We love Thanksgiving. It is a time to celebrate and rejoice with family and friends, cook wonderfully delicious foods, and share them with people we love and cherish. It is a time during which people travel near and far to be with each other. It is a time in which houses, and apartments fill with the sound of laughter and stories, with tantalizing scents filling the air as multiple cooks prepare their signature dishes in the kitchen.

This annual national holiday is steeped in tradition, symbolism, and history. Believed to have originated back with the English colonists of Plymouth (Pilgrims) and the neighboring Wampanoag native American tribe around 1621, who shared a feast in thanks to a good harvest season. Over the years the traditional fare of Thanksgiving meal has come to typically include turkey, bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie.

Back in the days, New England colonist were accustomed to celebrating “Thanksgivings” regularly as days of prayer thanking God for blessings of such things as military victories or the end of a draught. The U.S. Continental Congress even proclaim a national Thanksgiving upon the enactment of the newly signed Constitution. Despite that, Thanksgiving declarations where mostly left up to the individual States. It was not until Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of the popular magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book, campaigned and eventually won President Abraham Lincoln’s support, that the President declared, on October 3, 1863, the observance of a national day of Thanksgiving to be held on Thursday, November 26. And it was not until President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an attempt to extend the Christmas shopping season, who after a joint decision of Congress in 1941, made the proclamation in 1942 that finally designated the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day nationwide.

Thanksgiving this year, 2020, will be very different as we still battle on with the Covid -19 pandemic. While we love our families and friends dearly, we must think of their and our safety first. Like so much else this year we must come up with new and creative ways to celebration this holiday.

We, at SNOWMAN New York, will celebrate in our immediate household families, and sharing our celebration with our extended families and friends over video conferencing. Here are some ideas as to how you too can celebrate while keeping yourself and loved ones safe:

  • Celebrate within your own household
  • Celebrate with your friends and extended family using video conferencing
  • Set aside the time to say grace together over video-chat
  • Plan a drop-off potluck with your family and friends that live close by
  • Cook your traditional family recipes together over video-chat
  • Take turns to share stories with each other
  • Involve your kids more in the process of preparing for the festival
  • Start teaching your kids how to cook these traditional family recipes
  • If you live close enough to your elderly family members, do an outdoor social distance visit
  • Help elderly or higher risk loved ones by doing the shopping for them and drop it off at their place

It is time for us to share our gratefulness, appreciation, and love with each other in a responsible social-distanced way. However, this should not diminish our joy and celebration this year, just because it is different. It is time to show that we are New York Strong and are able to overcome any adversity. Happy Thanksgiving to all! We at SNOWMAN New York, wish you, your families and friends, a joyful and belly-filled celebration.

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