Top 5 Unconventional Ways to Spend Thanksgiving

Top 5 Unconventional Ways to Spend Thanksgiving

By Sharon Shatananda

1. Switch up the Menu

Though Thanksgiving is traditionally viewed as a strictly turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce affair, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Trying different global cuisine is a great way to mix it up each year, whether the food is Chinese, Hawaiian, or Mexican.

Sophomore Luisa Santos’ family is Italian. The Santoses eat a traditional, several course Italian meal on Thanksgiving Day. “There’s like eight different courses when we go to my grandma’s house,” Santos said.

Though that is probably an exaggeration, as Santos later admitted, the idea behind it is still a nod to her family’s home traditions. Sophomore Deena Sbitany also enjoys a multi-cultural Thanksgiving feast, a mixture of the Traditional Turkey, and Middle Eastern lamb.

Why not be so lucky as to stuff yourself with both American classics and global cuisine?

2. Head into D.C

Whether it be on the day of Thanksgiving or not, the week of break is a great time to visit museums and amusement parks. The usual issue with both these destinations generally is the annoying abundance of other people. If you visit during Thanksgiving break, public places are likely to be less crowded and more enjoyable. However, according to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum website, “the day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year,” and every museum in D.C is packed. On that note, consider changing up your schedule and visiting on Thanksgiving Day itself, or earlier in the week.

3. Run the Freeze your Gizzard Race

Saturday, November 23rd starting at 9:00 am at Ida Lee Park. For more information visit

Whether the cause is a 5th serving of mashed potatoes or devouring an entire pumpkin pie single-handedly, we would all like to ease the weight of Thanksgiving, figuratively and literally.

Leesburg’s 11th annual Freeze your Gizzard Thanksgiving 5K is a great way to do exactly that. Registration for the race requires donations of canned goods that will go to Loudoun Interfaith Relief’s Food Bank.

4.  Volunteer

During Thanksgiving specifically, Loudoun Interfaith looks for Thanksgiving food donations, and Tuscarora is participating in its food drive. Until November 26th, all advisories are collecting canned goods to donate to Loudoun Interfaith.

If you’d rather volunteer, dozens of churches around Loudoun are always looking for volunteers. The Community Church in Ashburn distributes food through their Messiah’s Market program, and Leesburg United Methodist Church’s youth feed the homeless in D.C twice a year.

5. Get outdoors!

While the typical way to spend your post-Thanksgiving feast is entering into a food coma while watching football, there is an alternative. Why not get outdoors?

Sophomore Ghita Fekkak’s Thanksgiving consists of football and more football. Before the meal, Fekkak’s sisters and friends get outdoors to play football and then watch more after eating.

There are always options: backyard frisbee or baseball, a hike, or simply a walk around the neighborhood to get the blood flowing back to your brain and away from your stomach.