It’s one week to Thanksgiving, and the city is already starting to empty out, as Washington, DC tends to do during the holidays. New York gets very quiet too, though not quite as much as DC.
I have always enjoyed the quiet of the city during Thanksgiving here — I remember one Thanksgiving when I was walking up Connecticut Avenue from Dupont Circle, and passed 4 different clusters of people, the first two clusters spoke French, one spoke Italian and the other spoke German. It was definitely a reminder of how many expats live here. As an expat myself (though I have lived in the U.S. almost half my life at this point), it was a moment of kinship.
If you are choosing this year as one to cut back on Thanskgiving travel, whether for financial or stress or travel reasons (or all of the above), I have a few suggestions for the holiday. It can be lonely to imagine spending the holiday without family, but it can also be an opportunity to connect in other ways.
– Connect with people, whether it be celebrating with significant others, friends, volunteering, taking a yoga class (at least at Tranquilspace in Washington – they have yoga classes every Thanksgiving)
– Enjoy the emptiness and quiet, especially if you are in an otherwise busy city. One Thanksgiving I went to see a movie at a usually very crowded theater, and it was emptier than a weekday matinee (Teaism afficionados will appreciate reading that I snuck in some ginger scones too, and yes they were open on Thanksgiving). Take a long contemplative walk, reflect on what you are thanksful for.
– Dine well, whether with others or solo. The beauty of solo is that you can make exactly the Thanksgiving meal you like, even if it is just stuffing and pumpkin pie.
– Take some time to reflect on what you are thankful for. Especially in these crazy times, gratitude can be a very comforting practice.
I am taking some of my own advice and going to a yoga class Thanksgiving morning, and then to a friend’s house.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers