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Rethinking Thanksgiving? Try These 4 Alternative Ways to Celebrate the Holiday

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and you may be noodling over how you and your family will celebrate this year. Many of us may find ourselves altering our traditions or creating new ones in the midst of celebrating during a pandemic. While you may be grieving the thought of missing the faces of distant relatives, use this time to get inspired. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how to be creative and make memories the best way we can. Here are a few alternative ways you can make the most of Thanksgiving this year.

Host Dinner Virtually

It seems like everything is going virtual these days. Why not dine with family virtually? You may be faced with travel restrictions or still want to keep your distance at this time. You don’t have to sacrifice seeing those faces you only get to see this time of year. Fire up Zoom and get your relatives on a virtual video call. You can even have fun by playing trivia games over the call or sharing recipes you may have missed out on.

Experiment with New Recipes

Experimenting with a new side dish can be frowned upon any other Thanksgiving, but this is a good time to try new recipes on a smaller audience. This might even be your first year taking on the entire Thanksgiving dinner. If that’s the case, pick a few items you want to tackle and try a few items from a local restaurant. Without all the family around, the stakes are low if you mess up a little. Jump on Pinterest, and get creative.

Order Food for Older Family Members

While you may be ordering food for yourself, don’t forget about your older family members who choose to stay home this year. You can order premade meals, or order items from the grocery store for them.

Elizabeth Spivey manages the Facebook Group Hampton Roads Restaurants-Take Out, Delivery & Dine In Options to help support local restaurants during the pandemic and has expanded her efforts into the holiday season.

“I think with so many people wanting to cook less because they’ve been home now more than ever, they want someone else to cook or help with that big meal of the year,” Spivey said. “I think if restauranteurs put these types of meal packages in place, it will benefit them knowing what to order from their vendors ahead of time, and they will be feeding the needs of the public—what they’re truly looking for this holiday season.”

There are several restaurants in Hampton Roads that are including Thanksgiving specific options to their menus. Here are a few you may want to try.

Donate to Someone in Need

With all that’s going on, it can be easy to forget about those who need an extra helping hand. You could donate the money you would normally spend on your Thanksgiving feast to your favorite local charity. You can also donate your time to feeding the homeless. Consider donating a meal to any elderly neighbors in your area.

We may be modifying our traditions during a pandemic, but I’m sure many new traditions will blossom during this season. However you plan to celebrate, we encourage you to stay safe and continue to follow CDC guidelines.

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