7 New Traditions for a COVID Thanksgiving


To say October through December is my favorite time of year understates my sentiment. I would spend the year – all three hundred and sixty-five days of it – living Halloween to Christmas on an endless cycle.

My husband says it’s depressing to spend nine months of the year longing for the other three. But he doesn’t load the dishwasher properly. I don’t really expect him to understand.

I know, I know. It’s the COVID apocalypse. Thanksgiving is on its way, yet none of us are loading up on instant mashed potatoes and school fundraiser apple pies.

If celebrating Thanksgiving with the same people you eat dinner with every night feels insufficient, read on. I’ve curated a list of some ways to make the day special.

New Tradition #1 – Love Something Besides A Parade

Parades are verboten this year, but it takes more than COVID to stop Philadelphia’s iconic parade. 6ABC and Dunkin’ Donuts have planned a Thanksgiving Celebration. DJ Jazzy Jeff and Pennsbury’s marching band are just a few of the performers. All the stuff you love, no public bathroom.

New Tradition #2 – Meet A Turkey – Maybe

If your local public land is open, pack your mask and warm clothes and take a stroll. You might be lucky enough to see a turkey or two. I literally know nothing about this except Tom is look, don’t touch. Find out more here.

New Tradition #3 – Support A Turkey

For a modest donation, you can “adopt” a turkey through the Audubon Society. Your donation not only supports turkeys. It buys you a little turkey plush, too.

Yes, of course, this means your kids will never again eat turkey. It’s once a year. Let them go straight to the pie.

New Tradition #4 – Get Crafty

Explore the history of Native Americans with a virtual tour of the Prehistoric Indian Village at the Heinz History Center. Then settle the kids in to make a Native American craft with a kit from the Museum of Indian Culture. Order one here.

New Tradition #5 – Be A Foodie

Hunger has only worsened in the pandemic, so The New York Times suggests contributing to a food bank. Did you really plan on eating all those cans of soup? I didn’t think so.

New Tradition #6 – Be A Gamer

Nope. This isn’t a Thanksgiving-themed video game. This card set, suggested by Good Housekeeping, is guaranteed to make everyone at your Thanksgiving roll their eyes and resent your existence. And really, isn’t that what family is for?

New Tradition #7 – Virtually Better

This virtual host, recommended by Real Simple, is audio only, and you can limit your conversation to your favorite people, instead of everyone in the chat. That sounds much better than watching your family Hoover down some yams.

This Thanksgiving will be different, and we all hate trying something new. Pick a new tradition. See what sticks. You can blame me if it doesn’t work.

I’ll even load your dishwasher.

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