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Thanksgiving Away from Home

By Rebekkah Wamser
On November 16, 2018

With Thanksgiving a week away, you’re probably pretty excited for the chance to go home and celebrate with family you may or may not have seen in several weeks. You’re most likely looking forward to sitting down to dinner with siblings who, ahem, you definitely didn’t miss, and are excited to see aunts, uncles and cousins. Or maybe going home and seeing your dog again is the big reason you’re looking forward Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks.

Although most students get the option to go home and celebrate with family, there are some who, due to practice and game schedules, or far distances to travel, either have to come back to school early or don’t get to go home at all. However, there are still ways to get into the holiday spirit, even if you’re staying in the dorms.

If OU’s Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t enough to satisfy your turkey cravings, there are multiple options for you to enjoy a meal on Thanksgiving. Restaurants in Lawrence and Topeka are open over the holidays and offer some amazing options. IHOP, Perkins, Golden Corral, Cracker Barrel and Denny’s offer a homestyle vibe that will pair well with the holiday atmosphere. Plus, turkey is always on the menu. If you are sick of turkey, options like Applebee’s, TGI Friday’s, and Ruby Tuesday will be open. If you don’t want to spend a ton of money, fast food places such as Taco Bell and McDonald’s may be the way to go. Just remember to double-check restaurant hours as they change during the holiday season.

You may also want to consider donating to those who may not so fortunate. Giving back to the community is always important but is especially emphasized around this time of year. Plus it provides good perspective on what you’re thankful for. Donating things such as blankets, socks, mittens, gloves and hats to shelters can make a big difference in someone’s life. Many families choose to participate in “Adopt a Family” where they’re given a list of certain needs for that family and provides presents at Christmas. You could get a group of friends together and become a sponsor for the “Adopt a Family” program through the Salvation Army. Another thing that may seem small but can have a huge impact, is donating to the Food Bank. Oftentimes these donations are given out to families who don’t have the means to buy all the food for a Thanksgiving meal. They use the donated food to make a Thanksgiving meal for their family. Some people even use the donated food to make one giant community Thanksgiving meal.

 For my dad and brother, Thanksgiving means football. If you know of other people who are spending Thanksgiving break at school, invite them over to watch a game or two. Unfortunately, the KC Chiefs don’t have a Thanksgiving game this year, but there are still several games for you choose from that could make your Thursday entertaining.

Another thing that will help bring the holiday spirit is decorating. Go to Walmart or Dollar Tree and buy a little three-foot Christmas tree for your dorm, or string Christmas lights around your room and living room. While you’re at it, get some stockings for you and your roommates. This adds to the decor distracts you, and makes the place cozy by bringing a little Christmas into your life.

And lastly, don’t forget you can always call home and find out what you missed at dinner.

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