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Hailey Clubine November 24, 2020

Thanksgiving is different today considering the circumstances of proper social distancing. For both small and large gatherings, the decision is tough when considering the risks. Banner News has decided to share our perspectives on Thanksgiving, and our plans for the holiday.

For my family, Thanksgiving is one of the few times where we all gather and hang out. We really don’t have casual get-togethers much unless it’s just the adults going out for drinks. The original plan this Thanksgiving was to go over to my aunt and uncle’s place as usual for lunch and hanging out. They have a really nice garage space we usually use anyways to play bags. However, some things came up, and we are no longer going to have Thanksgiving with family. For me, this is a hard-hitting occurrence. I don’t really see my cousins except the holidays, and I absolutely love hanging out with them, especially now that my younger cousins have reached more mature ages. However, I’m not going to let that sour my mood, and hopefully we can set up another video meeting like we did for Easter. While we may not be seeing each other in person and I can’t share an awkwardly long hug with my aunt, we can still celebrate the holiday.

Reporter Nick Ripa is spending his Thanksgiving at his family’s home outside of Omaha.

“My family likes to get as many relatives involved as possible on holidays. Thanksgiving day is probably the best example of that. The day begins with my family eating a breakfast casserole before leaving for my uncle’s house around noon. That uncle is on my dad’s side of the family and is one of his four siblings. All four of their families are there as well and my brothers and I usually take on our cousins in a 3 on 3 football game. That side of the family is Polish, and we eat more sausage than turkey. Later on in the day we head over to my grandparents house from my mom’s side of the family and spend most of the evening there. The menu includes more turkey but the main dish is the ham. This year the experience will be much different. It will include my family staying home and possibly getting a driveway visit from my grandparents.”

Our Editor Layk Nollen seems to have a bit of a silver lining to his holiday plans.

“Thanksgiving has never really been a big celebration on either side of my family. Both sides of the family are relatively small. A couple aunts and uncle, and a few cousins.  On my father’s side of the family, we would usually have a potluck. Someone would bring the mashed potatoes, someone would bring the turkey or ham, and someone would bring the desserts. And it was pretty much the same on my mother’s side. However, my maternal grandparents are currently moving away and my paternal grandparents aren’t too keen on having anyone come over during this time. For our family, this holiday season might just have to consist of a few phone calls to everyone. While we wish we still could make it work in person, there is a silver lining to all of this that a lot of people can agree on. We won’t have to see some of those in-laws that we aren’t too fond of!”

Our Advisor Lisa Kahookele gives us the perspective of an empty nest mom.

“As a mom, I try to make the holidays memorable for my family. But this year, I had to completely rethink how to make Thanksgiving work. Eleven years ago I had a stem cell transplant and my immune system remains fragile, so coronavirus is a big threat to me. My sons are attending ISU and UNI and have jobs in the outside world, so they bring a certain risk to my table no matter how careful they are. It goes against my nature to ask myself: do I let my beloved sons in the house? The final answer won’t be known until Thanksgiving day. I will be making the big meal I planned, but how it will be served remains to be seen. If it’s nice that day, we will eat outside. If it’s not so nice, maybe we wear masks and open windows and run the air scrubber my carpenter husband swears by. If it’s worse than that, maybe I make up servings and deliver them to the guys and Google Meet with them. There are a lot of parents trying to figure out how to combine safety with tradition. One thing is certain: I will be the one doing all the dishes.”

Everyone has a different perspective. Whether you just gather with your in-house family, have a meal over video call, or if you are a parent who makes up to-go meals for your kids away from home, there are still many ways to make the most of the day.