Service of Making the Comfortable Decision: Thanksgiving 2020

November 23rd, 2020

Categories: Charity, Food, Holidays, Hugs, Hunger, Pandemic, Thanksgiving

 

Photo: patch.com

I like being in control. That’s one of the terrifying things about the deadly virus. At the moment, it has us all by the short hairs and will until most of us have been injected with two doses of vaccine so it can follow the demise of smallpox and all sorts of other  worldwide plagues.

There’s hardly a newscast that doesn’t warn about Thanksgiving 2020 whether it involves traveling–don’t–suggesting that college students think twice about returning home and recommending that folks celebrate exclusively with those in their households.

In accordance with my response to the 2020 census, that would be me.

Nevertheless I plan to make the usual: sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and apple pie as, until recently, I’ve done for decades. Don’t yet know about the poultry. [I hear an outcry from balanced meal enthusiasts who wonder “where is the green vegetable?” Answer: I’ll eat a ton of salad the day before.]

And as always, I will relish Friday’s leftovers.

Grow up people. Traditions are off kilter this year. Get over it.

Food lines 2020 Photo: reuters.com

I feel no sympathy for those who whine about giving up their traditions of celebrating at their Colorado condo or visiting a brother in Cincinnati. One woman wailed on Facebook that she’ll be alone with her husband, not entertaining her 10 grandchildren and their parents. She could send a check for the cost of the dinner to a food pantry while counting her blessings that she has a husband to share dinner with and a lovely family she’ll hug next summer–if we’re lucky.

Tyler Perry donated dinners to 5,000 hungry people in Atlanta over the weekend. There are countless charities desperate for help. Yesterday NPRs Lulu Garcia-Navarro interviewed Katherina Rosqueta, founder and director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, in a segment “How To Give Back During The Coronavirus Pandemic.” The focus of high impact philanthropy is to improve lives of others rather than maximize tax benefits or honor someone. The major takeaway: cash is better than goods as its more flexible under circumstances where volunteers to distribute food or other goods are hobbled due to the pandemic.

Leftover lunch on Black Friday Photo: foodandwine.com

It doesn’t soothe my Covid-19 anxiety that the president is distracted about his lost election and isn’t watching the store. The one hour he gave to join the virtual G-20 summit this weekend, with Covid-19 high on the agenda, was hardly enough. During his “attendance” he tweeted about election results in Michigan according to John Follain, Arne Delf, Ilya Arkhipov and Josh Wingrove reporting for Bloomberg.com.

In addition, the angry pandemic is raging again. It’s time to stay within our safety comfort zones and to focus on what we’re thankful for, not on what we’re giving up. My cup runneth over. Speaking of cups, I might buy a very nice wine to sip during dinner and while chatting with friends and family. I am blessed with a vivid imagination and will hug my family members and friends virtually. They don’t love me more or less because I’m not with them.

What are your plans? Do you feel pressured to give up your Covid cautious routine or do you think it’s all a lot of hooey and that people who are ducking tradition this year are pitiable?

Food Lines 2020 Photo: theguardian.com

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12 Responses to “Service of Making the Comfortable Decision: Thanksgiving 2020”

  1. Helen Rabinovitz Said:

    This is the first year I won’t be having 15 people for thanksgiving. I’ve promised them all that once it’s safe(2022)I’ll have a blowout thanksgiving dinner for everyone! This year I’m seeing the one person I do visit with. We wear masks and social distance. Linda and I are having Chinese food…on thanksgiving paper plates, thanksgiving napkins and thanksgiving paper cups. Then we will watch a movie. I have decorated the house for the holiday just so it’ll feel like thanksgiving. There will be extra fortune cookies for Georgie my parrot! It’s safer and smarter for both of us. I wish you all a safe and happy and healthy holiday!

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Helen,

    This will be a Thanksgiving that you and Linda will remember and your Chinese restaurant will be so grateful for your business. I bet you’ll have leftovers too!

    If we are lucky, you may have back to your 15 guests in 2021. Fingers crossed!

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    May I suggest the Bowery Mission in Manhattan? They have a religious tone, but help feed and shelter homeless and destitute, as well as having what appears to be a successful rehabilitation program for the drunks and addicts who land on their doorstep.

    As for whining, a nasty sound at best, those of us who are still alive have cause to celebrate!

  4. Hank Goldman Said:

    We agree with everything you said about this–it will be the most unusual Thanksgiving. If you don’t absolutely need to get together, don’t.

    We would love to see our family in person, but we’re not. You can’t get back to normal if you are in a hospital bed. Don’t ask – just put on a mask! It’s as simple as that.

    Thanks for all your blogs. I do read them all, even if I don’t always respond.

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    I like God’s Love We Deliver and a friend recommended Bridges Outreach out of Summit, NJ.

    I understand people expressing disappointment at missing a family gathering but at this time of crisis, if they still have shelter and food on the table, complaining about their plight rings wrong.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Hank,

    Thank you.

    Well put–a hospital bed/stay isn’t a leftover or favor anyone wants to take home after a celebration.

  7. Kathleen Said:

    Agree, Jeanne, that most we know we just have 2 or 3 people, but thank all the wonderful Thanksgivings we shared over the years and look ahead (hopefully in 2021) that a big dinner will celebrate next year. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Kathleen,

    I know a few people who will be like me and I’ve heard of only one who is having 12–two over the 10 ordered by the state in which she lives.

    I’m amazed at anecdotes that friends share. One told me about a person who will be gathering with friends who, because they are friends, he knows won’t be sick. When asked if he sees the people all the time his answer was “no.” When it was suggested he be sure to wear a mask he said, “why? I know they aren’t sick.”

    I shudder to think this thought process is going on nationwide when the virus is already out of control.

  9. BC Said:

    We are having one couple for dinner, and giving home carry out food to elderly couples. We are not going to visit our family in Tennessee. We had heavily donated money to our local food bank. We will likely not see family at Christmas either. Time to keep ranks closed and batten down the hatches.

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:

    BC,

    I love the idea that you’re making Thanksgiving dinners for other couples. I wish I knew folks within walking distance for whom I could share my food. You have lucky friends!

  11. David Reich Said:

    For Thanklsgiving, we’ve gone to be with our kids – last year in Santa Cruz, the year before up in Maine.

    This year…nada.

    So instead of the traditional Thanksgiving fare, we’re geftting a big order of juicy spare ribs from the local Chinese restaurant, making some mashed potatoes to go with it, and picking up some big and bad sweets from the local diner.

    No turkey, but we will be stuffed.

  12. Jeanne Byington Said:

    David,

    YUM!!! Spare ribs. What a good idea. I wonder how they would go with the traditional stuff I’ve already bought to make. Hmmm

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