It’s better than nothing
I get it. I don’t like it but I get it.
Moving into the holiday season was bound to set off a lot of alarm bells for health officials dealing with the Coronavirus, the experts (gasp!) who have been telling us, correctly, to avoid large gatherings, especially indoor gatherings.
Normally, we have a gaggle of people over at our house for Thanksgiving, family and friends alike. The number of guests always seems to multiply as we get closer to turkey day, which we welcome.
People fly in from across the country, many are put up at local B&Bs and/or neighbor’s homes, Ann comes up with a battle plan for the week that rivals the strategic planning for D-Day. It’s all part of the fun.
Furniture is moved, excessive food and drink is consumed, football is watched throughout the day (hopefully not COVID-cancelled this year), and the noise reaches a level that scares the cats away for several days. Getting together over the holidays is a celebration we all cherish, but, alas, this year is different.
Sensing the community’s angst, the county has sent out a “Celebrate Without Gathering” press release with helpful hints on how to have a good time without having a good time.
Things like sharing a virtual meal with family and friends – “Mmm… these cyber mashed potatoes taste delicious over a strong broadband,” or “Hey can you pass the… oh, never mind.”
Or, participate in drive-by events where everyone stays in their vehicles. A fine idea, except the mud football game might tear up Shaw Park pretty good.
Hosting online contests, trivia for example, is a fun idea (as long as I make the rules). Or you can prepare one of your traditional recipes and take it to a neighbor. You can’t go inside, but standing on the threshold of a friend’s home counts as a hug and a warm welcome these days.
By the way, up to 12 people from no more than three households is the recommended limit at a gathering, so that’s better than nothing. Which has kind of been the slogan for this year of COVID – “It’s Better than Nothing.”
It looks like a whopping 4-6 people at our house this year, with timely and tasty COVID testing on the menu.
On the other hand, there are some advantages to hosting a smaller group. We usually have to deal with myriad food taboos – no dairy, no sugar, someone’s allergic to nuts, someone’s a vegan, someone doesn’t like mashed potatoes, etc. We’ve always worked around these minor issues with pleasure, because the more the merrier.
And, this year there won’t be as many dishes, pots and pans to clean, the job for which I am responsible. Normally it takes me until Christmas to clean it all up, but not this year.
So although you may not have a normal Thanksgiving, you can still make an effort to touch base with family and friends virtually. Yes, it’s not the same, but it’s better than nothing.