Thanksgiving 2019 was the first major holiday our family celebrated in my new home. But 2020 will look a lot different.
First, there won’t be so many people. Many of the 40 or so family members who attended last year are staying home, including our brother Stephen and his partner Jeff, who aren’t flying down from New York.
“This year to stop the spread of Covid it just makes sense that in person we are together, just the two of us, and we are together with everyone else we love virtually online,” Stephen said.
The recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control are to celebrate within your own household, and if you’re having others over, keep the guest list small. Monica Snyder, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Wellspring Counseling Miami, offered advice about how to gently tell someone they’re not invited.
"Being able to give a compliment, ‘I really appreciate you want to spend Thanksgiving with us, we always look forward to...’ whatever you look forward to, ‘but this year we are trying to keep it smaller and make sure everyone is safe,'" Snyder said.
Another suggestion is to have a conversation with everyone attending beforehand to make sure the group is on the same page about what safety precautions they are comfortable with.
“I do recommend going with the person who is most fearful in that group, who is most scared, go with what makes them comfortable. You’re not going to be upset if you’re more safe than less safe,” said Broward Health Pediatrician Dr. Elizabeth Streinberg, who has offices in Weston and Coral Springs.
If you have guests over, eat outside, keep socially distant and wear your mask. If you can, try to cook outside. My husband wants to skip the turkey altogether and fire up the grill.
“Whenever you’re inside the house, everyone packs into the kitchen no matter how small it is. They want to be around the action. This case, we will drive all that activity outdoors and they can watch me grill beautiful meat,” said my husband and avid griller Oded Eshel.
If you’re anything like the Bagg sisters, you really enjoy extra hours with family members and maybe having a little conversation after the kids go to bed. But this year, the recommendation is to keep the celebration on the shorter side to limit any chance of transmitting the virus. So maybe keep it to a couple of hours instead of a marathon gathering.
Remember if we take these precautions now, it will make future celebrations when we can gather like we used to that much sweeter.