Derryberry: Thanksgiving options for those left in Lawrence

During a holiday focused on cooking and food consumption, I’m a less than useful participant. From simply boiling water to full turkey day preparation, I shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a kitchen. Call it impatience or lack of attention, but once my product enters the oven, it’s as good as gone. So when it comes to Thanksgiving, I don’t have much to offer. Thankfully, the holiday is more than just Top Chef-like antics, so what I lack in culinary skills, I make up in having fun and stirring conversation with family members I only see twice a year.

Unfortunately, busy work schedules and long commutes for out-of-state students keep some of us from making it home for the holidays. While this is a downer for the bad cooks like myself, it doesn’t mean you have to suppress your holiday meal to a blackened bird or turkey-flavored Ramen noodles. Lawrence still has plenty going on for those who can’t go home.

While you may not be able to get back to your family, you’re still probably not alone. If the combined cooking skills of you and your friends can’t live up to what your grandmother’s preparing two states over, leave the cooking to a professional. Grocery stores around town have plenty of affordable Thanksgiving Day packages that are sure to please everyone. Dillons has a dinner for around $40 that feeds six to eight people, so get a few pals to pitch in and enjoy food that doesn’t taste like burnt plastic. Or just splurge for it by yourself and eat leftovers like a king for a week. Considering the fact that turkeys alone cost a pretty penny and take hours to cook, pre-made meals are worth it.

Thanksgiving may leave you bloated, but the turkey hangover that ensues will let you rest up for the next-morning madness that is Black Friday. Winter holiday shopping is about to kick into full swing and if you’re looking to get presents at a ridiculously low price, it’s no mystery that waking up at the crack of dawn and sitting outside Wal-Mart will help you to be successful. But for those like me who find it hard to get up before the sales end, Lawrence’s Bizarre Bazaar opens up Friday and runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Lawrence Arts Center event hosts 140 artists selling their unique art pieces, so for more of a personal gift, this is your stop. There will also be musical performances and food available.

Friday night is the official holiday lighting and “Santa Rescue” downtown. Anyone who has been in Lawrence in December knows that the lights and decorations bring out the winter spirit in all, so join the city at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate. A long-standing Lawrence tradition, Santa needs help getting down from Weaver’s Department store. Once he gets down, he’ll be taking gift requests from kids of all ages. I’ve got my hopes set on a college diploma, that or a Red Ryder BB gun.

If nothing else, just rest up for the break. We’ve got nearly a week off and whether it’s spent at home or in Lawrence, be thankful for the breather. When we get back, it’s going to get busy until finals, so use this time to have some fun. Take it from me; nothing is less fun than scrubbing pots and pans after burning a 20-pound bird.


  • Updated Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:26 am
  • Edited by Emma McElhaney