Even though the holiday is still more than a month away, it’s never too early for some people to start stressing over whether they should go home for Thanksgiving. We get it: The pressure to conform to holiday norms is immense, but if you’re not going home for Thanksgiving, you more than likely have a perfectly legit reason. Despite the barrage of questions that are probably already coming in from your parents, you do not have to go home for the holidays if it’s not what is best for you.
The fact is, spending Thanksgiving away from your family is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, and it’s definitely not the end of the world. There will be more Turkey Days to come! Besides, you could always go home afterwards (if you choose to) or dodge any and all forms of correspondence from your family until the holiday season has come and gone.
But since we think the direct approach works best in these situations, here are seven reasons not to go home for Thanksgiving that are completely legit.
1You want to avoid the holiday travel rush.
No matter how much you enjoy the company of your loved ones, it’s completely understandable if you miss out on the annual Thanksgiving shindig because you’d rather not be trying to make your way through a crowded airport during the busiest time of the year to fly.
While all those other Turkey Day travelers are stuck in long airport security lines or enduring last-minute flight cancellations due to weather, you’ll still have a tight grip on your holiday plans and your stress levels.
2You can’t afford to go home.
Hey, it happens! And if you are a member of a loving family who can’t afford to foot your travel bill either, we’re pretty sure they’ll understand if your pockets are simply too busted to make it home this year.
3Your family Thanksgivings are always a nightmare.
From facing off with passive-aggressive relatives you haven’t seen in forever (and with good reason) to tense political discussions that threaten to ruin the dinner, your already know that Thanksgiving brings out the worst in your dysfunctional family. In our books, this is a perfectly legitimate reason to avoid home at all costs on this not-so-warm and fuzzy holiday.
4The idea of Friendsgiving suits you better.
There’s plenty of incentive for you to make Friendsgiving a new tradition among your friend group (see: dysfunctional family on Thanksgiving). So round up your closest pals, get good and buzzed off holiday booze and bond over how many ups and downs you’ve seen one another through this year. Technically, you’ll still be spending time with family — just not the ones who share your DNA.
5You don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.
Sure, your family will miss out on your presence, but at least you’ll be in the comfort of your own place instead of feeling forced to sit around a table full of family while awkwardly stress eating and counting down the minutes until this miserable gathering is over.
6But you’ll be home…eventually.
There’s no rule that requires you to attend every family holiday gathering. If you’re already planning to go home at some point before the end of the year, don’t feel guilty about sitting out Thanksgiving with the folks.
7You hate the holidays.
Although it’s not listed on your birth certificate, your middle name is most definitely Scrooge — you absolutely hate the holiday season. Since you’d rather not be subjected to friends and family trying to talk you out of your anti-festive curmudgeonly funk, feel free to lay low and silently detest this awful time of the year wherever you’re most comfortable and secure, even if that means doing so away from home.