This article was originally published on NYMetroParents.com.
The holidays are normally a time to relax with your family, but this year the coronavirus has made Thanksgiving look a little different. Despite the anxiety and extra precautions, it’s still possible to have a good holiday this November—while also staying safe with these Thanksgiving safety tips for 2020.
Thanksgiving Safety Tips from the CDC
Although it might be customary for your family to head to Grandma’s house for a feast, traveling increases the risk of your family getting and spreading coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following lower risk activities:
• Have a small dinner, with only the people who live in your household.
• Prepare your favorite Thanksgiving recipes and drop the food off at the houses of friends and family.
• Have a virtual dinner so the kids can see their relatives and share memories.
These activities pose a moderate risk:
• Have a small outdoor dinner with family and friends in your community (just be sure to always follow CDC guidelines for hosting outdoor gatherings).
• Go for a family hike where people can maintain social distancing. Don’t forget the hand sanitizer and masks for when social distancing isn’t possible!
And the CDC recommends avoiding:
• Shopping in crowded stores before, on, or after Thanksgiving. (This probably isn’t the year to go crazy on Black Friday!)
• Attending a crowded sports event or parade
• Attending large indoor gatherings with people outside your household. As much as we want things to return to normal, this isn’t the year to have a normal Thanksgiving celebration at grandma’s house.
Make Up a New Thanksgiving Ritual
Because this is already an unusual year, it might be just the right time to stage an alternative Thanksgiving. Think outside the box to make this holiday a little different.
Watch a movie marathon. After enjoying the unique Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from the comfort of your couch (the traditional extravaganza is on hold this year to avoid crowds), why not continue the day with some fall family favorites? Screen the classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, then watch as turkeys try to save the day (and their kin) in the animated Free Birds. Not rooting for any of the teams playing on Nov. 26, but still in the mood for football? Try Remember the Titans, Rudy, or Radio. And you can always start the holiday celebrations a little early with Elf, Home Alone, or Miracle on 34th Street.
Plan your own family turkey trot. Running (or walking) your own 5K is a great way for the whole family to get some exercise. Who needs other runners? This way, you’ll all win!
Have a friendly Thanksgiving dish competition. Do the kids love making chocolate chip cookies? Does your sister usually make a mean sweet potato pie? Invite family members to drop their favorite homemade dishes at your house—and then do a Zoom competition where you “judge” the best dish. Don’t forget to make some-thing for them, too!
Invent your own tradition! It will help take your mind off the impact COVID-19 has had on all our lives—whether it’s a new recipe, an excursion, or a new activity—do something that you’ve never done as a family. Now is the time to start and incorporate it again next year!