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How will you handle family gatherings for Thanksgiving/Christmas with Covid?


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It’s going to be a problem in my family this year.  There are those of us who are strong proponents for masking and social distancing, and those of us who aren’t. 

We are a family of 11 people total.  So, if just one family unit (4 people) doesn’t show for Tgiving or Christmas, it’s a big hole in the family.  

 

Has anyone thought ahead about how to handle the holidays this year? 50/50 chance that it’ll be prohibitively cold at Thanksgiving to eat outdoors and 99.999% chance it’ll be too cold at Christmas.

 

I can’t think of any other way to handle it than saying, “We’re not coming,” and then dealing with tears and a depressed MIL who adores being with the family at the holidays and doesn’t quite understand why we’re taking Covid so seriously.  😞

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So unfortunate that this isn't available everywhere 😢

I don't know. How to handle family events is becoming an ever bigger source of stress for me. As some of you may remember, my DH has stage IV cancer. He only has one kidney. He has other more minor (a

We have decided that he is 20, and he won't be coming home for 6 weeks for much longer.  I think we would regret saving the money. We bought this ticket in FEBRUARY. So we already own it, but he can't

5 minutes ago, Garga said:

It’s going to be a problem in my family this year.  There are those of us who are strong proponents for masking and social distancing, and those of us who aren’t. 

We are a family of 11 people total.  So, if just one family unit (4 people) doesn’t show for Tgiving or Christmas, it’s a big hole in the family.  

 

Has anyone thought ahead about how to handle the holidays this year? 50/50 chance that it’ll be prohibitively cold at Thanksgiving to eat outdoors and 99.999% chance it’ll be too cold at Christmas.

 

I can’t think of any other way to handle it than saying, “We’re not coming,” and then dealing with tears and a depressed MIL who adores being with the family at the holidays and doesn’t quite understand why we’re taking Covid so seriously.  😞

Why can't you go and wear a mask except for when you're eating?   Science is showing that wearing a mask also helps the wearer.  Ask to have a separate table for eating perhaps?

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To paraphrase someone else in another thread....

We are less cautious than most folks here, but more cautious than others IRL.

 

My family/extended family intends to handle all the upcoming holidays exactly as we always have.

To put things into risk perspective......there are 13 to 15 total.  Of those....6 are kids and the rest are adults.  Not a single kid is in school face to face....mine are homeschooled, and the rest are all virtual.  Of the adults, exactly 1 is working outside the home full time.  The rest are a mix of retired, SAHP, and 2 are working part time out of their homes.  No one attends church, volunteers, or otherwise spends times in groups much at all.  Also, as a bi-product of the frugal nature......no one is attending any sort of large group entertainment events, no one goes out to eat much at all (beyond drive through McDs drinks lol.)  IOW........no one is specifically quarantining like people on here often describe, but everyone lives a life that is naturally...distanced.

With that....our holiday and family gatherings are usually only a couple of hours...so....2 to 4.  And sure, in the winter, primarily inside.  But, although no one "socially distances" the truth is most gatherings involve a lot moving around....not everyone is present for the entire time, etc etc etc.  Often, there are only a couple of people in the same room at the same time.....and even in the same house, people are in and out.  

The truth is, with the numbers in the places we live, combined with the lack of time we all spend in crowds/crowded indoor spaces/etc etc.....all of us are at extremely low risk of catching it.  My DH is the only person working full time outside the home, and therefore the most at risk of catching it.  And because of the situation he works in, he's still at very low risk of catching it even there.  

So every single one of us believes that the risk of getting together infrequently like we do, the risk is so low that skipping out on a few  special events is not worth it.  

 

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I'm probably going to ask my parents to cool their social activities a couple weeks before Thanksgiving and go into a quasi-quarantine. In exchange, I'll make the entire dinner and they can have the kids for a long weekend. If it works on Thanksgiving, I'll suggest the same for Christmas. If it doesn't work for Thanksgiving, I'll have to think of a different approach before December.

I want to see them, I want to do the whole thing, but my parents have started to become militant about this whole hoax thing and I'm responding by taking a harder line on the quarantine-before-kids thing. It's unfortunate, I know they aren't taking me seriously -- not a new thing -- but this time I feel like it's the hill I'm going to die on. Already this past week they agreed to do the quarantine to see the kids next week, but then have gone out (and told me about it!) throughout the week. So tomorrow on phone call will have to "reschedule" the visit and then explain (again) why it needs to be moved back and no, going out to lunch with your friends at an indoor restaurant and staying for over an hour without masks (all "coincidentally" are scamdemic believers) is not quarantine. 

eta: if we don't see my parents, they will see no one. We are 6/8 of the family. 😞  Maybe they will invite friends who are in the same boat, though.

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Garga, we have the same size family.  So if we don't go then it is a big deal.  We already missed Easter. 

It would be to cold for outside.   They live 3 hours round trip away.  Plus 3 are elderly with lots of health issues.  

But like Happy, we don't have a lot of risk.  Out of our group nobody in our house works or schools out of the house.   No outside face to face activities.   3 retired people.   And 1 other person is working from home, not sure for how much longer.   We haven't talked about what we are going to do. 

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We are planning to visit my mother and her husband over Christmas.  They are both retired and rarely get out.  Their current social contact circle is very limited because a lot of their friends are in a high risk category due to age and health factors.  My kids are attending some in person classes, with social distancing and masks.  Those classes will end more than two weeks before our travel dates.  Dh works completely from home. We have rented an airbnb during Christmas so that we can have our own personal retreat space where the kids can feel comfortable spreading out and still make Grandma and Grandpa feel safe.  When we return home and in person classes reconvene my son is required to quarantine through distance learning until 14 days have passed.  I refuse to let Covid rob me of safely planned holiday family time!

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We will probably not get together with my side of the family this year unless a vaccine is readily available and the numbers have gone down in our state.  My mom is insisting on having a Labor Day gathering but we are doing it completely outside and it will be canceled if there is rain.  She mentioned that our traditional  holidays probably won't  happen this year so I'm glad she is thinking that way.  There are 50 or more of us now when we all get together.  We will be able to visit in smaller groups with masks but having 50 people inside one house, even with masks, would be too risky under current circumstances.

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We will stay home and FaceTime with family. Like we did for Easter and birthdays and everything else this year...  The real question for me is what we will cook for Thanksgiving.  We usually just bring a gluten-free dairy-free pumpkin pie to my MIL’s house.  She normally cooks for 25+. How much of a dinner do I want to attempt on my own for just the four of us?

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My sister's husband is a liquor distributor, and his job involves driving all over west TN and talking with owners of liquor stores.  Their two youngest go to day care full time and their oldest child will go to day care part time, even though he is doing virtual school.  My parents are eating in indoor restaurants.  

We will not be going for Christmas.  (It's a ten hour drive, so we don't usually for Thanksgiving, but we usually do for Christmas.  I feel terrible, because we didn't see them last Christmas because my sister's family all had the flu and my oldest was having their wisdom teeth out.)  

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We're going to Miami so we'll be able to have outdoor events. We probably won't go out to any restaurants, we'll do take out at my BIL's and meet ups at the beach, Wynwood or the Lincoln Rd Mall with extended family and friends.

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We are waiting until it is closer to make a final decision, but likely we will stay home with just us.  We have very low spread in our county right now, but I have no idea what it will do this fall/winter.  We have a lot of high risk family members, so it would have be be a low risk meet up and I don't see a way to do that right now.

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I can say pretty definitely that I (that is, at least me and our children) will not be seeing DH's side of the family for either. They fall in the "CV19 is a hoax, way overblown, only wear masks if absolutely required, no distancing" category of people. No thanks to that, especially as we will have a little baby.

My family social distances, avoids unnecessary errands, avoids indoor gatherings, etc...And I still don't think I will want to gather in person this fall/winter. 

A season of zoom holidays could be fun, right? 

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Honestly? I don't know. Almost all of my family is within 30 minutes of us. But the next generation is all late 70s and all have health issues. Right now, my parents will do porch and driveway visits with masks. My husband's dad and stepmom will do driveway and yard visits with masks. My husband's mom will do anything and go anywhere. We are the same as you for being outside - 50/50 at Thanksgiving and 99% no way outdoors at Christmas. I don't mind wearing a mask indoors except to eat. And I think many of the family would be fine doing the same. But I'm not sure how many of our parents are going to be comfortable with that. Seriously. Amongst them they have a lot of the high risk health issues. We'll just have to start asking who is comfortable with what. We are blessed we live so close because I'm guessing there will be more, smaller, shorter visits and get-togethers than other years. We did zoom calls for each side of the family for Easter. Worst case, we'll do zoom calls for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We're just going to have to think outside the box this year although with cold weather, I'm not coming up with many ideas yet. I bet, though, as we get closer to the winter holidays, we'll start seeing more ideas of how others are safely celebrating and we'll start figuring out how to make it work.

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The only people we usually see at the holidays are dh's brother and family who live in the same state. They gave us norovirus one year. I'm not in the mood to risk it. We'll try to cancel.

Last year I flew down to my side of the family's early Christmas celebration--my first time in ten years. I'm so glad I did that and saw everyone then. After that my dad and his wife went to his wife's daughter's house for Christmas and they all got H1N1. My dad ended up in the hospital for a few days and is convinced Tamiflu saved his life. So a lot of illness really does get transmitted at holiday gatherings. Even if you have plans, keep them pretty open to see what's going on with Covid at that time.

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I have been thinking about this a few weeks ago. It's going to be a different holiday season with less hubub and maybe that part will be good. However, families not being able to get together will likely not happening across the board. I think we can expect an increase in infections with the added complication of flu and cold season.

I have no clue how it will go in our rather large, extended family. Zoom Christmas, anyone?

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If it’s up to me we will not be attending anything with extended family. Trying to figure out what to do with the grown kids that don’t live under our roof anymore will be more of a challenge. This was going to be a year we (me, dh, 2 kids) travelled for Christmas after hosting the big shindig last year. 
 

Time will tell. Kind of depends on what everyone’s circumstances are come closer to that time. 
 

For many years we lived too far away and had too many littles and not enough vacation time to travel far, and our celebrations were just fine even though small. It’s going to be reminiscent of that. 

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28 minutes ago, Lawyer&Mom said:

How much of a dinner do I want to attempt on my own for just the four of us?

One year, I told dh I wasn't really feeling the whole turkey and trimmings thing (turkey is so much work for what it is, lol), so he grilled steaks. I have never looked back. Steak, baked potatoes, and salad. Excellent dinner, minimal work. 5 out of 5 stars, highly recommend. 

1 hour ago, Garga said:

 I can’t think of any other way to handle it than saying, “We’re not coming,” and then dealing with tears and a depressed MIL who adores being with the family at the holidays and doesn’t quite understand why we’re taking Covid so seriously.  😞

There really isn't any other way to handle it. If you're not comfortable going, you just have to say so. You can't control her reaction. 

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We see my parents weekly  already and will see them as usual.  The In-laws I don't know. MIL is being careful but she lives 8hrs away with her husband who is older diabetic.  So going their seems like a bad idea but even if she came here alone she could still take it back to him.  It's definitely killing her to go so long without a visit.  She was here for LO's first birthday.

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Not sure how it will all play out at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We will at least see my parents as we see them all the time.  They live a mile away.  The kids didn’t go over during our stay at home order, but that is over now.  My dad has dementia and my mom wants no part anymore with people staying away.  Her mental health was tanking during that period.  My brother and his family live in town so he will come as well - his kids are in college so they are always up in the air.  My sister and her family are in Texas and they never come for either holiday.  I doubt they would anyway this year.  My mother was so over the 10 hour drives to my grandparents through ice and snow when I was a kid that she vowed never to make anyone do that for her.
 

 My husband’s family is the bigger question.  They are generally seem very careful because of my 95yo MIL, but I am not around them much to know what day to day looks like.  They live 3 hours away and I have never really broken into the 3 sister circle that all live 5 miles from each other so I am never kept in the loop.  My MIL was in the hospital while my husband and oldest son were in the Upper Peninsula on a canoe trip in August and no one bothered to call and let me know until my MIL called and told my 7yo the day before she was going home.  We passed on Memorial Day, but we are going over for Labor Day.  My husband wants to go and MIL wants to see the kids.  We likely don’t have another year to wait out the virus so we will go.

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2 hours ago, PrincessMommy said:

Why can't you go and wear a mask except for when you're eating?   Science is showing that wearing a mask also helps the wearer.  Ask to have a separate table for eating perhaps?

Hmmm...this seems so obvious now that you say it!

I ordered a Happy Mask weeks ago and then forgot about it until I got an email just the other day that it’s on its way to me.  (They are backordered.). A Happy Mask is supposed to be a re-usable, washable cloth mask that’s as effective as an N95 for both the wearer and the people around the wearer.  When it gets here, my dh and kids and I were going to try it on and see if it fits us, and then if it does, we’ll order enough for all of us.  

So...we could do as you said and wear our N95 Happy Masks and it won’t matter what anyone else does regarding masks.  I think I could get MIL to go along with spreading out throughout the livingroom/diningroom area to eat.  We’ve eaten off our laps or on tv trays at Christmastime and everyone would probably be fine if we did it at Thanksgiving.  We could make it a little more formal than laps and tv trays by having one group at the big table, one at her little folding table, and I have a folding table I could bring for the 3rd group.

Thanks for suggesting the obvious!

This can totally work for my family as we don’t all have much in common, and the food is always ready about 20 minutes after we all arrive.  So, we all sit at the table and eat in an awkward silence because no one can think of what to say.  We all just focus on the food. So, sitting a bit apart won’t be a big deal because we always sit there silently anyway.  It’s not until we’ve all been around each other for an hour that we finally loosen up enough and come up with conversation.  By then, dinner is over and we can be in the masks again.  😄

 

 

Oh, and I’ll either suggest that we have one or two people dish out the food instead of passing all those serving spoons around, or maybe people can quietly use some hand sanitizer (it’ll be stinky) after dishing up. 

(Happy Masks: https://www.happymasks.com )

Edited by Garga
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We'll all (husband, me, 3 nearly-adult kids, 1 serious bf) get tested in time for results to be back in time for my out-of-state mother to come stay with us for a week.

If a reliable quick-result saliva test is available by then (and I believe it may be), my brother & family (who live within an hour from us) will test and join us for the day (indoors). If not, I'll rig up something with our new canopy and external heaters so we can eat a traditional feast out on the patio during the afternoon. Suboptimal, but they have a little one and my SIL has had all sorts of nasal issues and they're not up to doing the nasal test.  No such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.

It'll be fine.  I'm less worried about the special holidays -- we'll figure out ways to make them work. I'm more worried about the daily slog once we can't do as much outdoors.

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I haven’t read all the responses but if people want to get together in a traditional way over the holidays indoors they need to quarantine 2 weeks.

 I’m open to a fire pit yard get together for an hour to maybe have dessert and gift exchange.  
 

if easier faster testing is available I’d be open to other thoughts.  

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1 hour ago, Lawyer&Mom said:

We will stay home and FaceTime with family. Like we did for Easter and birthdays and everything else this year...  The real question for me is what we will cook for Thanksgiving.  We usually just bring a gluten-free dairy-free pumpkin pie to my MIL’s house.  She normally cooks for 25+. How much of a dinner do I want to attempt on my own for just the four of us?

One easy option is a turkey breast with herbs in a crockpot, Stove Top stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, instant gravy packet mix, steam in bag microwaveable green beans, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Ta da! I usually cook for 20-30 and spend 3 days brineing a turkey then radiant heat smoked it on the grill, but about once every 5 years it makes sense for me to do an easy, small scale Thanksgiving dinner. Another option is turkey sandwiches with sweet potato fries and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  Done!

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5 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

One easy option is a turkey breast with herbs in a crockpot, Stove Top stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, instant gravy packet mix, steam in bag microwaveable green beans, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Ta da! I usually cook for 20-30 and spend 3 days brineing a turkey then radiant heat smoked it on the grill, but about once every 5 years it makes sense for me to do an easy, small scale Thanksgiving dinner. Another option is turkey sandwiches with sweet potato fries and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  Done!

Our Thanksgiving dinner is always like this. Almost entirely pre-made food, like Bob Evans mashed potatoes and frozen veggies.  

It might not be as special as all homemade, but not a one of us like cooking enough to care.

