Pandemic-friendly festivities

Julianna Poe, Trending Editor

Celebrating Thanksgiving during a pandemic presents many challenges and demands alterations to traditions. The following is a list of suggestions from the Center for Disease Control, “Good Housekeeping” and “Taste of Home” articles to make this holiday season as enjoyable as it can be while still abiding by guidelines.


  • Prepare and give thanks over dinner with only the people in your household. Hosting a virtual meal with extended family and/or friends is also a great, low-risk activity. Instead of a virtual meal, call or FaceTime relatives to share what you’re grateful for and/or to pray together virtually before a meal.
  • Share special recipes with friends and/or family. Going the extra mile and making/delivering meals to your neighbors, family and friends through a no-contact interaction and/or dropping off/mailing care packages filled with additional items are positive ways to celebrate Thanksgiving. 
  • Engage in all festivities from home, such as sporting events and parades. Other low-risk, indoor activities include binge watching TV shows and movies as well as playing board games, putting together a puzzle and making a craft such as a cornucopia.
  • Choose to shop online for the holidays versus in-person over the Thanksgiving weekend. This year, Black Friday sales apply to many stores on multiple days, making it easier to benefit from deals.
  • Have more than one big meal. Enjoying both a large breakfast and mid-afternoon meal with your household can both keep hangry feelings at bay and allow for festivities to continue throughout the day. Best part is they both limit exposure outside your family.
  • Host a fall-themed scavenger hunt, go for a walk/bike ride and/or play family football with just your household to enjoy the nice weather. Take the idea a step further and map out a turkey trot for your immediate family to race in. Winner could receive the first slice of pie.
  • Decorate the house, even if friends and family won’t be visiting. A little decoration can lift spirits and encourage festivity.
  • Donate to a local food pantry by purchasing Thanksgiving staples via curbside pickup and delivering to the Flint Hills Breadbasket ( or the Manhattan Soup Kitchen ( If you’re unsure of what to buy, check out their websites. Cash donations are also accepted online.
  • Limit travel outside of your community to minimize exposure. If you do travel, make sure to follow social distancing guidelines and quarantine if necessary. If you choose to host a family and/or friend gathering, make sure to visit the CDC website ( to determine the best way to safely celebrate.