{ 242 comments… read them below }

    1. June First*

      They are cute, but are they dressed as a pilgrim and Native American? I really hope I’m looking at it wrong.

      1. LPUK*

        I *think* its a turkey tail on the left although its definitely a pilgrim hat ( which I think is covering the turkey tail up)

    2. Lizzie*

      I want to know what will happen with Alison’s Christmas tree – last year the cats left it alone as I recall, but there are two unknown elements this year – Laurie and Hank, who might have different aspirations once they see it!

  1. Federal Employee*

    Dear Employment Gods,

    I forgive you for being unable to find a job for YEARS, because this year, of all years, I am gainfully employed in a job a love, with no danger of being let go. I am safe.


    1. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

      Seconding this. I hit the one-year mark at what probably is the best job I’ve ever had in my short career, even if my workload doubled at times, and HR is a bit tone deaf.

    2. Caroline Bowman*

      that must be a profound relief. This year is a particularly dastardly one and being unemployed or facing looming unemployment would make it so much worse!

    3. Ashloo*

      Yes, we are also super thankful this year because after 3 layoffs in a row (industry problem mostly), somehow 2020 left us unscathed. I’m not sure either of us will ever stop feeling like a shoe is about to drop, but we’re very grateful one hasn’t recently.

  2. Anon for this*

    Had a half day only today but paid for full. Hope my spouse–who is recovering from double mastectomy surgery for breast cancer–will get results soon and that it was caught early so it isn’t too far advanced. Good wishes to all.

      1. Peonies*

        Dear Zona,
        My Dad has cancer. It’s his #3. He is hooked to oxygen and artificial food and to a respirator. Would you be so kind to send good vibes his way please ?
        I spent an hour calling all my friends and family because I hope that the Universe will provide.
        Lotta love.

    1. old curmudgeon*

      Sending positive thoughts to your spouse! I had a double mastectomy not quite eight years ago, and the oncologists estimate that my chances of recurrence are now close to zero – may your spouse have an outcome just as successful!

    2. Caroline Bowman*

      Sending all incredibly positive thoughts to you both and hope that by this time next year, it’s one of those rearview mirror memories very soon.

  3. Pipe Organ Guy*

    We made the difficult, painful decision to not visit my husband’s parents tomorrow; they’re 90 and 88, and we could never forgive ourselves if we inadvertently and unknowingly brought COVID from our city to theirs, over 200 miles away. So we’re having a non-Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow of boeuf bourguignon, outdoors. There will be things, of course, for which we are thankful: full employment, our health, fair weather, a roof over our heads, hope after a contentious election process, music, each other.

  4. OyHiOh*

    My boss just left me a message thanking me for my wit and organizational skill. He’st feeling sappy and just pulled our team together two and a half months ago and slightly in awe of how well we function for all of basically learning our job functions as needed. Like another poster, I am thankful to the employment gods for a good job and a decent boss and no real probability of getting fired (I mean, hellfire could strike, but it’s fairly unlikely). I’m safe and can do good work in an environment where my skills are needed and recognized.

    1. Texan In Exile*

      Until you have a bad boss, you have no idea how important a good boss is! I am glad you have one!

    2. NoLongerYoung*

      That’s great – a thank you from your boss is a wonderful gift. The recognition is so important….

  5. Tragic Sandwich*

    I’m thankful that my husband, our daughter, and I can have our own Thanksgiving, even if we’d rather be with my father. We haven’t seen him in a year, but now is not the time. Hopefully we can visit him safely before we get too deep into the new year. But for now, there is FaceTime.

  6. Casper Lives*

    Yay paid holiday tomorrow!! We tried to convince work giving everyone Friday off too would raise morale but alas.

    I can’t wait to see my close family. 30 min drive. Very small gathering this year. (Please no comments on covid. I’m well aware and we have taken precautions. Thanks in advance)

    1. Caroline Bowman*

      hope you have a truly wonderful day, fortunate to be able to celebrate with the nuclear fam.

    2. The Other Dawn*

      No judgement here. You do what’s right for you.

      I struggled with the decision as to what we should do today. My husband has to work and I don’t (same every year), so I normally go to my sister’s house 30 minutes away and he stops by after work. But this year I decided not to go, for a few reasons. Mainly I didn’t want to risk it because she has four foster kids, all of which are in different schools, in person, and so many schools have positive cases around here. Also, I want to cook just for the two of us and not have to travel anywhere for once. (Plus it’s pouring outside and don’t feel like going out now anyway.) And finally, I’ve been wanting to try brining a turkey and I’d rather experiment on a turkey breast rather than a 25 pound turkey.

