For me, Thanksgiving as a holiday has never necessarily been the most celebrated day. That's not to say that I don't have my fair share of turkey and potatoes, but unlike all of my friends, who mention their extended family coming over to celebrate, that's not the case for me. Yeah, I spend time with my family, but it's just me, my sister, and my parents. It feels almost no different than any other dinner with them.

Why is that? My extended family doesn't even celebrate Thanksgiving. In fact, they don't even live in America. They live all around the world, but not in America.

I'm a second generation immigrant, so for me, Thanksgiving isn't really a way for me to connect with my extended family considering that they live thousands of miles away. As I'm thinking about it, while I'm sure that some of you might be getting ready to dodge questions from your extended family, I'm sure that there are also some of you that aren't able to celebrate that way for Thanksgiving.

Whether you just can't make it home for the holiday, are an immigrant from another country, or your family isn't around anymore, that doesn't mean that you can't still celebrate Thanksgiving. Here are some ideas on what you can do beyond family dinners:

01 | Volunteer

There are lots of Thanksgiving volunteer events that you can join, here's a quick list. If you already have Thanksgiving plans, you can still volunteer on another day during the Thanksgiving break or even another day following the holiday. The point of Thanksgiving is to be thankful, so what better way to celebrate than continue that thankfulness beyond that November Thursday? Visit a shelter, a school, a food bank, whatever you can find in your area, to celebrate Thanksgiving.

02 | Carve a pumpkin

Who says carving pumpkins is just for Halloween? Make some Thanksgiving themed pumpkins, maybe do a little turkey carving or a cornucopia if you're up for something a bit more difficult. Design your own! Bonus: toast the pumpkin seeds that you remove from the pumpkins for an autumnal Thanksgiving treat!

03 | Make a blanket

Get cozy on Thanksgiving by making a blanket! You can make those easy fleece tie blankets, but if you want something more sophisticated, I saw these simple DIY flannel blankets online and they look so nice you can't even tell that they're a DIY. Spend the day working on this project and if you're feeling the giving part of Thanksgiving, you can give the blanket to a charity: here is a list of charities that ask for these kinds of things.

04 | Knit something

Just like with the blanket, you can spend the time knitting something for yourself, especially when the weather is getting a bit colder, or you can also donate those knit items to any of those charities if you would like. You can knit or crochet hats, mittens, scarves, blankets (if your ambitious), there are tons of things that you can knit. Watch a movie while knitting and get cozy.

05 | Clean out your closet + donate the clothes you don't wear anymore

Don't hold onto things that you don't need anymore, instead give them to people that might actually need them! I don't know about you, but I have lots of clothes in my closet that I never wear and always say that I will. Take the day to go through those clothes and get rid of the ones that you don't really need and donate them to charity. Here are 15 places where you can donate used clothing.

06 | Make care packages

Make a gift for a friend or a family member to show them how thankful you are to have them in your life. Whether you make small little care packages or full blown boxes, for hey will definitely appreciate your efforts. Plus, it's a fun way for you to spend the day.

07 | Invent your own take on Thanksgiving dinner

Make Thanksgiving uniquely you by adapting your own Thanksgiving traditions and getting creative. Who says Thanksgiving only has to be the classic turkey and mashed potatoes? I read this article online on these different immigrant families that have merged their own cultures with Thanksgiving, which I found SO interesting. Regardless of whether or not you are of another culture, you can still reinvent Thanksgiving in a creative way.

08 | Send thank you cards

It's Thanksgiving, so why not let all of your friends and family how much you appreciate them with thank you cards? Write personalized notes inside for them and even make your own if you choose to. I love making my own cards since I think that it's really fun and also makes the thank you a lot more meaningful.

Don't feel like making your own card? I made one that you can use! Unlock the free handmade thank you card that's in the photo at the beginning of this post as well as other freebies from the bloomly content library by joining the email list!

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