Sunday, October 21, 2018
Events

Some ways to celebrate Thanksgiving that aren’t Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day!

Or is it? Sometimes life just doesn’t come together at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

Circumstances mean it’s not always possible to sit around the table on Thanksgiving, a family in a Publix ad smiling over a glistening bird. Maybe family is out of town. Maybe children of blended families are with the other parent. Maybe illness, flight delays and work schedules are throwing in a wrench. Or maybe you just don’t have a lot of family, period.

My clan is getting together to celebrate the holiday on Sunday this year (glistening bird and all), so my husband and I have made plans to dress up and go out to dinner, Don and Betty Draper style (in happier times, of course). I’m actually excited about it. Mixing up expectations can be refreshing if you really embrace it.

If you’re reading this with no plans in place, we have ideas.

See a movie

Treat yourself to a night out at one of the luxury theaters in Tampa Bay, like Cobb Tyrone or CineBistro in Hyde Park or Wesley Chapel, where you can order a bottle of wine and a tasty flatbread to consume at your seat. Consult Steve Persall’s Movie Planner on Page 13 to see what’s in theaters this week (Coco, The Man Who Invented Christmas). And get his current recommendations for favorite flicks including The Florida Project, which explores life for homeless families in the motels around Disney World, and will probably leave you feeling pretty thankful.

Try a different cuisine

There’s no law that says you have to have turkey and mashed potatoes on the fourth Thursday in November every year. Try Indian cuisine at Deccan Spice (open until 9:30 p.m. at 2325 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater), Chinese at Yummy House China Bistro, shown above, (open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. at 2620 E Hillsborough Ave., Tampa) or Vietnamese at Thinh An Kitchen and Tofu (open until 5 p.m. at 8104 W Waters Ave., Tampa).

Start on the next holiday

There’s no shame in skipping a holiday. Just pretend Thanksgiving never happened and start planning Christmas or Hanukkah. Start your holiday shopping (see Maggie Duffy’s Shopping Planner on Page 22 for ideas, or head online if you don’t want to leave the house). Or just get in the spirit with some TV viewing, with advice from the Couch Planner on Page 25. Chelsea Tatham has a list of holiday specials coming our way starting Friday. And, there’s nothing to be more thankful for than a marathon of Stranger Things 2.

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