How I Experienced Thanksgiving in a Different Way

November is here and Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Last year, my Thanksgiving was completely different. I made the decision to leave New York. It’s really challenging for me to stay warm during the winter months or even when the temperature dips below 50 degrees because of my muscular dystrophy. So, even though I normally go down to Florida every year during the winter months, I made the decision to go down earlier because of everything that was going on with COVID-19 and lockdowns. Even though we were in the middle of a pandemic in Florida, I could still go out during the day to fish while staying warm. This really help me mentally during the peak of the pandemic. The one thing I was not accounting for the holidays.

Celebrating Thanksgiving Day Alone

table served with delectable dishes prepared for thanksgiving dinner
Photo by Monstera on

Last year in 2020, I spent Thanksgiving alone. This was 100 percent my choice. It was impossible to fly back home to New York for Thanksgiving (which I normally do). Knowing that I would be spending Thanksgiving by myself, I wanted to do something special. I sat down and thought about how I was going to prepare a full Thanksgiving meal for myself. I realized that cooking a 20-pound turkey and having to lift it into the oven was not something I could do because of my disability. that was kind of a bummer. So, I called my mom and she had some ideas. So last year for Thanksgiving, I went to my local Publix and bought half a pound of boar’s head turkey, a jar of gravy and a box of stuffing. I also bought some chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. My mom ‘s suggestion to buy cold cut turkey still allowed me to experience Thanksgiving in a different way. I could cut up the turkey and put it into a pot with the gravy and cook it together. This was way more manageable than me trying to pull a 20-pound turkey safely in and out of the oven with my limited arm strength.

Spending the Holidays with Family

So, last year my Thanksgiving wasn’t the most family oriented or exciting. So, this year I’m extremely excited for Thanksgiving because I’m spending it with my family down south. I think the best part about Thanksgiving this year is enjoying a home cooked meal while surrounded by the people you love. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is you cannot replace time. Life doesn’t slow down or stop. So, it’s imperative to make the most out of every holiday and every moment that you spend with the people you love. 

About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.