If there is one thing about this upcoming holiday season that I’m sure we’ve all heard, it’s “we’ve never experienced anything like this before.” And that’s true, we haven’t. In fact the better part of these last 8 months has been nothing like we’ve ever experienced before. But what can we do now, going forward, to try and salvage any holiday traditions that we are used to experiencing year after year? In the COVID Guide to the Thanksgiving Season I will be sharing my top three tips to provide some sense of normalcy for the weeks ahead. 

1.Take advantage of video calling.

If there is one thing above all else we can say this pandemic improved in us, it is our ability to use video calling programs such as Skype, Zoom and Webex. Distance has been a theme for the last 8+ months, and while we may not be able to be together in person, a video chat with grandparents or distant relatives can really make a difference in our mental wellbeing. For the last two months, the words Webex and Zoom have been attached to class and school work. Using them to connect with family can not only offer that long distance connection, but can work to change the mindset that we have when using these applications. The next time we log into them after break, we may think about that conversation with our distanced relatives versus dreading an upcoming lecture. 

2. If you do choose to get together in person try to minimize time indoors within a close proximity.

We are still having the occasional 60+ degree day around here, and while the chances are slim in late November, do not hesitate to enjoy a family gathering outdoors. If you can, try to keep in-person gatherings to immediate family. Utilizing speaker phones with extended relatives while at the dinner table can bring a sense of togetherness while being as safe as possible. Now everyone can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal in their respective homes, but can still converse and laugh like you normally would across the table. 

3.Take advantage of Cyber Monday deals.

The in-person crowds that come with Black Friday deals are a perfect transmission site for COVID. Crowding even with masks can be problematic because of all the people in a condensed area (hence the idea for social distancing for masks to be most effective). Cyber Monday on sites like Amazon, Best Buy, and Kohl’s can offer deals just as good, if not better deals that you can find in stores on Friday. Other benefits of Cyber Monday shopping include the ability to shop in your bed, in your pajamas, or while eating breakfast. Who wants to go out and battle it out for the last pair of AirPods anyway? I’d much rather just sit in my pajamas and click “add to cart”. Another idea for those needing holiday season gift ideas is shopping locally! It is no surprise that the virus has impacted our small businesses and now could be a perfect time to show your support. See if your favorite small business has a website or an alternative form of at-home shopping. If not, sites like Etsy and Zazzle are a great place to support small creators and businesses right from your home! Plus you won’t have to wait in a checkout line, you won’t have to cut Thanksgiving short to go out on Thursday night, and you won’t have to worry about putting your health, or other’s health at risk! 

While this year has given us a number of hoops to jump through when it comes to daily life, hopefully this holiday season will give us the opportunity to cherish those closest to us knowing that safety is our top priority. A season of thanks should be focused on each other and not the virus that’s been on everyone’s minds for the last 8 months. Hopefully, this COVID Guide to the Thanksgiving Season shed a little light on the alternative ways we can celebrate, while still remaining safe and Warhawk Strong.