Welcome to Hibernation Holiday, The Takeout’s guide to celebrating Thanksgiving in the comfort of your own home—and in your sweatpants.
With the number of COVID-19 cases surging across the country, public officials everywhere have been either strongly advising or outright ordering everyone to stay home for the next few weeks—including for Thanksgiving. For this year at least, there won’t be the large gatherings of family and friends, the overtaxed kitchens, the crowded airports, the Turkey Trot 5Ks, the lining up on city streets to watch parades of people carrying gigantic balloons pass by, the Black Friday trips to the big-box stores and the mall, and just about every other aspect of the American Thanksgiving weekend experience.
But we Americans pride ourselves on our ingenuity. And so many of us are devising plans to celebrate with our loved ones without actually seeing them. The writer Ijeoma Oluo asked Twitter what people were planning to do for a socially distant Thanksgiving.
“I know that we’ve been talking about how important it is to skip the big family gatherings this holiday season,” she began, “but I also want to talk about how we are safely maintaining connections during the holidays in case anybody needs ideas! I’ll start: Our plan for the big dinner Thanksgiving week is to have each household cook a dish. Then we’re going to divide it up into Tupperware, mask up, hand over the dishes, say quick hellos distanced and outside, and then return to our homes to eat the lovely dinner our loved ones made.”
She received a flood of responses. Some people are planning to proceed with family dinners, but in socially distanced form (in garages or backyards or around campfires, spread out) and after a period of quarantine and testing. Others are going to gather virtually on Zoom to cook “together” or for chit chat and board games. Some, like Oluo, will be swapping and scattering Tupperware all over town. (“My 14yo and I get a kick out of the ‘ding-dong ditch’!” one respondent wrote.) Still others will be continuing traditions virtually, like sending homemade place cards through the mail. And there will be lots of holiday cards, because even in this age of instant communication, we all still love getting personal mail.
I have to admit, reading all these Tweets made me feel very warm and fuzzy (something I don’t often feel on Twitter). It emphasizes that Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food, but also about love and care and, yes, giving thanks. What plans have you made for a socially distanced Thanksgiving?