Certainly you have some time with your children on a Sunday in November. Pick one and make it a unique family holiday, complete with a family game (even young children can enjoy a rousing game of Apples-to-Apples), a trip to somewhere fun and close like a pick-your-own apples place and create a new dinner tradition like lobster or ravioli and finish up with apple pie (doesn’t have to be home-made). Try to invite as many friends and family members as possible. Tell them to stick to the apple theme in how they dress and the hostess gifts that they bring.
Many years ago, I was involved in a case where the “new family holiday” was preferred by the children over the old boring Thanksgiving.
Don’t be intimidated by Festivus – just make it fun and get the kids involved.
Figure out something you can do with the children that they can take with them that is age and skill appropriate – maybe decorated napkin rings (who can’t have fun with glitter and glue) or a foam turkey made from a kit.
If you feel like you are imposing on others who don’t see that you will be alone on Thanksgiving, volunteer to serve the less fortunate.
If that will lead to too much martyrdom, go see a movie and get a really big tub of buttered popcorn, a giant soda and two boxes of candy.
Above all, don’t let your sadness and jealousy leak over and ruin the holiday for the children.
Remember that children can only be as happy as their least happy parent. Make certain that isn’t you.