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Modify traditions to safely enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday

Thanksgiving is usually filled with annual traditions and is a cherished time for gathering with family and friends. This year, things will be different. To reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19, traditions will need to be modified or put on hold. Despite the circumstances, we can still have fun and find meaningful and creative ways to connect with each other. Do your best to focus on the spirit of the holiday rather than on specific activities. To help you enjoy the day together, we’ve got 6 fun and festive ideas for celebrating Thanksgiving while staying safe.

6 Tips for a Safe, Fun, and Festive Thanksgiving Holiday

1. Organize a virtual family Thanksgiving meal
This year, minimize risk by moving the celebration online and organizing a virtual gathering. Even if it’s not the same as being in the same room, setting up a group video chat still allows everyone to be together.

2. Collaborate on the Thanksgiving meal
For those living near each other, you can still collaborate on the Thanksgiving meal even if you can’t all eat together in person by organizing a meal or dish exchange among different households. Work together to decide on a menu, then have each household sign up to make one or more dishes. After preparing the dishes, pack them into food storage containers and distribute portions to each household on Thanksgiving morning. Later, everyone can gather virtually and enjoy their meals together.

3. Order and/or send food
This year has been stressful and exhausting. Give yourself more time to relax on Thanksgiving by cutting back on the cooking. Instead of cooking all day, order food from a local restaurant or grocery store, either an entire Thanksgiving dinner or just the side dishes. And for family or friends who live in other cities, sending food from a restaurant in their area is a wonderful gift.
Ordering from local restaurants is also a wonderful way to support small businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic.

4. Gather together outside
One way to safely eat a Thanksgiving meal together is to gather outdoors, if weather permits. Set up tables and chairs in the backyard or the driveway so you can all enjoy eating together. To keep at least 6 feet of distance and minimize touching, set up separate tables, serving platters, utensils, and condiments for each different household. And to keep everyone as safe as possible, ask everyone to wear face masks when they’re not actively eating and drinking. This is important because you’re all in close proximity for an extended period of time, even if you’re all outside.

5. Decorate the house
Creating simple Thanksgiving-themed decorations is a fun activity and placing them all around the house will instantly brighten the mood. You could even make extra decorations to mail to family and friends and spread the cheer.

6. Send Thanksgiving cards or letters to family and friends
Sending a thoughtful card or letter is another way to express love, gratitude, and caring during Thanksgiving. If your family has a tradition of sharing what they’re grateful for, this is a wonderful way to keep it going even if you can’t all gather in person.

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