When you think of Thanksgiving, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Cheesy thoughts of an overly happy family gathered around a golden turkey and heaping mounds of mashed potatoes is probably what pops into your head.
And, you're not wrong.
Most people celebrate Thanksgiving this way.
But, not everyone. Believe it or not, some people do choose to spend holidays, like Thanksgiving, without their friends and family.
Tell us if we're wrong… Are these not some of your first thoughts when you're traveling home for the holidays:
Often times, the holidays bring about a huge amount of stress and work for many people. For others, a holiday is a great time to relax alone and be grateful. There's no right way to celebrate a holiday. It's perfectly logical to spend Thanksgiving (or any other holiday) alone if that's your jam.
Take some "you time" or get caught up on important things you have going on. Here are six reasons you may decide to skip the family dinner this year.
Anyone who's employed by the airline industry, public transit or the medical field has never been a stranger to working on a major holiday. Regardless of what kind of work you do for a living, it might be seriously difficult to pause everything you have going on for an entire week or even a few days.
Many jobs require employees to work on holidays and that sort of thing is included in an employment contract. We can't have an entire hospital closing down to enjoy some pumpkin pie and turkey!
It's no big deal to miss a big holiday if you have to work. You need to be able to afford your rent, your car, insurance and so on. Many people take advantage of working holidays by making time and a half. That's some good extra cash to have.
We've all got it, whether you want to admit it or not. The tale of the dysfunctional family. Gathering the control freak, the perfectionist, the habitual liar and the slack-off in one house for a day or two is enough to make anyone want to decline an invitation.
Lame jokes, political chat, unruly children and the threat of multiple, unnecessary arguments at any moment is understandably not everyone's cup of tea. Sometimes, the family drama is so intense that it's just easier not to attend a major holiday. You don't want to take off from work and fly across the country just to get in huge, unwanted fights.
Planes, trains and automobiles cost a pretty penny. Everyone knows that prices for fuel and airline tickets soar during the holiday season. A plane ride that might cost $200 in the spring or summer can easily triple during peak season.
In an economy where people are still watching every penny, traveling to see family and friends isn't always a feasible option due to the high cost. Statista reports that during Thanksgiving time in 2018, more than $54 million was spent by travelers.
Unless you plan out your flights far in advance, the cost of travel may get in the way. And for those that live close to family, maybe taking off work for the holidays isn't an option.
College students might get a few days off for the holiday, but research papers and major projects are often due upon their return to the classroom. Many students opt to spend their time off finishing assignments instead of catching up with loved ones.
Simply put, it's just a better use of their free time. There's no excuse to miss a major exam because you just had to watch football with the family (unfortunately).
Some families have young children and live far away from their extended family. It's extremely difficult to travel with small children. Most families will understand if you decide to stay home because your baby (or babies) would be much calmer and safe by staying home. Traveling with young children can cause a huge amount of stress for young couples, so don't feel bad if that's you.
Many people have turned to the idea of having a “Friendsgiving" instead of a traditional Thanksgiving. Whether you don't have a big family to have Thanksgiving with, or you're closer to your group of friends, this is a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving in a different way.
Basically, you get all of your friends together and have Thanksgiving with them instead of family. It's a great way to look forward to the holidays when you might not have a traditional Thanksgiving option.
Plenty of people do it, and there's probably even more who wish they could! On the bright side, you won't have to deal with the chaos of traffic, crowded airports or canceled flights. More importantly, you won't have to subject yourself to “enjoying" a dry, flavorless turkey and canned cranberry sauce.
Enjoy yourself and relax on the sofa, watch some Netflix, or catch up on your DVR recordings. Or you can do something selfless like serve meals at a local food bank.