How to Spend Thanksgiving Alone in Chicago

On your own this Thanksgiving?  Are you newly separated or divorced with no family nearby?  Or maybe your children will be at your X's for the day.  Don't feel blue.  Reframe your situation  as an opportunity.  Here are some ways to enjoy the day.

1. Volunteer

Many of the organizations that serve dinner are already fully staffed with volunteers, but here are two fun activities that you can use you:

The Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot which supports the West Suburban Community Pantry needs your  support for its  race on Thursday from 7:30am to noon.  You can help by providing water to the participants of the 5K Fun Run, located at York Road and South Street in Elmhurst.  All the proceeds from this event got to the food pantry which feeds the hungry.  Call 630-415-2816.

Another interesting opportunity  is with the Chicago Festival Association for its McDonalds ® Thanksgiving Day parade.  They still need folks for its  "poo crew" [yes, that's right!]  to walk with the horses, shovel the "you know what",  and maybe even appear  on TV.  Also needed are "utilities" volunteers to be placed where needed that day.  Email Chloe at for more information.


2. Jump start your holiday shopping

In spite of worker protests, there will be stores open.  After you have hit the stores,  go home and wrap the gifts while listening to a good audio book.   Target, for example, will open at 9pm on Thanksgiving Day.  CVS and Walgreen's have 24 hour stores and may seem to be an unlikely source for holiday shopping, but you can find lots of great gifts there.


3. Take yourself to dinner

Don't be intimidated!  A couple of years ago, it was just  me and one of my children who were around.  I did not want to cook for the two of us so we went to Ann Sather's on Belmont.  The food was yummy,  well priced and the atmosphere was  warm and friendly.   I would certainly go there by myself .  Or, go to the dining room of the best hotel in your area.  Don't deprive yourself of a nice treat just because you are on your own.


4. Go to a movie

Hollywood has provided us with  an ample list to choose from this year. Some better than others.  Argo, which I just saw, is terrific and based on a true story.  Makes you believe in happy endings.


5. Stay home and do whatever you want

Watch the Macy's and McDonald's ®  Thanksgiving Parades on TV, followed by the football games. Combine this with a stack of books and magazines.  Get fixings for a feast for one.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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