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Orphan Thanksgiving, The New Friendsgiving

Orphan Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the major national holidays in the United States. It celebrates the blessing of the harvest and symbolizes the beginning days of Christopher Columbus’ journey onto U.S. soil.

Traditionally, families get together and cook a large meal including the staple Thanksgiving dishes: turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. Relatives from near and far fly or drive in and all look forward to this annual holiday dedicated to spending time with family.

Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to be with family on this holiday. Some have relocated across the country and a flight home is logistically too difficult or out of budget. Flying over Thanksgiving usually costs twice as much as flying at a non-peak time. Others are planning on coming home for Christmas, so traveling such a long distance a few weeks apart doesn’t make sense. There are people who do have to be back in the office on Friday (Thanksgiving is always on the last Thursday of the month), so they can’t travel either.

Whatever the reason, people all over the country may find themselves very lonely on a day that is meant to achieve the opposite. Because of this, a trend has emerged called “Orphan Thanksgiving,” or, as we wrote about last year, “Friendsgiving.”

It’s no secret that a lot of the people who find themselves “orphaned” over Thanksgiving are widows, divorcees, parents who have relocated, and other mature adults who cannot be with their families at this time. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of opportunities to do something special on this day. That’s why it’s so important to us at Stitch to make it as easy and safe as possible for our members to connect with each other and meet new people at any place or time.

We were thrilled to see this year, a group of Stitch Members started organizing their own “Orphan Thanksgiving.” New member Felicia, who recently relocated from Texas to San Francisco, took the first step and suggested the event inside of Stitch’s app, where verified members can coordinate around the activities and interests they love.

Orphan Thanksgiving

If you find that you don’t have family around this Thanksgiving, sign onto Stitch and let your fellow Stitchers know! Like Felicia, you can suggest a dinner or potluck.  Other Stitch members love to volunteer. On Thanksgiving, we suggest getting a group together to volunteer at your local mission or shelter. Start the day off with a  group breakfast to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and then put your feet up and enjoy the Turkey Bowl.

No matter what you do on Thanksgiving, even if you find yourself an “orphan,” remember your blessings and cherish your loved ones. It’s a day to really think about how lucky we all are!

9 Comments

  1. Mary

    This is a great idea. I live across the country from my family. Being with others dealing with the same situation alleviates the stigma and sad feelings about being “family-less” on this holiday. I’d love to hear your input.

    1. Marcie Rogo

      Thanks, Mary. Sign onto Stitch and suggest something, like a Potluck or volunteer day, in your area. You can also start a discussion in the forums about how you’re feeling, since so many people can relate. We’re here to help!

  2. Nancy

    Said I really didn’t want a restaurant for that day and was dropped from the Stitcher chatter. What is going on that day? Would like to know.

    Nancy

    1. Marcie Rogo

      Hi Nancy, you were not dropped from the chatter at all. We don’t even have a way of doing that! I think that it seemed that different people wanted to do different things, and your name was called out several times. Definitely log back in and comment so that other interested Stitchers can get on board with you, or you can suggest a separate event that is more in line with what you are looking for. That might be the best option, so local Stitchers will get notified.

  3. ELISSA

    I AM CONSIDERED HOUSE BOUND IN A WHEELCHAIR AND UNABLE TO GO ANYWHERE. BUT MY HOLIDAYS ARE STILL VERY HAPPY TIMES.. SINCE I LOVE TO COOK I HAVE THE FUN OF PREPARING MY HOLIDAY FEAST OF TURKEY (SMALL), SAUSAGE STUFFING, STUFFED POTATOS, BROCCOLI WITH TURMIC SAUCE, APPLE/ORANGE CRANBERRY SAUCE, PUMPKIN PIE AND APPLE/RAISON PIE. DEPENDING IF AVAILABLE CHICKEN LIVERS FOR A DELICIOUS LIVER PATE OR IFCLAMS ARE IN ORDER, CLAM OREGONATO FOR MY 1ST COURSE. THEN I HAVE THE PLEASURE TO PARTAKE OF MY FEAST. LASTLY I PACKAGE AND FREEZE SEVERAL COMPLETE DINNERS FOR MY PLEASURE ON ANOTHER DAY. I ALSO ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS FOR THEIR DECORATIONS WHICH I HANG, SWAG AND PLACE ABOUT, THIS YEAR I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO MY 7 FT POP UP TREE WHICH I BOUGHT LAST JAN ON A CLEARANCE SALE ON THE INTERNET OF COURSE. I SHALL EVEN WRAP UP THE FURRY BOOTS I BOUGHT TO PUT UNDER THE TREE.. I KNOW HOW TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE HAPPY AND I KNOW HOW TO MAKE ME HAPPY TOO.

    1. Marcie Rogo

      That is wonderful Elissa! Sounds like you aren’t letting anything stop you from having an incredible holiday experience. You are truly an inspiration!

  4. Krisselle

    This sounds like a lot of fun! My daughter is away at college, and I have empty next syndrome. My family lives far away so I can’t get to them over the holidays. I’d love to meet other Stitchers who find themselves “Orphans”. It would be great to meet new people.

    1. Marcie Rogo

      Hi Krisselle, there are so many people on Stitch in the same position. We’d love to have you sign up and connect with them. We’re here to help!

  5. Marcia

    I hope there is something like this for 2016. I went to New York (From CA) to be with family last Thanksgiving, but it is a huge hassle to fly at that time of year and I have to arrange animal sitters. I am a widow with no family close by and it would be nice to have some kind of gathering for Thanksgiving. On one hand, kind of sad to have to be with strangers on a holiday, but on the other also nice to be able to meet new people.

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