At last, we’re faced with the reality of Thanksgiving in year 2020 — the year we all can’t wait to see end. For Americans across the country, Thanksgiving is that day when families come together — young and old — to celebrate their thanks and gratitude. It’s that holiday that does not rest on religion. It’s a holiday of thanks no matter what you believe.
This year it’s ever-so-different. Even my family, across four states coast to coast, will only be gathering via Zoom. This pandemic has derailed everything that we have come to expect as tradition. But I believe that by following CDC guidelines, we can make a difference, stop the spread of this insidious virus and still be grateful.
I’ve been conducting an informal survey of people I know who, like me, won’t be traveling. Many of them will be alone in their homes. Some are sad to be alone on such a special day, while others are actually fine with it and welcome the chance to just relax.
“What will you do that day? Will you cook? Eat turkey? Order in? Drink? Or some combination of everything?”
Here’s a sampling of answers:
“No turkey for me that day. I’m making a big steak. And I’m starting the day with pancakes.”
“We’re thinking crab legs –yeah, those sound great.”
“Turkey’s too hard; I’ll grab some chicken breasts and throw them in the oven. I might even make a salad.”
“I’ve got my frozen turkey pot pie all ready to go. Is it too early to thaw it out?”
“I know it doesn’t really represent Thanksgiving, but a prime rib of beef sure does sound good. But a prime rib for one?”
“We’re vegetarians so we plan to fill up on beans, lentils, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and maybe even pumpkin pie.”
“Cooking is not my thing, so we’re just going to order in dinner of turkey and mashed potatoes. Plus plenty of wine.”
“This will give me a chance to make macaroni and cheese and skip the turkey. I like to make it from scratch, and now I’ll have the time to do so.”
“We plan to make something easy and then just watch football and movies. Turkey sounds delish, but it’s really too much trouble this time. Maybe pizza!”
“Can’t wait to sit by the fireplace and enjoy turkey and sweet potato-stuffed pierogies.”
Though COVID-19 has landed a major blow to families everywhere, it has given us reason to pause and take stock of what we are grateful for. The fact that so many of us can still talk about celebrating Thanksgiving, even if alone this year, is a gift. Not the case for hundreds of thousands across the country.
And so, I will celebrate this year — perhaps with a Butterball Turkey Breast — which I just happen to have on hand in my freezer, and lots of Zooms and FaceTimes with friends and family everywhere.
What will you do? Let us know!