Happy Thanksgiving Edhatters!

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By edhat staff

The Thanksgiving holiday is a bit more than just turkey and pie, it's a historical event that began with the settlers of the Plymouth Colony and their Wampanoag tribe predecessors in 1621.

According to history, the colonists and natives shared an autumn harvest feast, and for more than two centuries, days of "thanksgiving" were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

While the feast between the colonists and Wampanoag tribe was peaceful, it's unfortunately, one of the only instances in American history. Native people were systematically killed by European settlers, effectively wiping out tribes and villages resulting in millions of deaths. Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.”

The Thanksgiving we celebrate today is a lot different than the first. While Americans should acknowledge the atrocities of the country's founding fathers, the focus has shifted to "what we're grateful for" paired with watching football and getting the best deals for the following holiday. The NFL’s three-game Thanksgiving scheduled brought in nearly 68 million combined viewers in 2017, and Americans spent more than $5.03 billion on Black Friday online shopping – on top of the billions spent preparing for Thanksgiving itself, according to WalletHub

However, this year the Thanksgiving holiday is drastically different. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced families to celebrate apart and/or virtually to keep everyone safe. 

The Center's for Disease Control (CDC) offers some tips on how to celebrate safely.

Everyone Can Make Thanksgiving Safer

Wear a mask

illustration of a young woman leaving home wearing a mask
  • Wear a mask with two or more layers to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
  • Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Make sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face.

Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you

illustration of a person and child wearing masks standing six feet apart from a young woman wearing a mask

Wash your hands

illustration of a person wearing a mask washing their hands
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it when you are unable to wash your hands.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Attending a Gathering

illustration of a woman wearing a mask arriving for a gathering

Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice this Thanksgiving.

If you choose to attend a gathering, make your celebration safer. In addition to following the steps that everyone can take to make Thanksgiving safer, take these additional steps if attending a Thanksgiving gathering:

  • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
  • Wear a mask and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.
  • Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen.
  • Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.
 

Hosting a Thanksgiving Gathering

illustration of friends gathering outdoors wearing masks and six feet apart

Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice this Thanksgiving.

If having guests to your home, be sure that people follow the steps that everyone can take to make Thanksgiving safer. These steps include:

  • Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.
  • Limit the number of guests.
  • Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
  • If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows.
  • Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
  • Have guests bring their own food and drink.
  • If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.
 

Consider Other Thanksgiving Activities

Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you

illustration of a young family enjoying a virtual meal with an older couple
  • Schedule a time to share a meal together virtually.
  • Have people share recipes and show their turkey, dressing, or other dishes they prepared.

Watch television and play games with people in your household

  • Watch Thanksgiving Day parades, sports, and movies at home.
  • Find a fun game to play.

Shopping

  • Shop online sales the day after Thanksgiving and days leading up to the winter holidays.
  • Use contactless services for purchased items, like curbside pick-up.
  • Shop in open air markets staying 6 feet away from others and wear a mask.

Other Activities

  • Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch).
  • Participate in a gratitude activity, like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing with your friends and family.
illustration of a young man wearing a mask delivering a meal to an older woman
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7 Comments

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NostraChumash Nov 26, 2020 08:05 AM
Happy Thanksgiving Edhatters!

We call it;
Thanks-for-nothing day..
As one can understand why.
So, at least try to be nice for one day..
kill us tomorrow.

PitMix Nov 26, 2020 08:26 AM
Happy Thanksgiving Edhatters!

Thanks Edhat! I am still going to shop local this year to try and support our small businesses. As much as I can.

There have been some really interesting stories about Thanksgiving coming out from various sources.

REX OF SB Nov 26, 2020 11:41 AM
Happy Thanksgiving Edhatters!

When my good friend John McCafferty taught at San Marcos High School, every year on the day before Thanksgiving he'd have his students sing a song. If they did it nicely, he'd dismiss them a couple of minutes early. This is the song, sung to the tune of Frere Jacques:

It's Thanksgiving, it's Thanksgiving,

Save your bread, save your bread.

Shove it up a turkey, shove it up a turkey,

Eat that bird! Eat that bird!

MERRY THANKSGIVING TO ALL THE EDHAT STAFF & READERS!! Don't take any wooden drumsticks.

giftedinSB Dec 01, 2020 12:44 PM
Happy Thanksgiving Edhatters!

This may have been one of Rex's last posts. RIP - glad you got to have one last Thanksgiving with your family.

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