Thanksgiving Gatherings

Nov 16, 2020 | Megan Roessler M. Ed. | @meganroessler


The holiday season is approaching and I’m sure you are as eager as I am to see family.  I think of the relatives I don’t see as frequently; holidays are traditionally a time we gather and catch up with each other.  I also look forward to visiting family members that I see on a more regular basis.  My social life has been greatly disrupted by Covid-19.  I am not alone in experiencing disruption; the whole world has been affected and has been for a long, long time.  I am fatigued.  I long for normalcy.  I long for connection and relationship with people who don’t reside in my household, if you know what I mean!

Covid-19 cases are climbing; hospitals are becoming overwhelmed.  Now, more than ever, no matter how great our personal needs are, we need to adhere to safety guidelines recommended by scientists and medical experts.   It could change from now until Thanksgiving.  It could change again during the month of December when there are many religious holidays where people like to gather to celebrate together.  See CDC guidelines here.


Here are some things to think about:

  • How many households are gathering?  Not just the number of people, or families, but how many separate dwellings would come together?  No more than three is the recommendation, including the host household.
  • How are people traveling to get there?  Will there be plane, car, hotel, restaurant or gas station stops along the way?  Consider what your guests will need to encounter during travel and how many public touch points they may have.
  • What is their lifestyle?  Grandma and Grandpa may be limiting their contact with people.  What about the college student or anyone else that may be coming?  How many people do they encounter on a regular basis?
  • How long are you gathering?  For a few hours?  Would guests be spending the night?  These are important things to consider as well.


Have you heard the song “American Pie” by Don McLean?  I am thinking specifically the lyrics of “bye, bye Miss American pie.”  I am proposing a new way to connect this year with my family.  We will save dessert for last (and room for dessert!).  Our Zoom meeting is called “hi, hi with Thanksgiving pie.” This way we will virtually gather, hold onto the tradition of pumpkin pie and also prevent potential exposure to the virus.

Do you have ways your traditions are changing this year?  Please share if you do – we can all learn from each other!

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