From my office window, I watch giant leaves painted in fall hues float sideways from the Red Maple tree. One by one, they land, creating an autumn carpet. A twinge of nostalgia hits me with Thanksgiving around the corner: my grandmother’s apple butter, sharing gratitude, laughing at stories I’ve heard a million times, and walking off the calories.
With virus numbers surging and safety in numbers falling, how do we gracefully accept the reality of amending our Thanksgiving gatherings? We can give ourselves permission to follow our gut with confidence. We can ease the discomfort by humbly respecting those who choose not to participate in person this year. Kindly, we need to validate each other’s disappointments and hurts and allow time for processing. And we can express our personal decision using I statements.
“I was exposed and didn’t want to take a chance of giving it to you.”
“This was a hard decision to stick with my gut feeling and stay home. I will miss being with you on Thanksgiving.”
“I don’t want to take a risk as the virus numbers are higher than ever.”
On the upside, hope and joy haven’t left the building. We can garner the flavor and feel of Thanksgiving using technology. We can plan to eat at the same time, play games, and even watch football together. It won’t be a tradition lost; our hearts will grow new memories to share for years to come.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,
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