20 Thanksgiving Traditions That Even COVID-19 Can’t Ruin

As a lover of all holidays and – as of five days ago – a new mom, I’ve been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving 2020 and the upcoming week. Due to COVID-19, it’s safe to say that most of us are probably altering our usual holiday plans and foregoing our time-honored holiday rituals, skipping travel and indoor gatherings with family members and friends. Unfortunately, I think it’s also safe to say that this notion probably has more than a handful of us feeling a bit low.

I know for me it’s been a bit of a struggle thinking about the holiday season and realizing that my son’s first Thanksgiving and first Christmas are going to look so different from what I had always pictured them to be. No crowding around the dining room table sharing a meal comprised of family favorites. No late-night turkey-sandwich-making gatherings followed by a second round of pie. No chance for family members to hold and feed the new baby or for Alden to bond with his grandparents, aunts and uncles.

I know for our little family, Andy and I are probably looking at a quiet day at home with – if we’re lucky – some quick hellos swapped outdoors with family members who live nearby (we’ll see what the CNY weather forecast has in store for us). And while choosing to wallowing in self-pity and disappointment is always an easy route to take, I realize that to do so would defeat the very purpose of the holiday: to give thanks and take a moment to be grateful for what we have.

Rather than getting caught up on what we’re missing this year, I wanted to write a quick list to remind myself that the devil is in the perspective. Thanksgiving 2020 may look different – but it certainly isn’t ruined. In case you, too are feeling a little low this Thanksgiving, here’s what I came up with:

20 Thanksgiving Traditions We Can All Still Enjoy During the Pandemic

  1. Taking time to write down what we’re thankful for.
  2. Taking time to share what we’re thankful for with those who matter most.
  3. Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Yes, you can still watch the parade! Learn more here.)
  4. Planning a delicious Thanksgiving meal.
  5. Shopping for a delicious Thanksgiving meal.
  6. Cooking a delicious Thanksgiving meal.
  7. Enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving meal.
  8. Setting the table just so.
  9. Trying new recipes and enjoying new culinary adventures.
  10. Celebrating history and making family recipes that have been passed down through the generations.
  11. Sharing your favorite Thanksgiving foods (food drops at the homes of friends and family members could be fun!)
  12. Enjoying fall decor.
  13. Enjoying a glass of wine.
  14. Enjoying a mug of cocoa.
  15. Enjoying a post-meal turkey sandwich.
  16. Making a Thanksgiving craft.
  17. Calling or video chatting a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while.
  18. Sleeping in.
  19. Enjoying a slow-paced day spent in PJs and slippers.
  20. Officially kicking off the Christmas season.

This Thanksgiving is bound to be weird and strange. Let’s give it our best shot to make it memorable.

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