A 2020 Style Thanksgiving

    Due to rising Covid-19 and new Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) guidelines, Thanksgiving is going to look different this year. From traveling to see family, eating meals with others, to other traditions, most family’s Thanksgiving will be impacted.

    While  Christmas vacations are much more common than Thanksgiving vacations, traveling still occurs frequently on Thanksgiving. Traveling to see extended family or taking vacation might have to wait this year. With Covid cases rising in Michigan, families might need to rethink their usual plans. Traditions, however, are important to families and can help make a holiday special. Instead of getting rid of all traditions, consider some alternatives. Families that usually travel to see relatives could consider using Zoom or other video call sites to still get in touch with their extended families. Those who have vacations every year that are unsafe to take this year, could consider putting in some extra work and making the house a vacation spot. It wouldn’t be quite the same, but it could still create some happy memories in a time where everything can seem bleak.

    Another tradition wrapped up in Thanksgiving is the sharing of a meal. Eating and sharing laughs together is a staple of Thanksgiving. Covid-19 creates a couple of issues with that timely tradition. If sharing a meal is possible for families, they should think about gathering in a space where social distancing can be done while eating. Due to the MDHHS “pause” in activity order, restaurants will no longer be open for in house eating. So for families that go out to eat for their Thanksgiving meal, that will not be an option. One way to preserve that tradition is, if the restaurant is offering take out, order the food to go and eat it at home. In these times, holding on to some semblance of normalcy is important, but staying safe is crucial as well.

    Most families have traditions specific to their household, from Black Friday shopping to buying a Christmas tree. Those activities this year could look different. Figuring out ways to preserve these traditions can be challenging, but worth it in the long run. Going on like normal during this time, families run the risk of getting sick and/or infecting others. While having fun and celebrating is important, it is also important to stay safe and healthy. Families that go Black Friday shopping Thanksgiving night can shop online, and people who get their Christmas tree Thanksgiving night might still be able to, but will most likely have to wear a mask and observe social distancing. Putting in the effort to make Thanksgiving feel like the holiday that everybody is used to allows kids to feel the magic of the holidays, and helps parents feel like they have taken a little bit of normal back.

    2020 has been the year of change. However, just because Thanksgiving can’t be done like normal, doesn’t mean traditions can’t be kept alive. There are many alternatives to continuing on with traditions but staying safe at the same time. Happy Thanksgiving!

MDHHS “Pause” in Activity Order