A Covid Thanksgiving

My husband and I have been hosting Thanksgiving for the last 10+ years for our families. Our lowest number of people was 8 and our highest was 24 - it’s usually about 15. We had resigned ourselves to no Thanksgiving celebration this year. Then the extended weather report came out for this week. NE MN will have temps in the mid to upper 50s for most of the week. It shows 60 for Friday! Since it’s been in the 20s-30’s (highs) and teens (lows) for the last few weeks, oh and don’t forget the 4" of snow we received a couple of weeks ago, the temps this week are going to be fantastic. So we have decided to have an early, outdoor Thanksgiving on Saturday! I’m not naive, things could drastically change by Saturday, so we’re going to set up socially distanced tables and a heater in the garage (unattached) and build a fire in our fire pit. We won’t have a fancy turkey dinner with all of the trimmings, I think I’ll get some fried chicken from the grocery store deli along with a few sides and buy some pies from Sam’s Club. It’ll be easy and relaxed. We won’t be able to lounge around and visit for hours, but at least we can get together.

Is anyone else having a revised Thanksgiving?

My side of the family always has Thanksgiving together, and we exchange our gifts then. Not this year. It looks like we’ll Zoom for a bit so we can greet each other. My wife and I will have chicken (I don’t actually like turkey) with stuffing and gravy. We will have calls or Facetime with her side of the family except those who can’t manage the tech.

We’re trying to figure out Christmas since one person can’t quarantine due to a combination of cognitive and residence issues. We may do quarantine plus rolling visits so everyone gets some gifts and an in-person visit, though that may be a parking-lot-to-window deal in one case.

We usually go to my Aunt’s house in another state and have Thanksgiving with just the five of us (my grandma lives next door to her.) My Aunt is one of the most important people in my life and has been with me always. It’s perfect, and I don’t feel the pressure to be in a good mood the whole time (typically a hard day for me.)

This year, traveling to a state that is currently exploding with COVID will not be possible, especially since we have a baby and would need to make several stops along the way.

So instead, we invited our nanny and her infant daughter to have Thanksgiving with us, and I will be cooking. There’s no increased COVID risk because they are already in our house three days a week. The nanny is a single mother with nowhere else to go.

I’m trying to keep things special despite the changing plans, and it’s Spice Kit’s first Thanksgiving, so I got him an adorable Turkey costume for us to take pictures with him. I don’t know how I’m going to be emotionally on that day, but having to cook a meal will likely be a nice distraction. I had considered just picking up a ready meal at a local restaurant, but I think it will be more special if I cook.

My mother sent out an email a few weeks back letting us know that she’s not hosting this year. Usually there are up to 20 family and friends in attendance, but this year we’re on our own.

We’ve been trying to persuade my husband’s folks to let him drive them up from FL (neither of them are up to the long drive) to stay with us for a while, but they can’t seem to commit. We may wind up driving down there ourselves. But if they do agree to come here, I’ll host them, my daughter, SIL, and granddaughter for dinner. Daughter & family were living with us up until Sept, and I baby sit my granddaughter, so there are no covid issues there. And the inlaws have been tested multiple times (FL, the plague state) and they’re OK. But as of Nov 2, it’s all still up in the air.

We’ll probably do about our typical. Which is the 3 adults & 2 kids of my wife’s extended family at my/our place. The menu varies from year to year.

I did notice the mound o’ turkeys at the groc store yesterday. And the Xmas decorations going up in the parking lot. So the countdown as started.

I’m a decidedly non-religious person but…well…
Wow! :sparkling_heart: Bless you!


We usually do a broadcast invitation to everyone we know, basically “if you don’t have any place better, come on over - just let us know an hour or so before so we know how many places to set”.

We won’t be doing that this year. We’ll stick with our core group that has been attending year after year. Not sure any of them will actually come; several have expressed concerns over even that level of socialization (and they’re all people we know to be careful). My SIL lives about 5 hours away and has said she might be alone; I asked my husband if he wanted to encourage her to come but he’s a bit reluctant because he doesn’t know how much she’s been out and about.

I’ll be hosting by Zoom this year. This does have the advantage that some people who haven’t been able to make it for years, due to a combination of distance and work obligations, will be able to show up, if only on a screen.

Hadn’t really thought of that. Because of the 9 hour difference, and because Thanksgiving is not really a thing in Switzerland, we don’t usually do much. But I guess we could call my parents so they can have breakfast and we can have pumpkin pie. Weird, I know. But that’s 2020.

We alternate, every other year, between spending Thanksgiving with my in-laws (usually at my sister-in-law’s house, about a half-hour away from us), or with my family in Wisconsin; this would have been a Wisconsin year.

Over the past week, we all finally agreed to what had been obvious for weeks, if not months – there’ll be no in-person get-togethers for Thanksgiving. My parents, and my wife’s mother and stepfather, are all in their 80s, and none of them are in great health. My sister-in-law has three kids (a son in college, and twin daughters in high school), and their household has already had to quarantine once this fall because one of their daughters was exposed to someone while at a school function.

We’ll do some video chats, and my wife is going to make a scaled-down Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us. Christmas will undoubtedly have to be very similar.