This holiday season will be different, and we all know why. But how different? We asked how your Thanksgiving celebrations will be changed this year by COVID-19. Flatbread Co. on Lower Greenville donated gift cards as a reward for some of you willing to share your plans and thoughts with the rest of us, and more than 60 of you told us your stories and plans. The common themes? We’re coping as best we can this year, and we’re hoping next year will be different.

Not much to argue with on either point.

“Although we usually have a big dinner at my aunt’s home, surrounded by a gaggle of cousins and enough food to feed everyone leftovers for a few days, this year everyone will celebrate in their own homes. We have decided to FaceTime and Skype to enjoy dinner together and say grace. We will also be trying out the very popular online game, Among Us. Are hoping to keep things civil, not wanting to repeat the Monopoly and Uno incidents of years’ past. Competitiveness runs in the family, it seems!”

Christina Maturino

“We will be having a ZoomsGiving this year. I am cooking the meal, dividing it up and delivering it.”

Dallas Neeley

“For the first time in my life, we wil not be gathering as a family because of Covid. We usually have 28 people fly into Dallas from all over to celebrate together. This is especially wonderful for me, as it’s the one time a year I get to see my sisters and their kids. I am single and the only family member left in Texas. So this year, I’ll be ordering pizza or Chinese and Zooming with family. Hoping for an amazing holiday in 2021.”

Jessica Hasten

“Instead of entire family gathering in Houston, my husband and I are starting our own traditions and making foods that we like and don’t get to eat all year (because diets): macaroni and cheese, pizza, pasta and lots of cookies and cake.”

Ashley Long

“We will be flying, but only on Southwest since they are keeping the middle seats open through the end of November. We are also going to my parents’ house for a week since we are able to work remotely there. We will wear masks while on the plane and car hand sanitizer with us.”

Karly Albert

“Quiet Thanksgiving at home with close family. Do they make a turkey-and-stuffing pizza?”

Bob Charlap

“Has not changed our plans. We are still going to visit our family.”

Chris Edwards

“Every year (since forever) we have gotten together with my mom’s family on Thanksgiving. This year, we won’t be attending the get-together because my dad is in the high-risk group. So we decided to switch things up completely and are going to do something different on the menu this year, as well — TexMex!”

Shelly Sharber

“This will be the first year that I spend Thanksgiving without my only sibling in almost 20 years. She is a front-line worker and does not want to expose us in any way. It is also the first year we will be without our son. He is away at university and does not get Thanksgiving off from school, so he will stand and celebrate Friendsgiving. It will be just my husband, our daughter and me. Quiet, but we will make the most of it!”

Christjna Etri

“We’re getting out of town. We are visiting family in Illinois for a quiet week to get away from it all.”

Teresa Jones

“Rather than gather with family, we are loading up and heading out for outdoor adventures. We haven’t decided between Hill Country camping and the Ouachita National Forest. We will miss seeing family, but most are going to work or school in person, and gathering this year seems unwise to us.”

Kim Ratcliff

“I will be home with my pets this Thanksgiving, no gathering with friends or traveling.”

Susan Watkins

“I had to cancel going out of town due to so many people who I didn’t know, and they refuse to wear a mask.”

Cindy Ray

“My wife and I are expecting our first child on November 17, and our families won’t be able to see him nor spend Thanksgiving together. Our families always have a big lunch together. Unfortunately, with the Covid, we won’t be doing anything now. We plan on FaceTiming while we have our Thanksgiving dinner together. I have a work friend who is bringing us a plate from her Thanksgiving dinner. Not how I wanted to celebrate my son’s first holiday, but we are thinking outside the box.”

Michael Paredez

“Not able to celebrate with my 92-year-old mom at her retirement center due to the pandemic. It’s pretty tragic, as my mom as a brain tumor, and this will most likely be her last Thanksgiving this side of heaven.”

Elaine Curtis
“I’ll be having dinner alone, no friends, no family. But at least I can watch the Thanksgiving Day parade. Oh wait…”
Vincent Villescas