Wednesday, Jan 20th

Last updateTue, 19 Jan 2021 6pm

You are here: Home Health Thanksgiving Plans Altered But the Holiday Spirit Remains
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Thanksgiving Plans Altered But the Holiday Spirit Remains

ThanksgivingPoliceThe outbreak of the COVID-19 has crafted a new normal that has become our daily reality. Even beloved family traditions that emerge during the holiday seasons, such as devouring pumpkin pancakes early in the morning or playing an annual football game, are not safe from the virus’ path. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, a majority of Scarsdale families now find themselves unsure of how to proceed — still wanting to celebrate the joyous holiday yet also keenly aware of the risks.

Most of the Scarsdale residents understand the dire implications that could result from hosting lavish gatherings in enclosed spaces during a pandemic. Not being able to spend Thanksgiving, a holiday where many find joy in shared time with family and friends, to protect those same individuals is a hard concept to grasp. We’re accustomed to the inviting atmosphere that emerges as loved ones partake in a feast with family favorites like buttery mash potatoes and tart apple pie. In many ways, during a year filled with twists and turns such as this one, Thanksgiving would have served as a pleasant hint of normalcy — a glimmer of life before present-day social-distancing and mask mandates.

However, like everything in this strange year, it is simply not possible. Just as we have had to adjust to learning or working in a different environment, we must make painful adaptations to Thanksgiving plans.

Nevertheless, there are several ways to ameliorate the pain from a modified Thanksgiving. First and foremost, it is important to revisit the meaning of Thanksgiving as a holiday when we express gratitude and give back. As many of us are fortunate enough to have food on our tables, it is always a good idea to pay it forward. For instance, an act of charity could mean picking up a few extra cans of food during a weekly grocery-shop to donate to families who are suffering financially as a result of the pandemic. Another example is to connect with an older adult from an elderly home via Zoom to bring them a little Thanksgiving joy during a hard time.

Fearing the potential repercussions of leaving Thanksgiving plans open for interpretation, Governor Cuomo has made his recommendations clear. He urges fellow New Yorkers to stay home and limit traveling during the holiday season; he believes that if large groups come together for traditional celebrations the spread of the coronavirus will intensify, leading to a spike in cases. Furthermore, according to mandates, individuals are required to limit gatherings to no more than ten people to decrease the chances of a potential COVID-19 outbreak. According to Scarsdale100583’s Thanksgiving survey 93.1% of Scarsdale residents, will comply with Cuomo’s regulations of limiting all indoor gatherings to ten people.

It is important to remember that Cuomo's guidelines were made to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers. To comply, Scarsdale families are crafting Thanksgiving plans that retain some traditions while safeguarding all the people at the table. Most are limiting the number of guests and maintain distance between them. According to our survey, 74% of participants, in a typical year, would have anywhere from 11 to 26+ people at their Thanksgiving table. However, given the pandemic, an overwhelming 94.7% will now be dining with 1 to 10 guests given the current state of the world.

With modified plans in place, some feel safer delving into their Thanksgiving feast. “I’m going to my aunt and uncle's house with just their family and ours. It is a small number of individuals and we will all be eating outside. I’m not too nervous about us because I think we are taking the necessary precautions to ensure our mutual safety,” remarked Ben Spitanly, a junior at Scarsdale High School.

No matter how many alterations Scarsdale residents make though, this year’s Thanksgiving will simply be different from all the rest. “Thanksgiving is so special and even substitutes like Zoom will never be able to replace the memories created by this day. Because Thanksgiving will not be celebrated in person with the rest of my extended family it almost feels surreal...a day once celebrated by 10-20 family members in the past will now be celebrated by three together in person,” added Rowan Haffner, a junior at Scarsdale High School.

As many of us indulge in a smaller yet still meaningful Thanksgiving feast, let it be a reminder to all that the holiday orbits around the idea of being grateful. We should give thanks for the plentiful food that spans our dining room tables, show appreciation for those that remain in our lives, and most importantly, express our deepest condolences to those families who will inevitably have empty seats at their tables. “Thanksgiving is always the one time where I get to see my entire family. Although this year it will be accompanied by Zooms and Facetimes, the holiday, like always, will be about surrounding myself with loved ones and relaying our gratitudes — no matter what form it must take,” concluded Shamolie Panjwani, a junior at Scarsdale High School.

Leave a Comment

Share on Myspace
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop