This article was updated on October 7, 2020 to reflect the realities of life during COVID-19.
A pretty major component of Thanksgiving is to spend some quality time with your family and friends, relax, and eat some good food. If you've been studying from home this term, you're lucky to be able to spend the time with those nearest and dearest to you. But not everyone gets to go home for the holiday, especially this year.. So if you’re staying in Halifax or Truro for Thanksgiving, round up a few of your friends for a nice night in and have your very own Friendsgiving.
Step 1: See who's available
It’s pretty simple: figure out who’s sticking around for the weekend and make plans with them. No one should spend turkey day alone! Just make sure to keep your group small (10 people or fewer).
Step 2: Pick a place
If you live off campus, decide between your friends where the group should spend this lovely evening. Some landlords are picky about the number of visitors you’re allowed to have over so make sure that wherever you chose to eat, you can kick back, relax, and have a few laughs with friends.
If you live in residence, it may seem that finding a good eating place is pretty well impossible. And this year it's harder than before with COVID-19 restrictions in place. But you'll just need to be creative:
- If the weather's looking good, pick up some food and find a spot outside for a picnic.
- Coordinate with your friends in residence to meet up and eat at the same time in the dining hall.
- Get in the spirit of the "giving" part of "Thanksgiving" by getting a few friends together and volunteer at a community kitchen. (Well, truthfully, you could do this even if you don't live in residence!)
Step 3: Pick your stand-in turkey
Now some people would say that Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without a turkey, but I disagree. Turkeys are expensive! There are so many different options to help cater to your friend group’s dietary needs while sticking to a student-friendly budget.
Tofurky slices: Found in the “meat-free” section of the grocery store, it’s a great stand-in because it’s easy to cook and full of flavour!
Pre-cooked chicken: Also easily found at the grocery store, no cooking required and it kind of looks like turkey?
Frozen, stuffed turkey roll: The big grocery chains (e.g. Superstore, Sobeys) have decent turkey options that won't break the bank (and included stuffing!).
Mac and cheese: Mac and cheese is a classic but can be tricky in residence. Be sure to look out for some dairy-free options down the natural food aisle!
Takeout: Might be considered a pricier option but for the peace of mind of not having to cook, why not? Jean’s Chinese is open on Thanksgiving and they deliver to Dal!
P.S. Don’t skip out on all the side dishes! A bag of frozen green beans or broccoli might be $5 but you can thaw them in the microwave with a little pepper.
Step 4: Enjoy your night
Now that the fam is with the food, time to just enjoy the moment. No more planning, cooking, or studying allowed! This time of year (midterm season) is especially stressful, so any spare second you can think about something other than school is a blessing. Bring movies, board games, or anything else to bulk up the bonding times with your friends. Friendsgiving will create some of the memories you hold onto the longest if you do it right.