  7. WoodswomanWrites*

    I’m indulging in my annual Thanksgiving tradition–a solo overnight trip to be in the company of some of the 2 million ducks, geese, other waterbirds, sandhill cranes, etc. that winter in California’s Central Valley. There is just nothing like being surrounded by so much beauty and the symphony of thousands of birds as the only human around at the national wildlife refuges and adjacent agricultural fields. I’ll be spending Thanksgiving night at the usual hotel I stay at, and will be outdoors at sunrise the following morning. This time around I’m bringing my new camera with a zoom lens and a tripod for the first time, so I hope to at last be able to photograph those birds that I could never capture in the images for my blog because they were too skittish and far away. I hope to at last get decent photos of tundra swans and others.

    I adore my wonderful family but it’s so much more relaxed to spend time with them away from the holiday season when travel and seasonal weather are easier. We’ll have our usual phone calls to wish each other a good holiday.

    1. Not A Girl Boss*

      Wow! It sounds lovely to have carved out peace in a transitionally stressful and hectic season.

    2. Semi-Anon for Identifying Details*

      My weekend plans (I’m taking vacation, but not Thanksgiving related) involves a black-faced spoonbill/shorebird wintering site and a pheasant tailed Jacana preserve.

      1. WoodswomanWrites*

        My blog address is the same as my handle, and includes my nature photography. Check out WoodswomanWrites DOT com, and there is a section just for my bird photos. Thanks for the interest!

    3. WoodswomanWrites*

      Thanks for all the encouraging comments. I feel so lucky to live where I do not far from these locations on the Pacific Flyway. So many people in driving distance have no idea that just a few minutes from the interstate in the winter, they can be immersed in one of the most amazing spectacles of nature in the US.

      1. NoLongerYoung*

        I’d love to know where… I travel down that way regularly from the Bay area, and could use a dose of nature. (My current restoration is the sand dunes just north of Monterey…).

  8. Aphrodite*

    Many, many, many thanks to my employer, Santa Barbara City College, and its current president for their incredible ethics and values. Since mid-March we permanent employees have been working from home with wonderful IT and HR support. And today, at 11:00am our president sent out a notice that as of noon we were all to commence our holiday celebrations whatever they were.

    Happy Thanksgiving to any and all my co-workers.

    1. Aggretsuko*

      I think I love your school.

      In my work, maybe once every 4 years or so we’re allowed to leave at 4….Not this year either, but it doesn’t matter this year!

  9. Free Meerkats*

    Just the two of us for Thanksgiving (like usual, closest family is 1500 miles away.)

    Friday is going to be hard for me, it would have been 1st wife’s 70th birthday; she’s been gone almost 25 years. I’m going to go find some salt water to sit beside and remember after feeding the office cats.

  10. mrs whosit*

    There’s a lot I’m thankful for this year — good health, family close who can gather safely outdoors, a spouse I really like spending time with, a job I enjoy. The year has felt so long that it’s unbelievable to remember that just at the end of January, the question of whether we would have biological children was settled for good. Now we’re pondering whether we should adopt, and I’m wondering how anyone ever decides anything with certainty.

    1. Venus*

      I had a coworker who wasn’t sure if they should adopt, and decided after going through the process (they decided it wasn’t right for them as circumstances had changed during that year). I’m not pushing you to start the process, but please know that if you do start it then that is part of the research and learning for you, and doesn’t have to imply commitment. Or at least that was how the adoption people here viewed it, as they were continually reinforcing that if at any point they didn’t feel comfortable continuing then there was no judgement.

    2. ThatGirl*

      It’s not always this easy, but I have known since I was 16 that I had a 50/50 shot of passing on a genetic disorder to biological kids. So I’d long decided that I didn’t want to have bio kids without significant intervention. As time went on, my husband and I realized that we didn’t have a strong urge to have kids, that we liked our life as-is, and that the steps required to conceive or adopt didn’t seem worth it. So it was just that simple. And I was grateful that it didn’t cause big problems or angst.

    3. A Teacher*

      I adopted from the foster system after a miscarriage snd inability to get pregnant. There isn’t a right answer and whatever you do or don’t do, you’ll wonder if it’s the best decision. I love my child so it was worth it for me. Best wishes as you navigate this path.

    4. Not So NewReader*

      Very few people have absolute certainty.
      Some people have some level of certainty.

      But for the most part, we are ALL making our best @#$% guess and hoping like heck for a good outcome.

