Thanksgiving is a holiday to reflect on gratitude. This year we’re grateful for so many things: our amazing associates, residents, and families; the opportunity to make a positive impact on the communities we serve; and the light at the end of the tunnel as we strive to keep those around us well and safe.
Lots of things – holidays included – are more complicated this year than anyone could have imagined. Families across the country are revisiting and getting creative with how they celebrate.
Health experts say the absolute safest way to enjoy the holiday is to do so with your household, only. If you plan to get together with a small group, here are some tips for a safer celebration:
1. Wear masks – period. If there isn’t food or drink in front of your mouth, cover it with a mask. Insist that others do so, as well. Arguing about masks is less likely to end in a blowup than an argument about politics.
2. Go outside! Light a bonfire, fire up the patio heaters, bundle up, and enjoy each other’s company. It’s not exactly conducive to a turkey dinner, but it’s safer than being indoors. Prepare some hot apple cider for an extra-special treat.
3. If outside isn’t an option, spread everyone out – at least 6 feet! Seat people at every available flat surface. Clean the garage and set up extra dining tables. Open the windows to create more ventilation.
4. Serve on a buffet instead of family-style, and wear a mask. Wearing a mask while filling your plate at a communal meal is a habit we should all get used to, anyway.
5. Speaking of serving – assign one or two people to serve each item. Mom serves the mashed potatoes, dad serves the turkey. This means there’s one set of hands on the serving spoon instead of 10.
6. If you lean towards being a master of the kitchen, put a creative twist on Thanksgiving classics and prepare individual portions – like stuffed Cornish game hens, baked sweet potatoes, and mini pecan pie tarts.
7. Imbibe safely. Everyone knows that alcohol lowers inhibitions. Should you choose to drink with your holiday meal (or while watching football), please keep your wits about you. Tipsy is no excuse for lowering your guard. COVID isn’t going to go easy on you just because you’re having a good time.
8. Plan ahead to connect with those you love via FaceTime or Zoom. Thanks to technology, you don’t have to be in the same house to enjoy each other’s company! At Juniper, we’ve created “Zoomsgiving” to give residents and families the opportunity schedule video visits over the holiday and into the weekend. And remember – phone calls work, too! What’s important is taking the time to stay connected and checking in with those we love.
We’ve all worked so hard since March to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We ask that you remain vigilant through this holiday season. We’ll all make it through, together!
To learn more about Juniper’s proactive approach to COVID-19, check out the Safer Together page.