Thanksgiving do’s and don’ts


Hannah Waskiewicz

On a normal year at the at the Philadelphia parade, people get to see floats, listen to local marching bands, and get to see special guests. This year however, there won’t be the usual parade, and families will be encouraged to follow specific guidleines for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving: a holiday celebrated by many people in the United States. It’s a time spent with family and friends, accompanied by an abundance of food. It’s the time to celebrate your traditions, whether it’s parades or stuffing your own turkey. But what will this holiday look like during a worldwide pandemic?

Celebrating your Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family is enjoyable but can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19. How can we celebrate our national holiday safely but with smiles?

Everyone can make Thanksgiving safer, and according to the CDC guidelines for this holiday, it’s not as difficult as it seems. It’s as simple as wearing a mask. It is the safest way to spend your holidays COVID-free. Stay at least 6-feet apart from others who do not live with you. You may be seeing family that you haven’t seen in what feels like years, some living in-state and some out of state, but safety precautions are still necessary. Staying 6-feet away from others is especially important for people who are at a higher risk of getting sick. Washing your hands with soap and water and keeping hand sanitizer with you when you’re unable to wash your hands will help prevent the spread of Covid. If attending a gathering, bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.

Other things you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are to avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen. Use single-use options instead like salad dressing in condiment packets and disposable items like food containers.

When hosting a Thanksgiving gathering, make sure everybody follows your guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety. Have your meal outdoors, if it’s not too cold of course, and limit the number of guests. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items in between uses. If celebrating indoors, make sure to open the windows, airflow is a huge factor. Limit the number of people in food preparation areas, and have guests bring their own foods and drinks. If sharing food, have one person serve food. If traveling for Thanksgiving, check travel restrictions before you go. Get your flu shot before you travel if possible. Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.

Why not try considering some other fun Thanksgiving activities? Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you. Schedule a time to share a meal together, share recipes, show off turkeys, and other dishes prepared. Watch television and play games with people in your household. Watch Thanksgiving day parades, sports, and movies at home and find a classic board game. You can still go shopping. Shop online sales the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) but make sure to use contactless services for purchased items or shop in open-air markets following distancing rules. Other fun activities include: safely preparing dishes and delivering them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others or participating in a gratitude activity, like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing with your friends and family.

The Thanksgiving Day parades in Philadelphia and New York are a big tradition for many Americans on Thanksgiving. But what will they look like this year?

The biggest and most popular parade is the Macy’s Day Parade, hosted in New York City every Thanksgiving is still happening this year; however, similar to every other tradition and institution in 2020, it will look and feel a little different than in previous years. The 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, November 26th on NBC. Usually, millions of people come to this parade on the streets of Manhattan annually, but this year all activity will be focused on the Herald Square area of Midtown, and the only way to watch will be on television. The famous balloons, floats, Santa Claus, celebrities, and many more elements they broadcast every other year will still be showcased. Masks will be worn during the show and social distancing will be followed. The parade usually has between 8,000 and 10,000 participants, but this year, the workforce will be cut by 70%. New York will be trying as hard as they can to keep this American tradition thriving, even through COVID-19.

The Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade had other ideas to keep this tradition alive. The City of Philadelphia said on Tuesday that it will not allow any large public events through February 2021, meaning that 6abc/Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade has been canceled. Fortunately, the celebration will continue on 6abc, without the parade. The cast of the 6abc family will be hosting the celebration. There will be music, fun, and even the arrival of Santa as we kick off the holiday season.

“Thanksgiving in Philadelphia deserves a Philadelphia Thanksgiving – and we are looking forward to sharing it with you once again!” – 6ABC.