It's getting close to Thanksgiving, are you prepared? This holiday snuck up on us, didn't it? We've been focused on our business and work for eight months straight without taking much of a break. We might also be unintentionally avoiding thinking about how we will handle Thanksgiving this year in a pandemic because we've never done it before.
There is a lot of conflicting information "out there" about what we can and should do - and all we really want to do is keep our traditions and have a wonderful meal with our most treasured family and friends. To make Thanksgiving be the best it can be, we do need to prepare. Like with everything we do, preparation helps relieve the anxiety we feel when we are unprepared. So making a plan in advance will help us relax and look forward to a good, albeit, different Thanksgiving holiday this year.
Marie Kondo suggests we do a “Joy Check” before we welcome guests. We become so accustomed to living in our space that it is difficult to see it objectively. Start by walking through the front door as if you were a guest. Move through each room, looking at it with fresh eyes. Perhaps you’ve stuffed things in a closet or piled items you’re feeling unsure about. Take this opportunity to ask yourself if these things really spark joy. If they don’t, thank them and let them go. That's good advice.
Once you do this, place a few items in each room to start feeling the Thanksgiving holiday spirit, including your remote / work from home workspace. Add scent into your home, including comforting vanilla, maple, pumpkin, caramel, and woodsy scents. Decorate your door and any outside areas your guests will visit with small touches such as a fall wreath or vase of fresh or artificial flowers.
Have disposable masks at the door for guests to wear if they don't come in a mask. Be sure to have disposable serveware, dinnerware, and cutlery available so there's less to handle. Make it easy and simple so you can focus on the people you are with versus handling dishes.
Determine the number of people you can safely invite to your home and dinner (according to CDC and your state's recommendations) and create a plan in advance for social distance seating. Can you hold your dinner outside and use portable heaters as needed or have a log in the fireplace if the weather is chilly (but not snowing)? If you're eating inside, serve dinner buffet style and use multiple rooms in your house in order to seat guests six feet apart. Add card tables or other as needed for additional seating.
Of course, you will need to take take time to prepare the menu. This year, there will likely be less people than usual, and you may not want to ask others to bring food with them this year. Prepare just the basics and don't forget the pumpkin pie! Here's a recipe from the American Cancer Society for some easy and healthy Pumpkin Oat Muffins.
Then prepare to stay cheery, talk lively, sing along to music, and set a goal to smile and laugh more than you have in months! A gathering during these times is a special occasion to be celebrated! Think about social distance activities you can do outside after dinner, such as a walk in the neighborhood or a nearby park. I found a great list of fun and unique events you can sign up for via eventbrite.
Whatever you do, prepare for it and you'll be preparing yourself for a calm, peaceful dinner and day!
What are you plans for Thanksgiving this year? Place your thoughts in a post or contact me.