Through the years, we have all told Thanksgiving stories about Pilgrims and Native Americans coming together to share a meal and to share deep gratitude for the bounty of the harvest. Most families have developed their own traditions that get passed down from generation to generation, whether they include favorite foods, decadent desserts, special toasts or shared blessings. Like so many things this year, Thanksgiving will not look like it has in the past. The reality is that in order to protect one another, we must remain distant from the ones we love most. It flies in the face of what this holiday is all about. Though there is no way to truly put a positive spin on the situation, we think there are tips to get creative and make the most of our Thanksgiving. Let’s do this! We may not make the holiday look like past celebrations, but we’re smart enough to come up with some pretty good alternatives, right? Pick and choose the COVID-safe celebrations that work best for you or let us know if you come up with some fun, safe activities of your own.
1. Zoom. Yep, zoom.
Able to rally for one more zoom call? Gather far-flung family members together with cocktails in hand and break into the pumpkin pie at the same time. Set a time that works for friends and family that may be in different areas of the country, and make sure to limit the amount of time for the call. Grandma will feel like she can connect with you, and it will be *almost* as good as seeing you in person.
2. Skip the Meal
Eating together implies removing masks for an extended period of time, so why not have all of your favorite people eat on their own earlier in the day and then just come together to share some socially distant outdoor time with masks on? In order to brave the elements, bundle up, grab some blankets, or break out the outdoor heaters so that everyone is warm & cozy.
3. Share Your Specialty
Everyone is good at making something for Thanksgiving. Whether you are the queen of the hors d’oeuvres, the world’s best green bean casserole chef or the master of the cheese and cracker platter, there’s something you can do to contribute to a group meal. Create a sign up so that all the elements of a holiday feast are covered. Have each person make the allotted number of portions of their dish, wrap them individually, and agree to meet at someone’s house to do the exchange. You can coordinate different times for everyone to pick up their feast, or you can all arrive at the same time to do a quick, safe hello from a distance. This way, everyone gets the same Thanksgiving meal – including the favorite dishes you’d hate to miss out on – but you get to eat it in the comfort of your own home.
4. Quarantine and Test
While nothing is without risk, the best chance of gathering together safely is if every member of the group quarantines for two weeks and tests negative (remembering to continue the quarantine even after being tested!). Not all tests are created equal, so be sure to get a test that doesn’t involve lots of false negative results, such as a PCR test. Anyone feeling under the weather should stay home, and care should be taken to avoid shared utensils or dishes, unventilated rooms and cities or towns that are experiencing high rates of COVID infection.
Either way, wishing you & yours a day to count the many things for which we are thankful.
Stay safe everyone!