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Currently, we are saying we will travel for Christmas, but in reality we may not. Time will tell.
My sister and BIL already had the virus; I’m assuming her kids were exposed? The kids were at BIL’s parents house while they were sick. (BIL’s dad contracted COVID). My grandma probably had a mild case, but wasn’t tested. My parents haven’t had it, but aren’t worried and are not taking many precautions. I think they will quarantine if we ask them to. 
The trick is travel - it’s a two day drive or flying. Flying involves 3 airports and 2 planes, so exposure would be very high. Driving would be a night in a hotel. 

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Well, we're generally 35 people who gather in one home (so crowded).  I'm pretty sure we won't be doing that this year!  It will be our first year to split up, each of us (my siblings and I) with our own children, etc.  My father is 92 and alone, and my sister and I have been taking turns being with him and helping him out during the pandemic.  He'd probably spend the holiday with my sister and her family since she has several little grandchildren now and he would enjoy that, plus he lives just 2 minutes from her house.  Her house is big enough that he could sit comfortably at a distance in a big armchair and still enjoy the day.  He knows he'd be taking a risk but it's a risk he'd want to take.

My family alone will be 9 if everyone makes it home.  We haven't all been together since last Christmas.

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I wonder how many people are going to be putting much thought into this. Sorry I am just so jaded. Everyone in my neighborhood has acted like this isn't going on this whole time.  Today there were house after house of huge parties.   Cars up and down the street.   All the drive ways filled.  You couldn't even drive down the street.   I get outside is less risk.  But I don't think it is zero.   Not a mask to be seen.   And the college kids came back 2 weeks ago and have been throwing huge crowded parties.      We need a vaccine soon.

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We're staying home and not seeing the in-laws.  They won't like it and there will be hurt feelings, but 🤷‍♀️.  There were already a few tense words because DH said no to July 4th.  Again, 🤷‍♂️ .  They can feel whatever they want about the situation. I"m not seeing any of my family either, (and they have opinions about that), so it's not personal. 

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34 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

I wonder how many people are going to be putting much thought into this. Sorry I am just so jaded. Everyone in my neighborhood has acted like this isn't going on this whole time.  Today there were house after house of huge parties.   Cars up and down the street.   All the drive ways filled.  You couldn't even drive down the street.   I get outside is less risk.  But I don't think it is zero.   Not a mask to be seen.   And the college kids came back 2 weeks ago and have been throwing huge crowded parties.      We need a vaccine soon.

Our street was like that today, too. Several parties, lots of people. 

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We’ll just celebrate within our household. We like each other and know how to have a good time together. The relatives that we spend holidays with all live in places that don’t take it seriously. They’re just too risky to be around. It’s one season. We’ll do it big again next year. 

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3 hours ago, Lawyer&Mom said:

We will stay home and FaceTime with family. Like we did for Easter and birthdays and everything else this year...  The real question for me is what we will cook for Thanksgiving.  We usually just bring a gluten-free dairy-free pumpkin pie to my MIL’s house.  She normally cooks for 25+. How much of a dinner do I want to attempt on my own for just the four of us?

Order the complete meal that you reheat in your oven. Trust me. It’ll make your life so easy. Most grocery stores do it, Boston Market, Bob Evens, etc. 

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I don't know. How to handle family events is becoming an ever bigger source of stress for me. As some of you may remember, my DH has stage IV cancer. He only has one kidney. He has other more minor (all things considered) risk factors. His family is increasingly cavalier about their own exposure, some think the whole thing is a hoax, etc. We're on opposite political "sides" as most of them. He's feeling increasingly alienated from and unsupported by them, and I certainly don't blame him. I'm weary of trying to prevent a split. It's fast becoming not worth the stress. Thankfully my side is more medically/scientifically literate, more aware of and understanding of his very high risk level, etc. But still . . I really just want to put my head in the sand and not think about the holidays. They're never my favorite time of the year, and certainly won't be this year.

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I’m no help to people who have to figure something out because I don’t really have to deal with it.  We’ve had nuclear-family holidays for years now, and I mostly love it.
This will be our second Christmas in a row without ds, which hurts my heart, but we are on the same page with COVID, and he’s in an out of control, hard hit state.

