What Thanksgiving really means starts with the history of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day, is a national holiday in the United States and Canada that celebrates the harvest and blessings of each year. 

Thanksgiving originated in November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful; Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit.

The Pilgrims’ harvest created a tradition that brought close friends and family together to share a bountiful meal and reflect on the good that life has brought upon and give thanks.

This Year’s Covid-19 Thanksgiving Will Not Be the Same

As the COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high across the United States, families across America are struggling to make the decision of seeing their loved ones or spending Thanksgiving virtually via a Zoom call or Skype, or Facetime.

This indeed is a very difficult decision to make as people are really missing their family and loved ones and probably have not been able to see them for months (especially if they live out of state); and the pandemic fatigue and loneliness is taking over.

On the other hand, there is the fear of potentially having COVID-19 and contracting it to a parent (who may already have a weak immune system or underlying conditions).

Ultimately, the best way to approach this situation is to have a serious conversation with your family and see what is best in order to keep everyone safe; and if that means not being able to see them in person, that is okay.

The Best Tips to Having Virtual Happy Thanksgiving

  1. If your family members are scattered all other the country, make sure you can do a test/trial run of Zoom, Skype, or any other conferencing technology you plan on using. If some of your family members have never used Zoom, then a quick walk-through will be beneficial.
  2. Make sure you have good lighting and a well-lit area where you plan on doing a conference/video call.
  3. Set an agenda. Try to mimic as much of what you would have done in-person by finding ways to translate that online. For example: if you normally cook together, you can do a FaceTime call in the kitchen by putting your phone on a tripod.
  4. Have a meaningful conversation and ask everyone to talk about what they are most thankful for this year.
  5. Organize a game that the whole family can participate in and make sure to get the children engaged in the video call.
  6. Reminisce the good times and bring up the memories that you fondly remember of having with your family growing up.

What Thanksgiving Means to Me

For many years, Thanksgiving has been a favorite family holiday to celebrate. Except…this year it will be different…this year I lost my mom a few months ago…so, the holidays will be exceptionally difficult.

Regardless of the difficult year I have had; and that many others are also struggling with, we must take the good with the bad and view it as an opportunity to grow and expand our emotional strength.

Although this year has been one of the most challenging years for me, I know that finding things to be thankful for this year is exceptionally important.

This year, I am thankful that god gave me the strength to get through the difficult times…

Some Things I am Thankful for This Thanksgiving

  • My health
  • My friends
  • My brother
  • My strength
  • My courage
  • My ability to maintain a positive attitude

What Are You Thankful for This Thanksgiving?

The world will never be the same because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Yes, there have been a lot of sad times, losses, and emotional times for people; but there is also a lot of good that the COVID-19 pandemic has done to change the way people behave.

  • People have been forced to slow down and stay home and that has allowed them to discover themselves and their true passions
  • People have learned to cherish their loved ones even more and check-in with them more frequently
  • People have been laid off from work and forced into new careers and learn new skills
  • People have learned to do things they never did before; such as cooking, or be their own handyman
  • People have been forced to be more disciplined by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and even refraining from seeing their friends and family.

We must find it in our hearts to be thankful and find the positive in every situation.

This Thanksgiving will not be the same amidst a global COVID-19 pandemic; however, it can be even more special than previous Thanksgivings. No matter if you are able to see your family in-person or choose to have a safe, virtual Thanksgiving celebration, you can still celebrate with your loved ones. It is important to remember, that not everyone is that lucky this year as they have lost many loved ones due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

It is imperative to be thankful for what you have, more than ever!


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