COVID Thanksgiving

With this year’s climate around Thanksgiving due to the pandemic, many of us will not be celebrating Thanksgiving the way we typically do. The current mandate from the Governor in Vermont is for no cross-household gatherings, unless one of those households is a household of one. This strictly prohibits our typical Thanksgiving routine, which consists of a minimum of 4 gatherings:

  • Erik’s mother’s side of the family, which is comprised of 9 people (in addition to us): Erik’s mom, Erik’s brother, Erik’s maternal grandparents, Erik’s maternal uncle, Erik’s maternal aunt and her husband, and Erik’s cousin and his girlfriend. We sometimes gather for dinner the day after Thanksgiving as well to help finish up the leftovers.
  • Erik’s father’s side of the family, which varies in size each year, but typically is comprised of 7 people (in addition to us): Erik’s dad, his wife, Erik’s paternal aunt and her husband, 3 of Erik’s cousins.
  • My mother’s Thanksgiving, which is typically just the 3 of us, or sometimes one or two others.
  • My father’s Thanksgiving, which is typically my dad and his girlfriend, and my paternal grandmother.

That said, our typical Thanksgiving exposes us to over 20 people, which is way too risky even if there weren’t a mandate in place. So how do we plan on navigating Thanksgiving this year? We have arranged to do a food swap.

Just like typical Thanksgivings, where everyone makes part of the meal and we all share the burden of cooking, we will each be making part of the Thanksgiving feast and swapping for the food we didn’t make. Erik and I are in charge of making mashed potatoes, sweet potato pie, and rolls. Erik’s mom will then come and deliver us some turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce she made, while picking up our food to deliver to Erik’s grandparents. We will get some desserts from Erik’s grandparents and that will complete the meal. Repeat with each of our typical Thanksgiving parties, and everyone will end up with a full meal comprised of everything everyone made. That way, we can still talk about how good the pie was, or how juicy the turkey was, and feel connected through food in lieu of close proximity.

We really are making the most of the holiday, and we are really excited to still be able to take part in the typical feast. We may even set up a Skype call to check in with everyone and talk for a while. Similarly, we have a plan for Christmas that we are so excited to share with you, so keep your eyes peeled for that post in the near future (post is now up here)!

What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year? What does your typical Thanksgiving look like? What are you most excited about? Share with us in the comments or with pictures on Instagram using hashtag #economicaleats.

2 thoughts on “COVID Thanksgiving

  1. Kayla – our household enjoys your blog and food adventures! Our family is keeping it simple (New York has different regulations) instead of cooking my mom purchased a “thanksgiving dinner pot pie” with everything layered. Instead of the big family gathering we will zoom that weekend and extended family us received packets in the mail with bingo boards and prizes 🙂

    1. Hi Megan! Thanks for sharing! The pot pie idea sounds great – might even be a good idea for those cooking a full meal and trying to find ways to use up the leftovers. Bingo boards and prizes sound fun, we are trying to figure out ways to incorporate games into our Christmas plans. Thanks for reading the blog! If you ever want to see something, feel free to send us an email with any ideas for taste tests or other posts! Stay safe!

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