We’ve already been unable to have a funeral for my grandmother, unable to attend funerals for other loved ones, unable to have dd’s graduation ceremony and party, and unable to do all our traditional summer events. Other dd likely won’t be getting her graduation ceremony either, due to our group being canceled this year. I’d have traded any holiday gathering for any one of those things in a heartbeat so, to me, doing either Thanksgiving or Christmas would almost be like spitting on the rest.

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My mil has been very cautious so unless there is a vaccine (good one) then I don't see us doing the holidays unless it is warm enough we can do it outside (sometimes for Thanksgiving) not likely for Christmas.

My side of the family increasingly doesn't care about the whole thing, and there is the fact that they aren't speaking to me currently, so I don't foresee any get together with them. Throw that together with it being close to the election and their need to bash the other side of the political spectrum (which I'm on) and it wouldn't have been much fun anyway.

 

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7 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

One easy option is a turkey breast with herbs in a crockpot, Stove Top stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, instant gravy packet mix, steam in bag microwaveable green beans, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Ta da! I usually cook for 20-30 and spend 3 days brineing a turkey then radiant heat smoked it on the grill, but about once every 5 years it makes sense for me to do an easy, small scale Thanksgiving dinner. Another option is turkey sandwiches with sweet potato fries and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  Done!

My grandma always cooked a couple of chickens.  She told my brother they were small turkeys when he was little.  

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I feel like so much can happen between then and now. I am the usual host and cook pretty much everything for my dad, sister and her family, and brother and his family. My mom died so my dad will be alone if we don't do something.

My brother and fam will probably use this as a convenient out for coming because they are clearly just participating our of obligation.

My 20 yo ds lives in FL and I have been thinking about going there. Then my sister would figure out something with my dad. But my dad would be pretty depressed and my sister unhappy. I also have a 22 yo ds who lives 2 hours away so I hate to head to FL unless he has other plans or wants to come. It's hard with adult kiddos that have yet to miss a holiday. I've been thinking about this scenario nearly daily.

I do think it is possible that depending on the numbers that we could end up with a fairly traditional gathering. 

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10 hours ago, Lawyer&Mom said:

We will stay home and FaceTime with family. Like we did for Easter and birthdays and everything else this year...  The real question for me is what we will cook for Thanksgiving.  We usually just bring a gluten-free dairy-free pumpkin pie to my MIL’s house.  She normally cooks for 25+. How much of a dinner do I want to attempt on my own for just the four of us?

For all but a  handful of the last 25 years I've made a typical Thanksgiving dinner for 4.  Smallish turkey, 3-5 side dishes. Leftovers and turkey bones for soup may be the best part of it. 

But, as others have said, you can do anything! We have stuck with the traditional dinner over the years, but lots of people just don't. 

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11 hours ago, Lawyer&Mom said:

We will stay home and FaceTime with family. Like we did for Easter and birthdays and everything else this year...  The real question for me is what we will cook for Thanksgiving.  We usually just bring a gluten-free dairy-free pumpkin pie to my MIL’s house.  She normally cooks for 25+. How much of a dinner do I want to attempt on my own for just the four of us?

Make a special meal for the four of you that you will enjoy. Don't feel like you have to have an exact replica of the meal that MIL has. Christmas Day for us includes Shrimp with grits and Carmelized Bacon. I made it a few years ago and now it's tradition. Our tradition.

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I don’t intend to get together with extended family for TG or Christmas this year. I’m not sure where other heads are on this and the extended family has a mix of people caring and people not caring much. And there is a possibility dh and I could disagree, which is something I just don’t like to think about. But! Our extended family is just way too enormous. Even in the largest homes, there is no way to spread out seating for the meals. In my evaluation of risks, 20 minutes sitting at the dining table without a mask, with (typically loud, due to the din of many people) talking and laughter being virtually certain, this risk would cancel out whatever precautions happened earlier if everyone were compliant with masking, sanitizing and not hugging in the first part of the evening. We also usually play games or have an activity that involves lots of interaction (such as an ornament exchange secret santa game), or one time we all sang with a karaoke machine. 

For sure, I cannot imagine the majority of the family being willing to put my 94yo MIL at risk, and there are other family members who have health considerations, too (whether or not they give much credence to their own health risks is another matter). I certainly would not want to be the one who inadvertently brought COVID to Christmas and killed my BIL with COPD who just had heart surgery. 

