In the age of COVID-19, many families are making the difficult decision to either forgo their Thanksgiving feasts or change their long-standing traditions in the name of safety. We couldn’t blame anyone for either choice but for those who choose to celebrate with family as usual, safe cooking and cleaning practices are more important than ever.
Few would argue the benefit of smaller gatherings in 2020; it may be best to pare down the guest list to immediate family or a few of your closest friends. With a few other simple changes in tradition, your Thanksgiving party can be a safe and intimate affair – and, perhaps, less stressful than you’d imagined.
- Cook carefully. To reduce the risk of spreading or catching viruses, wear fresh sterile gloves for each dish you prepare and wash your hands frequently. Wear a mask when handling food, especially if you have helpers.
- Stagger guest arrivals. Instead of having everyone show at once, give each guest their own arrival time with enough time between guests to wipe down the doorbell, doorknob and handrails. Ask guests to wear masks until they’re seated. You may want to make a game of it by offering a door prize for the most festive face covering.
- Store coats and purses in different areas. You may not have even thought about the storage issue. Rather than hang all your guests’ things on one rack or pile them on a bed, take their coats as part of your welcome and store them separately.
- Keep your distance. Show your guests to their assigned seats as soon as they arrive; do your best to maintain the recommended social distance.
- Use single-use utensils and serve ware. We all love to break out the fancy silverware for special occasions, but this year is a different situation. To reduce the risk of spreading viruses, let guests serve themselves with disposable utensils that you can throw away after the meal. The bonus is that you’ll have less cleaning up to do later!
- Divvy up the food up front. Plan ahead to divide the food among your guests at the start of the meal. To pull it off more easily, make a bit more food than you normally would and place to-go containers by each plate. Guests can fill the containers at the same time they’re serving themselves.
- Provide thoughtful party favors. Everyone is on the hunt for hand sanitizers, so why not provide a little bottle of it for each guest? Pair them with travel-size hand lotions to soothe the dryness that goes along with frequent washing and sanitizing. This small gesture means a lot.
With a little bit of planning and care, your Thanksgiving celebration will be as comfortable and enjoyable as any other.
Matossian Eye Associates would like to wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy Thanksgiving! Our offices will be closed on Thanksgiving Day but please feel free to visit us online anytime to request your appointment at MatossianEye.com.