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How to spend Thanksgiving when you can’t go home

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As Thanksgiving vacation approaches, UC Berkeley students prepare to head home and spend the vacation with their family. But many of us can’t go home, whether it’s because we live in another state, another country, the plane ticket was too expensive, or our relationship with our family is not in bad shape. better. Whatever the reason, if you find yourself in the Berkeley area during the Thanksgiving vacation, here are some suggestions to make the most of your time!

Have a Friendsgiving

Fear not, if you can’t celebrate with your loved ones at home, you can still celebrate with those around you! Your friends are like your second family; Pseudo-biological ties keep you sane and anchored in the whirlwind of your college career. If most of your friends won’t be in town on Thanksgiving day, just start the festivities a little earlier! Host a potluck style dinner where everyone is responsible for bringing their own favorite food to your humble, comfortable abode. Make sure you have all the essentials – like mac and cheese, turkey, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie – covered. String on fairy lights, decorate your shabby kitchen table with a festive tablecloth and a few candles, and uncork the drinks to get the party started! Savor the moment with your friends and take the time for everyone to turn in a circle and express their gratitude and appreciation for each other.

Volunteer

Few things make your heart so warm and confused as when you give back to the community. One of the best ways to get in the Thanksgiving spirit is to volunteer your time to cook dinner at the local soup kitchen. Many families in the Bay Area struggle with food security, making vacations a stressful and difficult time. Show a little love and bring joy by stepping into the kitchen to whip up a delicious and filling meal for those who need it most! East Bay food, not bombs The volunteer organization will be open to cook and share meals on Thanksgiving, so put on your apron and chef’s hat and meet at St. John’s Presbyterian Church (2727 College Ave) to start at 10:30 a.m.

Go out on a date

Sometimes the person you need to show the most appreciation for is yourself. After all, this semester you’ve been working hard preparing for your exams, writing homework, and guiding people through your extracurricular activities while trying to maintain a social life. It’s no surprise that you feel exhausted! During the break, why not take advantage of your free time to finally slow down and have a good time in your own presence? If you still need to convince how therapeutic and curative it can be to spend quality time alone, check out this previously published article by the Clog on why you should take yourself on a solo date. Plan an activity that your heart gravitates towards. It could be packing a board of cold cuts and having a picnic in Mission Dolores, visiting an art museum in town, having a movie marathon with freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate, or indulging in dinner in a Michelin starred restaurant. Whatever you decide to do, make it an act of self-love – you deserve it!

Zoom Thanksgiving Dinner

If you are one of the lucky ones who have a great relationship with your family, but cannot return home for logistical reasons, feel free to rely on the crutch of technology! I know, I know, the pandemic has probably soured the word ‘Zoom’ in your mouth, but at this point we’re all used to relying on virtual platforms to connect with each other in classes, clubs, or questions. work-related. Embrace modernity and enjoy a synchronous virtual Thanksgiving feast with your loved ones at home. Plus, there are definitely some benefits to having a Zoom Thanksgiving. For starters, you can save money on decorating by simply choosing one of Zoom’s festive virtual backgrounds to set the scene for free. You can also cook together without jostling and bumping into each other in the same kitchen. And if you are the host of the reunion, you also have the power to silence your family members when they start to take too much interest in your love life or bicker over politics.

The Thanksgiving break should be a time of connection and gratitude, whether to yourself or to others. Fortunately, you can get into the Thanksgiving spirit without having to get in a car or on a plane! At Clog, we hope these ideas will help make the holidays a little brighter.

Contact Madeleine Lorie at [email protected].