Celebrate a Virtual Thanksgiving

If you find yourself stuck at home for Thanksgiving this year, consider doing your usual holiday activites remotely. You can share family recipes and prepare dishes together with far-flung friends and relatives via FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype, says a story in the Dallas Morning News, or host a virtual Happy Hour over the weekend. During the pandemic, it is safer to stay home and limit interpersonal contact — and skipping big gatherings this year will likely help things return to normal by this time next year. Happy Thanksgiving from ClothingDonations.org!

Holiday Travel During the Pandemic

The CDC says holiday travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Before you get on a flight, consider whether or not you may have been exposed in the last 14 days, if you or someone you’ll be visiting is in a high-risk category, and if area you’ll be visiting is seeing an uptick in cases. It’s a bad idea to travel with people outside your COVID “pod” — those you live with. If you do have to travel, check the travel restrictions at your destination and always observe rigorous social distancing protocols.

Cooking a Scaled-Back Thanksgiving Feast

If you’re cooking a feast for a small group (or just yourself) this year due to COVID-19, a turkey breast is a good way to get traditional flavors on your plate, says Simply Whisked. But there’s nothing saying that you can’t feast on pork chops or Cornish hens instead. Many people — especially vegetarians — may be looking forward to sides such as green bean casserole and mashed potatoes just as much as the main course. So pick a couple of favorites to make, along with a tasty dessert. And remember to give thanks!

Keep Your Thanksgiving Small

Thanksgiving is this week, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people observe the holiday at home with proper social distancing. If you are hosting, the CDC says to keep the gathering small (five people or fewer) and dine outdoors or open the windows to allow fresh air into your space. You could also ask guests to bring their own food and drink, but if you are sharing potluck plates, allow just one person to serve and try using single-use plastic dinnerware to keep the virus from circulating.

Don’t Treat Holiday Shopping Like a Job

While most stores will stay closed through the Thanksgiving holiday, a handful of major retailers such as Target and JCPenney will be open late Thursday to launch the make-or-break holiday shopping season. The Organizing Blog doesn’t necessarily approve of shopping while you’re supposed to be feasting, but knows that a few readers may attempt to beat the crowds and get the best deals. Dress to go from cold, outdoor weather to warm stores quickly, Money Crashers says, and don’t treat shopping like a job. “No matter what happens on Black Friday, remember to relax and try to enjoy yourself. Shopping for holiday gifts isn’t the highest-stakes thing you’ll do this year.”