Maintaining Gratitude During a COVID Thanksgiving

While 2020 has been rough, there is still a lot to be thankful for


Having dinner outside is a great way to stay safe and still spend time with family.

The holidays are usually times that we primarily spend around family. To most of us, Thanksgiving allows us to gather around a dinner table and hear hilarious stories from that one uncle we haven’t seen since New Year’s. It’s not usually a time to wear masks and sit six feet apart from each other.

Since this is the first Thanksgiving that must be socially distanced, it is important to stay focused on the blessings that we have in our lives. Although we may not be able to celebrate in the ways that we normally would, we can still connect with our loved ones. 

Staying connected with family is comforting. It reminds us of better times before quarantine and makes us think about what is going to happen after. The holidays are about laughs and catching up. When you celebrate in a pandemic, that catching up becomes a little more difficult. 

Holding a video chat during dinner is another way to safely spend time with family. (Los Angeles Times)

We can stay connected by holding a Zoom Thanksgiving dinner. A video call allows us to still have that meaningful experience of eating dinner with our families and catching up on conversations. If the weather permits, hold Thanksgiving dinner outside. Think about how fun it will be to tell the story of the Thanksgiving that we ate in parkas, around a fire. Maybe someday I’ll be that one aunt that the family sees once a year and this will be the one story I tell. 

Now more than ever, it is important to reflect on all of the good in our lives and find our sources of happiness. There is always something to be grateful for–like family and friends. Through this pandemic, I have realized that family is the absolute greatest support system. We put up with each other for so long during quarantine and had a good time doing it, which I would’ve never imagined. Those dumb family game nights and nights spent running around the backyard were what made being home bearable. Although we are not able to go out and spend as much time with friends as we would like, we gain much more valuable time to spend with our families.  We need to focus on the good things we do have, like still getting an education, or wearing sweatpants for Thanksgiving, or having a ton of leftovers for ourselves. 

Making the most of what we have right now is tough but important. To get through these difficult times during the holidays, we need to stay safe and smart but also remember how lucky we are in our everyday lives.