With Halloween, the holiday kids (and teens) everywhere look forward to—I mean, free candy, who wouldn’t—over and done with, and the election carrying on for days after November 3, holidays are probably the last thing on people’s minds. But Thanksgiving is less than a week away.
I know that all of us are sick and tired of quarantine, and disappointed about our scaled-down Halloween (it was even on a Saturday, with Daylight Savings ending on Sunday—an otherwise perfect day for trick-or-treating), but unfortunately, Thanksgiving will be no different. COVID has not gone away, and the CDC recommends serious consideration about in person holiday gatherings.
It would be safest to do away with those altogether (for the time being, of course), but if you are adamant on having a Thanksgiving dinner with family or friends in person, it would be wise to consider the following:
Setting: outside is safer than inside; but if you must, choose somewhere with good ventilation.
Time: the longer the gathering, the more at risk you are for contracting COVID.
People: how many people do you need to invite? Smaller numbers are better. It is also important to be mindful of who your attendees have been in contact with. Have you all been tested?
Behavior: at the very least, stay socially distanced and wear masks when possible.
But if you’re one of those who don’t want to risk it, there are still plenty of safe ways to celebrate Thanksgiving.
For example, a virtual dinner with friends and family. I know it’s definitely not the same, and that many of you already don’t especially care about Thanksgiving, but you can still use the tradition to catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while. And if you’re worried about the food, you have plenty of options. A traditional Thanksgiving dinner isn’t mandatory. You could order takeout, which could help your community at the same time! Or, if the people you usually celebrate Thanksgiving with live close by, you can each make a dish and send food to each other.
You can also set up decorations to get into that Thanksgiving or fall spirit. From candles to the color of your tablecloth, there are lots of little things that you can do to spice it up. Even if you don’t actually do anything other than decorating, you can still acknowledge the holiday and not let corona take away one more thing.
This may already be one of your Thanksgiving traditions, but another option is to do some sort of activity with your family, like watching a fall movie (or just a regular movie), playing board games, or going for a family walk or bike ride outside.
And you can’t forget food! Thanksgiving is the day to stuff yourself until you’re about to burst. It’s the day when it’s completely acceptable to eat huge servings of pie and whipped cream. If you’re only making food for yourself (and family), you get to choose exactly what you make and eat. There are plenty of easy recipes that you can find on the web. So even if you don’t have a Thanksgiving dinner over Zoom, you can still eat your heart out.
I know that Thanksgiving isn’t one of the most popular holidays, probably even less so during these times, but for those of you who don’t want to skip it this year, you don’t have to. Please stay safe, and remember—you have options.