For many people, Turkey, mashed potatoes, family, and football all bring on the nostalgia of Thanksgiving. However, it is difficult to picture this year's celebration as those of the past with the pandemic ongoing and COVID-19 cases rising in many regions.
In addition to travel, the CDC also recommends that the following practices be avoided to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus:
Attending wide indoor meetings with individuals outside your household
Attending a crowded race or becoming a spectator
Attending crowded gatherings
Shopping around Thanksgiving in packed shops
Using drugs or alcohol, which may cloud judgement
However, there's good news. Without putting yourself or others at risk, there are ways to celebrate Thanksgiving.
1. Change your dinner plans
Since the essence of Thanksgiving celebrations is enjoying a great meal together, finding an avenue to enjoy food together is one way to keep the vibe of the day alive. Alternatives that are better include:
The easiest and best choice for interacting with those who can't come to see you is a virtual dinner party. Organize the time to start eating via Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime.
Almost as you would in person, you can initiate the same rituals, such as asking someone what they're thankful for or sharing a favorite memory of the year so far.
Eat with your housemates
If your gathering is smaller than normal, for all you live with, you can always go all out. Create traditional dishes of all yours and then some. During such an emotional time, sharing them with those you are closest to can be comforting.
Host a small outdoor dinner
If you're not going to cut it by sticking to dining with people in your home, hosting an outdoor meal with a small group of family and friends living in your neighborhood.
Remind them not to let their guard down if you have relatives or friends who are travelling a distance to visit you.
Don't have meetings with someone with symptoms. Extra precautions may include visitors to the quarantine 10 to 14 days prior to the case. Wear masks, distance and wash your hands.
2. Visit a fall farm
To get into the Thanksgiving spirit, research pumpkin patches or orchards where people are expected to wear masks, maintain physical distances, and use a hand sanitizer before handling pumpkins or picking apples.
Taking in the experience and enjoying that it is possible during the pandemic would make it all the more worthwhile for the adventure. It can add sense to the season to find a spot on the farm or orchard to sit and reflect with those you are with.
3. Watch TV
For many on Thanksgiving, having excellent TV time is a must. While watching football, events or parades with a bunch of your favorite people snuggled on the couch might not be possible as the scent of turkey fills the room, you can still do this with those with whom you reside.
In special ways, exchanging TV rituals with others from afar.
Since shopping is such a big part of Thanksgiving and the day after, shop online with those with whom you reside if you feel like you're going to miss out. While eating seconds after Thanksgiving dinner, you can all browse together.
Celebrating is good for your well being
At this time, part of living means coping with continuous change, but change is inherently stressful because we need to adapt, learn new skills and ways to do things, and give up some of our old ways of living.
Since a sense of being in control is threatened by sudden or significant change, anxiety resulting from the uncertainty of the future is exacerbated when you no longer believe like you can foresee what may happen next and whether you will be able to deal with it.
This is where accurate time markers, such as holidays, relieve the feeling that things can change more quickly than you can or want to keep up with.
Holidays are predictable, they offer the chance to stop,' and give a little relief from stress. Holidays, focused on tradition, bind us to the past and maintain the soothing feeling of continuity across time and transition.
There is a greater need to reinforce and renew relationships as uncertainty continues to flourish throughout the pandemic.