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How to Have a Safe and Fun Thanksgiving This Year - Even if It’s Small

As we settle in to fall and anticipate the Thanksgiving holiday, it may be more important than ever to enjoy the celebration. Fatigue, stress, worry, and grief from the pandemic can make you wonder if it’s even worth celebrating this year. On the other hand, you may feel tempted to attend a large gathering that could pose health risks to you and others. While there’s no ideal scenario this time around, it is possible to celebrate Thanksgiving in a satisfying and memorable way. Experiencing the gladness of the holiday—even in the middle of stressful and disappointing times—can do wonders for the soul. Here are some ideas for hosting a safe and fun Thanksgiving that’s good for you in every way.

Make Food Special

Thanksgiving menus are always something to celebrate. This year, since your group may be smaller, you can choose to make food and drinks extra-special. Allison Meinhardt, owner of The White House Restaurant in Milwaukee says, “Be grateful for what you have and appreciate the people you have around you. Make it special. The luxury is not going to be cooking for 10 to 20 people, so you can make it more elegant. Spend the extra money that you would use to cook for a large group to buy better quality food and wine.”


Is there something you’ve always wanted to include in your Thanksgiving meal but thought it would be too expensive? Now is the time to go for it.


Keep with Tradition

As you splurge on elegant or exotic items, find ways to incorporate traditional dishes as well. In a year like this, we all need the comfort familiarity brings. If there’s a family favorite, include it. Or if you’re feeling really creative, you can put a new twist on old fare. Experiment with seasonal sides or desserts. “This year has been really hard on everybody, so keeping the tradition alive and keeping a semblance of normalcy is important,” says Rebekah Radewahn, pastry chef at I.d. Restaurant in Delafield, Wisconsin.


A quick search online can bring up all kinds of delicious twists on Thanksgiving desserts. The Food Network boasts 45 Thanksgiving Pumpkin Desserts ranging from Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Cheesecake to Pumpkin-Ginger Bread Pudding and Pumpkin-Brownie Swirl Pie. Or experiment with seasonal sides that include apples, squash, or cranberries. The possibilities are delicious.

Do Fun Together

Even though you’ve likely been with your immediate household quite a bit this year, enjoying one another’s presence can be a special part of Thanksgiving. Choose activities that sound fun to everyone. Would you like to cook the meal together? Watch a holiday movie? Decorate lavishly or with homemade creations? Play pumpkin toss out in the yard? Whether you maintain family traditions this year or introduce something new, having fun together can be just plain…fun.

Give

After being cooped up in quarantine for much of the year, you may be feeling a little restless—especially as the holiday season approaches. In a year that’s been demanding, limiting, confusing, and strange, you may notice frustration brewing. If so, it might be a sign that something needs to give. Sometimes, the best medicine is generosity. If you have some anxious energy to spend, consider surprising others with an encouraging note or a small gift left on their doorstep. Giving time and resources dedicated to blessing others just for fun benefits everyone involved. And don’t forget to give thanks. It may be the most nourishing part of the entire celebration.

Happy Thanksgiving.


The Cedars Retirement Community

The Cedars Retirement Community is a beautiful lakeside retirement residence located just outside of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Cedars believes in providing the highest quality of life and opportunity for seniors at almost all levels of mobility and health. We are operating with great care during this pandemic and are following all guidelines issued by the CDC and ISDH. Please contact us with any questions you may have.

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