A Physically Distanced Thanksgiving

We asked Gersky’s content creator and local Social Media Guru, Jonathan Howard, to share with us how he spent Thanksgiving with his family for their physically distant Thanksgiving celebration.


Although he doubts his family will be celebrating Christmas by the outdoor firepit, he wondered what can be learned and applied to a physically distanced Christmas.


This year has certainly been filled with challenges.  However, it turned out Thanksgiving was not going to be that much different for my family.


My sister and her partner just had a baby in July…

My sister and her partner just had a baby in July. I am overly cautious as I have had health issues tied to Lyme disease since college. My parents are probably the healthiest of the three pods. In their mid-sixties and so considered in a high-risk group. Planning for Thanksgiving was a bit different this year.  Prepping for the big day started 14 days in advance as all three pods did a full quarantine. Needless to say, we were happy to see each other on Thanksgiving Day.


Since my sister is the one with the fire pit, and her partner was making the meal, we gathered at her house for the afternoon leading into dinner. I was the last to arrive. I came with my own drinks in my backpack along with an extra mask and gloves (I mentioned I was a little overly cautious). All the appetizers were portioned out in containers made specifically for each of us to eliminate the risk of possible contamination. And we all had chairs around the fire pit with 6-12 feet between the pods. At this point other than sitting outside at the end of November, much of the day proceeded as it normally does.


I ate too many appetizers…

I ate too many appetizers, we talked about work, our lives, and how adorable Calix my nephew is. The weather was nice, and the fire pit added some extra warmth.   Spread out around the file pit, it was nice not to have to de-mask, eat, and mask up again.  In hindsight the prepared apps in individual containers was probably the smartest idea. No one came in close contact with anyone and we could still engage with the standard, “Oh did you try the one with the avocado it’s delicious.” And viola you opened the one with the avocado on it, took a bite.  And it really was delicious!


With the turkey taking a little extra time than planned and the sun setting early, we improvised our dinner meal slightly.  We gave thanks at dusk on the back deck. Each pod claimed their dinner individually inside the house by placing our meals in what was intended to be our leftover containers. Then each driving less than 10 minutes to our respective homes. We resumed the meal on Zoom!


I pushed most of the turkey around my plate like I was a 5-year-old child…

For me it was a fairly usual meal, I pushed most of the turkey around my plate like I was a 5-year-old child. Ate the mashed potatoes and proceeded to eat my two slices of apple pie. As we all wrapped up after dessert and said goodnight on Zoom it still felt like we had spent the day together which was nice… but different.


Normally, Thanksgiving ends with close to 50 loud Cubans crowding into my Aunt’s house for dessert. I missed that energy and connection with the extended family.  But all things considered we made the best of our circumstances. And we learned a few logistical things just in case this were ever to happen again.


Now we just need to adapt Zoom Thanksgiving into Zoom Christmas Morning and see how that goes.

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Posted in Dinner, Family events, Home, Thanksgiving.