The classic Thanksgiving dinner. Photo courtesy of 

And now for something completely different.

Thanksgiving break is a magical time for the students of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Those two long days off that we are granted for this holiest of holidays are for many an opportunity to finally return home after several months of intense studies and reconnect with their families.

This break is also an exciting time for families of freshmen in particular, who get to see that wide eyed and enthusiastic little kid they dropped off at the beginning of the semester return as an unrecognisable bearded freak.

Sometimes though, this break can be very overwhelming to those who want to get the most out of their time away from the shackles of this intellectual prison. The thought of even losing a minute of their finite break shakes them down to their very core.

So, out of the goodness of my heart; I have compiled a list of not one, not two, but 23 unorthodox ways of spending Thanksgiving break. Fair warning though traveler, for some of the items on this list may be seen by some as “purposefully silly” and they “shouldn’t be taken too seriously because they’re jokes”…

  1. When bouncing ideas around for what the meal should be for Thanksgiving dinner, think about suggesting something completely out of left field. This could be anything from ordering Chinese takeout to performing an act of cannibalism. Make sure to be creative!
  2. If you have a pet, surprise your parents by investing their entire savings into giving that pet a night on the town!
  3. Buy and wear a fake mustache and insist that your family only refer to you as “Renaldo Gazpacho” for the duration of the break. Extra points if you wake up every morning at exactly 3 .A.M. to  make everyone spaghetti!
  4. Watch the classic Peanut’s Thanksgiving special, but this time only in photo negative and with Slayer’s “Raining Blood” playing on a constant loop in the background.
  5. Prank your grandparents by pretending they’re ghosts.
  6. Turn your family’s thanksgiving dinner into a fun podcast, allowing everyone to feel the undercurrent of resentment that permeates the conversation.
  7. Pay someone else to come home for thanksgiving for you. This may help if you’re too wrapped up in homework or simply just want to deal with it all. Have the person insist that they are you, even if they may look nothing like you.
  8. Form a rock band and give up your previous life for a new life on the road. Tour the world, play to thousands at a time, and become the voice of your generation. Then, when you are deemed “too old” by the industry; spend the rest of your days trying to recapture your former glory while drowning in debt and declining mental health. Finally, after years of desperation, resign yourself to the fact that you are now just a dusty relic of a bygone era. Fun!
  9. When shopping with your parents, don’t let them buy anything on your shopping list. When asked why you shouldn’t, tell them that lists are a construct of “the Man” that are meant to keep people down. When asked to elaborate, whip out that Spotify and start blasting Rage Against the  Machine.
  10. If the train ride is starting to become boring, then create a short questionnaire for everyone on board to fill out. Then use the data as the basis for a research project.
  11. See a musical in the city! To enhance the experience, sit in the very front and wear a show with the lead actor’s face on it. Make sure to also not break eye contact with them and carry a blank expression on your face throughout the length of the show.. The goal is to make them as uncomfortable as possible.
  12. Have a wholesome family dinner with no shenanigans whatsoever. Take the time to really get to know your family and catch up on what you missed. Then, when all is finished, start screaming uncontrollably.
  13. Watch all of Game of Thrones in reverse order. Make sure to throw an episode of Law and Order: SVU in there every couple of episodes just for good measure.
  14. Ask everyone at the train station if they would like a dessert menu or if you should just bring them the check.
  15. For a post dinner game night, play Monopoly, Risk, Charades, and Twister all at once. The team with the least amount of fatalities wins!
  16. Only eat Pop-tart based food items for the duration of the vacation.
  17. Donate your break to a good cause by volunteering at the local animal shelter and performing a stand-up routine in front of the animals.
  18. Write your own musical about the first Thanksgiving. Make sure to adhere to the falsified happy version that we all know and love and not the horrific real version.
  19. At the family reunion, challenge the family Alpha to a fight. If you manage to kill them, you will be the new ruler of the herd, but if you fail, you will be chased down and mauled to death.
  20. Go to the Zoo! Some of them may still be open around this time, but make sure to go as early as you can before all of the animals are recycled!
  21. Find a local celebrity and ask them if you have something in your teeth.
  22. Sail to the center of Lake Michigan. With no one around for miles, you can finally admit that you didn’t think that Stranger Things was all that good.
  23. Go to class like normal.

Hopefully you found this list to be informative, and now feel less worried about how you will spend your Thanksgiving break!

Please note that I am not responsible for any injuries or legal issues that may result in taking part in these activities.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s