How to Celebrate a Safe Thanksgiving During COVID

Many of you might be asking yourselves: “How can I celebrate thanksgiving dinner this year amid all the COVID panic?” The CDC has released some essential guidelines to follow for celebrating a safe Thanksgiving during quarantine.  CDC has issued guidelines according to “low risk,” “moderate risk” and “high risk” activities, and we have summarized the CDC’s guidelines below so you can learn what you need to know, quick.

Friends celebrating thanksgiving with a toast

Low-risk activities

  • Celebrating Thanksgiving over dinner with the people you live with.
  • Making Thanksgiving dinner for family and neighbors, particularly those who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness, and delivering it without contact. Ideally, you would set the food on their door step, ring their door bell, and step back so you can properly social distance when they open the door. 
  • Virtual dinner with friends and family over Zoom, or sharing traditional family recipes with each other.
  • Shopping online rather than in person for Black Friday deals.
  • Watching sports, parades and movies at home.

Moderate-risk activities

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with friends and family who live nearby.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards while wearing masks, social distancing and using hand sanitizer.
  • Going to a small outdoor sports game with safety precautions in place.

Higher-risk activities

The CDC advises Americans to avoid all of these activities:

  • Going shopping at a crowded store just before, on or after Thanksgiving.
  • Participating in or attending crowded races.
  • Attending crowded parades.
  • Clouding judgment and increasing risky behavior with drugs and alcohol.
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people outside your household.

The CDC highly recommends refraining from extended travel, as they outline in their guidelines.

Here are five ideas that can help to downscale the Thanksgiving holiday this year for smaller, more intimate gatherings.

Have a Thanksgiving Picnic

To make dinner less boring, head for a beach or a park and enjoy your Thanksgiving meal there. Store your food in to-go containers and drive to a scenic location. 

Pare down your dinner

For a smaller, more intimate gathering, serve a less extravagant menu. Trim down by serving a classic main dish, your two favorite sides, and two of your best desserts. 

Serve a Thanksgiving Brunch

Instead of turkey and stuffing, why not serve up a Thanksgiving breakfast menu? Having a mid-morning meal works well for essential workers who may not be able to enjoy dinner with family later in the evening. Pancakes, French toast, eggs benedict, and omelettes can all work well for a tasty brunch menu.

Order a boxed Thanksgiving meal

There are local restaurants that serve ready-made Thanksgiving meals, complete with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and a side vegetable. 

Doing so is a great opportunity to support local businesses and relieve yourself from the stress and anxiety of cooking a home-cooked meal.

And don’t forget, the LucidPix App can come in very handy to capture some of these special moments with family and friends as beautiful and fun 3D photography!

Serving up pumpkin pie during a thanksgiving meal

The following is a recipe for a simple side dish if you are looking to add to your traditional fare. Read more about this recipe at The Modern Proper.

Creamy Brussel Sprouts with Wild Mushrooms

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 50 min

Calories: 620

  • 1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt, divided
  • 2 Large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Canola oil
  • 3 tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • 1 lb Wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles or hedgehogs, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup Dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup Heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, toss to coat. Spread the Brussels sprouts out in an even layer and season with salt. Roast until tender and browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside
  3. While the Brussels sprouts are roasted, heat canola oil in a small skillet until 2 inches deep. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, thinly slice shallots. Test the temperature of the oil by dropping in a small piece of shallot. The oil should sizzle. When the oil is heated enough drop shallots in the oil, stir a few times and they should slowly separate. When they have turned golden brown, remove them with a metal slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  4. Heat a 12-inch skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 3 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden-brown and tender and the mushroom liquid (if any) has evaporated, 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and add the wine. Cook until the wine is reduced to 1/4 cup.
  6. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan followed by the heavy cream. Stir in a few grinds of pepper and continue to cook, stirring gently until the cream thickens and coats the vegetables. About 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately topped with fried shallots.