Thanksgiving is the time of the year where we gather with our friends and loved ones. It is a day to give thanks for what we have. While we want to celebrate our holidays with our family and friends, Thanksgiving this year may still not be close to normal. It is good to know that Covid-19 cases are declining, and more people are getting vaccinated. We may have our jabs, but we still need to be cautious, especially if we have an elderly and immunocompromised or kids living with us.
There are factors to consider before celebrating Thanksgiving this year:
Vaccination Status. There are three groups that you may want to consider—first, the unvaccinated. These are primarily kids below 12 years old and some adults who refuse to be vaccinated. Second are the vaccinated elderly or immunocompromised people. Third, are the fully vaccinated healthy people. Are these people your family or your guests? Think about their health statuses first before deciding if it's safe for everyone to have a gathering.
It is up to you if you would like to invite vaccinated people only. You can let the guests know that you are inviting those who have taken the shots for the safety of everyone. But how will you know if everyone is vaccinated? It may be odd to ask them to bring their vaccination cards with them. You can tell them that you are giving a take-home pie or any giveaway for those who will bring their vaccination cards.
Number of people to invite. Is it safe to ask more than 20 people at this time? Regardless of the number of people, there is no "zero risk" when having a get-together. It is best to have fewer people around to decrease the risk of contracting the virus. Also, you can let the guest know about your rules, covering their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, wearing a mask when not eating, maintaining social distancing, and keeping their hands clean. Also, ask relatives not to hug and kiss the kids.
Know where your guests are coming from and how they will get there? There's nothing wrong with checking the transmission rate and the number of new cases where your guests live. Know if they will be using their car to get to your place or using public transportation as they may contract the virus along the way. Knowing these details can help you decide if it's safe for everyone to have a gathering.
Consider your space. Is your home big enough to accommodate several people and still have distance from each other? Is your place well-ventilated, or is it an open space? If yes, then it's suitable for everyone. The virus can spread quickly indoors, especially in poorly ventilated rooms. This is why the venue is also an essential factor to consider.
Wearing masks. Activities during Thanksgiving are mostly eating, so expect that everyone will take their masks off during those times. It is up to you if your guests will wear their masks if not eating, especially when people with low immune systems, such as kids and elders, are around.
Other ways to celebrate Thanksgiving
We may have different circumstances these coming holidays. We may always be indoors with our kids, and our family members may not be able to come over due to safety reasons or restrictions; here are some other ways to celebrate thanksgiving.
A Special Letter
For those who cannot be with their families or family members are from different states, you can create a special mail to pass along with your siblings, cousins, etc. You can start a gratitude mail and send it to a sibling or a cousin; they will do the same and send it to another family member until it reaches your parents or grandparents. It will be an excellent letter, and your folks will indeed be surprised. Just make sure to start the letter a few weeks before Thanksgiving so that it will reach your folks in time.
Your kids may be used to playing with their cousins during Thanksgiving, but since some family members could not come this year for different reasons, you can ask them to help you prepare for Thanksgiving. It's time for them to learn a new skill, it can be from preparing foods, cooking or table setting. Let them know that being with the family and learning new skills at home is a blessing and is something to be thankful for.
Feeling so grateful and blessed, but cannot share it with your family this coming holidays? You can be a blessing to others by giving back to your community. You can do volunteering, donating, or help other people in many ways. Be a sense of hope for others by giving your time or donating, which will make a big difference in someone else's life.
Choose your Menu
It may be just you and your family for Thanksgiving, but that is okay. We are very much grateful for being with the people that we love. If you have no time to roast a turkey, or your kids do not like to have it, one perk of having no guests is you and your kids can choose what will be on the menu. It can be as simple as pies, pizza, or any dessert your family likes.
If you have no plans with friends and relatives coming over, you can plan a staycation for you and your kids. You can rent a place where there are different activities that you and your family can enjoy. It may also be a good time for you to relax and reenergize as parents.
Art & Letters
Let your kids express their gratitude by doing arts and letters. Each family member can share their work during thanksgiving dinner. It is one way of expressing how they feel and enhancing their creativity. Knowing what you are thankful for makes you appreciate and be content with all you have and value life.
You and your kids may have plenty of time for a movie marathon. There might be a movie that you and your kids are excited to see after reading its book version. Well, now is the time to watch it! Have fun with your kids; after all, Thanksgiving is more about spending time with your loved ones.
Through the power of technology, we can easily spend time with our loved ones through video calls. You can plan a program or have an online fun activity for your relatives and friends. Example activities are virtual dinner, charades, storytime, singing, and dancing, and many more.