It’s a no for me. Lord willing, this won’t be my last Christmas in my life and IMO, it is not worth the risk. Where we live, outdoors is a non-starter for Christmas and is highly improbably for TG as well. 

I’m disappointed for my boys, who both have milestone birthdays in late fall and winter this year, because I can’t offer them anything beyond an immediate family dinner, maybe one best friend included. 

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As a teacher working in a face to face district this year, I'll be the one everyone should stay away from.  We've been getting the last of our friend/family visits finished before I start on Tuesday and then I'll move back to seeing only DH and DS in person. I'm resigned to not seeing my family in RI until summer. 😞 

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We usually spend Thanksgiving with my MIL in the neighboring state. I think we'll probably pass this year (though covid is more of an excuse to get out of an unpleasant obligation than a true precaution). 

Dh is also taking two online intensives/classes that'll go from late-Oct to mid-December. That'll be our secondary excuse to stay close to home for the holiday. 

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4 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

I don't know. How to handle family events is becoming an ever bigger source of stress for me. As some of you may remember, my DH has stage IV cancer. He only has one kidney. He has other more minor (all things considered) risk factors. His family is increasingly cavalier about their own exposure, some think the whole thing is a hoax, etc. We're on opposite political "sides" as most of them. He's feeling increasingly alienated from and unsupported by them, and I certainly don't blame him.  

That's awful, I feel so bad for him. 

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We have an everyone get testing rule. We're doing Thanksgiving with my mother, Christmas with my in-laws (it's usually totally the opposite). 

We are not seeing family members who refuse to get tested.

It's really that simple. I don't think there's much risk that we have Covid, but I'm not going to go in with hubris and insist that it's impossible. And unless you haven't left your house at all, neither should anyone else. Testing is very accessible and free here, so it's a no brainer that we should do it.

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13 hours ago, Lawyer&Mom said:

We will stay home and FaceTime with family. Like we did for Easter and birthdays and everything else this year...  The real question for me is what we will cook for Thanksgiving.  We usually just bring a gluten-free dairy-free pumpkin pie to my MIL’s house.  She normally cooks for 25+. How much of a dinner do I want to attempt on my own for just the four of us?

 

Do not try to recreate MIL's meal.  You will all be miserable.  Instead, ask the members of your family to name their favorite Thanksgiving dishes.  Then plan a meal around those foods.  You might find that the only traditional Thanksgiving food your family actually likes is the pie.  Try some new recipes.  If you don't like cooking, order pre-made food from your grocery's deli counter or a favorite restaurant.

 

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2 hours ago, Sherry in OH said:

 

Do not try to recreate MIL's meal.  You will all be miserable.  

+1 to this. In general, never prepare any meal when the request begins with, "My mom used to make . . . " 

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2 hours ago, Farrar said:

We have an everyone get testing rule. We're doing Thanksgiving with my mother, Christmas with my in-laws (it's usually totally the opposite). 

We are not seeing family members who refuse to get tested.

It's really that simple. I don't think there's much risk that we have Covid, but I'm not going to go in with hubris and insist that it's impossible. And unless you haven't left your house at all, neither should anyone else. Testing is very accessible and free here, so it's a no brainer that we should do it.

Just curious, where are you going for tests? Your personal physician, the health department, local urgent care sites? 

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2 hours ago, Sherry in OH said:

 

Do not try to recreate MIL's meal.  You will all be miserable.  Instead, ask the members of your family to name their favorite Thanksgiving dishes.  Then plan a meal around those foods.  You might find that the only traditional Thanksgiving food your family actually likes is the pie.  Try some new recipes.  If you don't like cooking, order pre-made food from your grocery's deli counter or a favorite restaurant.

 

Thanks for this suggestion!

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2 hours ago, Medicmom2.0 said:

Nothing different, but we only get together with grandparents and my SIL, all of whom we see a few times a week anyway.

If my siblings were closer and we were all getting together for Christmas with 20 some people, I’d probably reconsider.

This will be us.  It will be 11-12 of us.  We see each other weekly or more as it is.  Unless someone is sick or has known exposure or things really change in our state, we will just continue on as normal.

We are not though traveling or having people travel to us.  We all live close.

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