How to Safely Celebrate Thanksgiving Amidst a Worsening COVID-19 Pandemic

Now that Halloween has passed, Americans are looking ahead to the next big holiday and wondering how it will look with the presence of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is time to begin thinking about how you will celebrate this late fall rite of passage without raising your risk of contracting or spreading the deadly virus.

With COVID-19 numbers spiking, families need to be particularly diligent about how they gather and celebrate this time. Here are five ways that you can enjoy the best part of the season while staying healthy and well.

Keep it Small

The good news is that this virus cannot rob you of the joy of gathering around the table with your immediate family and enjoying your traditional Thanksgiving feast. This is the perfect time to prioritize your most important relationships. Go all out with a traditional feast or mix it up with something different.

For those that must invite a small group over to eat, you will reduce the risk of virus transmission if you host the gathering outdoors. If you are lucky enough to live in an area with a moderate climate, be sure to take advantage of the weather and take your gathering outside.

Take it Virtual

If you have a large family that you want to include in your festivities, consider taking the gathering virtual. It is easy to bring everyone together in a family Zoom call. The best thing about this is that you can include loved ones that you may have not traditionally been able to celebrate the holiday with because of distance. Now everyone can be included in the gathering, bringing together all of your favorite people on one day.

Enjoy Black Friday Shopping Online

The last thing that you want to do during a pandemic is to stand shoulder to shoulder with shoppers trying to score the best deals. This is definitely a Thanksgiving weekend tradition that you need to change up this year.

Fortunately, most retail outlets will offer the same deals online. While you may miss the thrill of gathering with other frantic shoppers in the dead of the night, it is much easier to simply do your shopping from the comfort of your own home. Many vendors will even offer additional deals to online shoppers. In addition, some retailers are spreading their sales out over the month of November so that everyone is not gathering at once.


Cozy Up with the Remote

This health crisis provides the perfect excuse to get lazy and cozy up with the remote. If you have a show that has been on your binge-watching list, use the long Thanksgiving weekend to feast on leftovers and not feel bad about not leaving the house. Luckily, there are also a lot of great sports options still available so that you can lose yourself in a close game.

This is also a great time to dive into some classic holiday movies or shows. This will boost your spirits and put you in a more festive mood. You might even want to get a head start on your Christmas baking.

Pay it Forward

There is no better way to celebrate the season of gratitude than by paying it forward. Now more than ever, many people are hurting and needing some form of human connection. Rather than wallowing in your own grief, try giving back to others. You will be surprised at how much helping others will lift your own spirits.

Perhaps you want to spend a day baking pumpkin pies to deliver to your neighbors? Or maybe you want to organize a virtual sock drive for the homeless population in your community? There are a number of low-risk activities that you can participate in that will benefit others while also making you feel good.

While this Thanksgiving is sure to look different than past holidays, you can still find ways to find joy in this season of thankfulness. It is better to put a pause on this year's large gatherings so that you can fully enjoy it next year. It is important to remember that you do not have to cancel Thanksgiving all together. By implementing these ideas, you will still make the most out of this challenging time.

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