Make Your Own: Scrappy Thanksgiving

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It kind of sucks that Thanksgiving break is so short in college. For kids that go to school on opposite sides of the country from their home, it's often a struggle to decide whether its worth the price of a round-trip plane ticket when Christmas is just around the corner and lasts so much longer.

This goes for post-graduate life as well. Usually you can find a friend to tag along with for their family's feast (don't forget the pot!), but one thing's for certain: you don't want to be alone on turkey day. It's somehow even sadder than being alone on Christmas (just claim you're Jewish), though not as sad as being alone on New Years Eve. If you find yourself Thanksgiving plan-free, we have some tips to make your own version! Call up the rest of your orphan friends and have a feast, following these simple steps.

1. Make your apartment homey:
If your apartment or dorm room is a mess, inviting people over for Thanksgiving is just going to remind them how depressing it is not to be home. So do your sheets, shove your laundry into the closet, and buy a goddamn tablecloth. Also not a bad idea to purchase some candles and maybe one of those tacky wall turkeys, just to get into the holiday spirit.

2. Only make the food you like:
One of the worst parts of Thanksgiving is pretending for the fifth year in a row that Aunt Jean's homemade cranberry sauce is delicious while she watches you like a hawk to make sure you eat every bite. No longer! This Thanksgiving means giving thanks to eating your favorite foods of the season, whether it's mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, or that green been casserole thing with the fried onions on top. Of course, tell your friends it's a potluck (you don't want to cook everything!) but make sure they know not to be offended when you stay away from any sauces that didn't come in a can. Speaking of which:

3. Plan your turkey, Turkey!:
Do you know how hard it is to cook a turkey? It takes like 12 hours or some ridiculous shit like that. And requires a pretty big oven, too. Some supermarkets will deliver you a cooked turkey that you can just reheat, and you can also order them online. Or get a Tofurky and claim you are going vegetarian this year. Just don't wait until the last minute to remember that the staple of your Thanksgiving meal is also the most difficult to bring to the table.

4. Alcohol, probably:
The nice thing about Thanksgiving, besides eating a lot, is that no one stays up too long afterward to rehash old family issues. Thanks, Tryptophan! But if you've forgone the turkey or find that your friends don't pass out the way grandpa usually does, alcohol is the best bet for getting people nice and comfy (without overstaying their welcome). Here's a good list of Thanksgiving-themed cocktails, including a Pumpkin Spice Margheritta.

5. Mood music:
Make yourself a Thanksgiving playlist, or go Netflix a bunch of great Thanksgiving films that remind you exactly why you're thankful not to be with your folks. Hey, Pieces of April is on Hulu right now! That should do the trick. Then do all the things you wouldn't be able to do if you were home for the holidays: leave a mess (you'll deal with it tomorrow), talk shit about your siblings, or just watch TV all night and refuse to talk to anyone. Just don't forget to call your mom and wish her a Happy Thanksgiving!