Six ways to celebrate Thanksgiving during COVID

Enjoy Thanksgiving together while social distancing

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives, including celebrating holidays. It’s important to stay safe and protect loved ones by maintaining social distancing and adhering to state and national guidelines. Here are some new Thanksgiving traditions to try with family and friends this year.

1) Virtual gathering: With numerous communication options available ⏤ such as FaceTime, Skype, Google Meet and Zoom ⏤ scheduling a virtual meeting with family and friends can be a good replacement for in-person celebrations. Each family can prepare a feast at their own tables while enjoying the company of others through a computer screen. Set a laptop at one end of the table and chat away.

2) Exchange Thanksgiving dishes: If loved ones live nearby, consider swapping side dishes. Have each household make one side dish — mashed potatoes, a casserole or a salad to name a few — and leave a dish on one another’s doorstep. If close relatives live some distance away, band together with neighbors to create a contactless potluck.

3) Share recipes: As opposed to cooking for one another, design and send loved ones recipe cards. Go old-fashioned and send a notecard in the mail, or simply text and email the recipes. Send them ahead of time so that everyone can make each other’s favorite dishes on Thanksgiving Day.

4) Movie marathon: Enjoy some holiday classics with the household or watch one of each person’s favorite. Use Teleparty ⏤ a Google Chrome extension ⏤ to watch along with friends and family, no matter how far they are. Leave movies playing all day, or begin the morning by watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade before jumping into movies.

5) Outdoor games: If the weather permits, try hosting some games outdoors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gathering outdoors promotes social distancing and is better ventilated than indoors. Cornhole, soccer, bocce ball and Kan Jam are just a few games to be played outside, or simply toss around a football.

6) Give back: There are also many ways to help in the community this Thanksgiving. Collect canned foods and nonperishable goods to donate to a local food bank. The Food Pantry at Western is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for two hours each day; check their website — — for updates. Alternatively, donate money to local organizations and charities, or cook a meal for a homebound neighbor. 

No matter how Thanksgiving is celebrated this year, remember to maintain social distancing when possible and wash hands often.

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