grandmizzle's home cooked feast.  Twenty dirty pots and pans later and the buffet was served for two.  I must say it was the best damn decision ever.  We had enough leftovers to feed a family of five and it was all for us.

After the food, aka the most important part, was taken care of, we decided to do something different.  Since it was just the two of us, Chris and I decided to have our Thanksgiving "dinner" super early, as in the day before Thanksgiving, and use the actual day to travel.  Since we didn't have a house full of family to sit and socialize with, we jumped onto the next train to New York city and turned the day into a holiday I will never forget.

Since I know I'm not the only one living far away from family, I've decided to put together a little survival guide for all of you that may be feeling like I did.

1.  Don't be afraid to make too much food, or any for that matter.  After all, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving if you didn't eat your body weight in one day.  Catering is always an option, but if you're feeling like Betty Crocker up in yo crib, try this corn casserole recipe.  It won't disappoint.

2.  Pair your feast with your favorite beer.  Remember, it's about being thankful.  And don't be too shy to make a separate plate for your favorite southern side.  No one will be around to judge you!

3.  Travel to your favorite nearby city.  You won't be the only one out and it will be a nice little change from being closed indoors like all the other holidays.  

4.  Do something so surreal.  In my case it was watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in real life, but it can be anything.  Go for something completely out of your typical holiday routine.
5.  Document it all.  Because you never know when what you think will be the worst Thanksgiving turns out to be one of the most memorable.

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