Secret’s out – 2020 really stinks. Since the start of November, one date has stared blankly back at me – today, November 26th (Thanksgiving). While visions of sugar pies should be dancing in my head, for weeks, only one question kept coming to mind.
What the heck are we going to do this year?!
Of all of the holidays, two already cause me stress and anxiety – Thanksgiving is one of them. Now, our hands feel tied due to the pandemic. After strictly social distancing since March, we’re weren’t going to throw caution to the wind and head on some domestic or international getaway.
Plus, can we talk about this graphic below? Scroll to the third infographic to see the details. These numbers are alarming to say the least.
Why are we not just spending Thanksgiving with family? Well, our families have decided to forgo a gathering since we want to be as safe as possible.
Yes, I realize some of you feel comfortable getting together with family and traveling. I get it. After evaluating the research and data for the Chicago area, we simply chose the safest path forward for us and our loved ones.
A Very Pandemic Thanksgiving
As I mentioned above, the holidays are already a high-stress time. Add a dash of post-election antics and soaring numbers of the pandemic, and Q4 already feels like a recipe for disaster.
So what are we going to do for the holiday? Well, we’re keeping things super super small. Trust me, I’m brainstorming six ways from Sunday of how to make Thanksgiving 2020 meaningful and relaxing.
Plus, the holiday is a perfect time to reflect on all that we’re thankful for. I’d be lying if I said 2020 makes me struggle for an answer. On the flip side, I know we have a lot to be thankful for. We’re (relatively) healthy, very happy, have food on our tables, and wine to sip (always a plus!).
All things considered, we’re truly fortunate. I feel awful complaining about anything related to the holidays! At the same time, I just want to be open with you and share the unexpected collateral damage of the pandemic.
In the past, Bob and I had the perfect plans for the winter holidays. We spent Thanksgiving with his family, Christmas with mine, followed by a visit to Wisconsin to celebrate post-Christmas with his. Our holidays had a flow, and by all accounts – we were thankful to have this pattern.
Well, things changed. Bob’s mom passed away last year. Everything was turned upside down. We always did Thanksgiving with her. Plus, we had the most wonderful traditions along with it – we’d stay at the American Club, celebrate at her house, spend the weekend going to the three of our favorite restaurants and stores. At the end of the day, it was always about spending quality time with one another. We will always cherish those years.
After she passed, Bob and I agreed to come up with a new tradition. Since we’ve been married, my immediate family members all spend Thanksgiving with their in-laws. Therefore, we realized we had only one option – find something new for ourselves. So we did…
Yep – you read that right – United! For those who don’t know, prior to 2020, I flew United almost exclusively. It’s my favorite airline, and I love traveling on their aircrafts more than I can possibly put into words.
Months before Bob’s mom passed, we had a work/leisure trip schedule for London. After getting a call about her health, we cancelled the trip immediately. Family always takes priority.
London also happens to be one of our favorite destinations in the world. In fact, I often joke with my boss that I want to open a branch of our agency in the UK. He hasn’t agreed to it yet, but I’m working on it. 🙂 Haha!
We stayed at The Langham, went to the Harry Potter and the Curse Child, and roamed around one of our favorite cities in the world. The trip was impeccable. Bob and I left feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and SO incredibly happy about doing something different! Above all, we felt like we had solidified a new tradition.
Pandemic Thanksgiving 2020
Needless to say, London is off the table this year. Instead, we’re keeping our Thanksgiving extremely small. During the holiday weekend, we’re only gathering with our “pandemic pod.” Five total people including us. Our friends Kit and Charles have a newborn baby, and we have all been extremely careful (and insanely strict) during this pandemic.
Therefore, we’re celebrating via a small get together. Kit is an expert cook, and we are going to bring a few dishes as well. We pre-ordered a chocolate pecan pie from Bang Bang Pie, and we’re planning to make green bean casserole and a delicious cheesy cauliflower side.
Is the holiday break different this year? Absolutely. However, we’re thankful for a healthy and happy family and wonderful friends like Kit and Charles to celebrate, cope, and manage the ramifications and complications of COVID. It’s certainly a very pandemic Thanksgiving, right?
What are your plans for Thanksgiving? How are you feeling today? I’m cheering you on, and wishing you a wonderful holiday season ahead.