  11. Maeve*

    Feeling bummed about not seeing my family on Thanksgiving. Usually I would go to my parents’ house (we’re in the same city) and maybe my brother and his wife would join. We talked about doing it outside, but the weather is not going to be great and I still didn’t feel comfortable with that, safety-wise when numbers are going up so quickly here and they both work in very high-risk jobs, and my girlfriend works in health care and takes public transit every day. Then yesterday my girlfriend woke up with a sore throat (no other major symptoms, though she is kind of fatigued) and she got a covid test today. Won’t hear back for 3-5 days, but even if we had decided to go through with planning an outdoor Thanksgiving, would have needed to cancel at this point anyway. We’re making the best of it and having a celebration just the two of us, but it’s a bummer when you know, literally everything has been just the two of us since March.

    1. JustKnope*

      Crossing my fingers for a negative test for her and as much joy as possible today. I’m feeling sad today for not seeing my family too. Grateful for internet commenters to commiserate with. I’ll be thinking of you!

  12. nep*

    Lots of things I need/want to change in my life, but man am I grateful…Currently in good health, roof over my head, food security.
    Peace and best wishes to all–and I’ll once again thank all those out there working on the COVID front lines…may you and your families be safe.

  13. Alex*

    I just want to shout out to everyone with difficult/painful family situations. While in some ways not having to see them (or rather, having a solid excuse to skip it this year) is great, feeling great about escaping your family never feels good, and this time of year is always so difficult for those of us who come from abusive or otherwise unhappy family situations, no matter what holiday plans end up being. Good vibes to you all!

    1. Not A Girl Boss*

      I definitely feel that. I feel doubly guilty because it’s my dad’s birthday. But I was so relieved when my state put his state on the travel advisory list.
      Certainly not the worst of family dynamics, but my relationship with him has been incredibly fraught this year with his health problems combined with his stubbornness, which has my extended family reaching out to accuse me of not taking adequate care of him when really I’m just trying to respect his grown adult wishes.

    2. Queer Earthling*

      My spouse and I are both estranged from our families of origin to some degree or another. This year in some ways is just another year away, but it’s always an uncomfortable reminder. But having a quiet, local feast of our own choosing is always fun as well, because we aren’t tethered to any sort of tradition and we can do as we like. In a way this makes 2020 easier–we’re used to quiet, self-contained holidays at home, so this year isn’t that different.

      I hope those of you who are struggling with this sort of thing can find peace and joy.

    3. Anax*

      Thanks, the casual workplace chats have been especially awkward this year. I don’t want to talk about favorite Thanksgiving traditions or Halloween costumes with my coworkers, there’s no answer that isn’t distressing. :\

    4. CrazyFamily*

      Thank you for this. Getting away from awful family doesn’t feel *good*, it just feels better than the tension, anxiety, and pain of being in contact. It’s a really anticlimactic and disorienting feeling. Rebuilding a good life with quality new relationships takes (a lot of) time. If you’re still stuck in the muscle memory of former traditions or nostalgia for the good parts (it’s rarely all bad), I hope you (plural) can be gentle with yourself both physically and emotionally. Self care doesn’t replace having a functional family, but it’s a start towards finding a measure of peace.

      1. team .010*

        “Getting away from awful family doesn’t feel *good*…..”

        I may be the lone wolf here, but it feels oh so good !

  14. Kuododi*

    I’ve not been on for awhile but I wanted to let y’all know that I’ve got a job!!! I’m going to be working part time through a placement agency as a medical interpreter. With my health improving and needing to be available bc of my mother’s dementia, this is an ideal job situation. I can work when I’m able yet take time when needed. I’m so thankful for this blog as well as returning to health and work.

    1. Caroline Bowman*

      That is GREAT news. I realise dealing with a parent with dementia is *not* great news, but the job, the improved health, and most especially the fact that the job in question is so perfectly suited to your situation and quite niche skill set. May this be the beginning of only good things going forward!

    2. June First*

      *virtual hugs*
      My mom passed away recently from complications of Alzheimer’s. Please make sure you care for yourself and take the breaks you need. Caregiving is a long haul!
      Congrats on your job!!

    3. Not So NewReader*

      Oh my, Kuododi, what a journey this has been for you. Congrats on your returning health and your new job that meshes with life right now.

  15. CockrOPch*

    Looking forward to spending 4 days off with my pups catching up on house projects. We did a Monday Thanksgiving with my in-laws (everyone got negative tests first) so tomorrow all’s I gotta do is make turkey soup from leftovers and play videogames.

  16. FreakInTheExcelSheets*

    Just had a great conversation with my boss telling me that he appreciates all I’ve done to step up (I’m the only one left in the department, down from 6 due to downsizing and departures) and to log off til Tuesday (Monday’s my birthday and we get it/closest business day as a free paid day off). I’m having a small non-traditional Thanksgiving with my pod (best friend and her boyfriend) but the bonus for WFH means prep work is so much easier – no scheduling around the workday since I can just run downstairs!

    1. Lunch Eating Mid Manager*

      Happy birthday to you, and this workplace is the noncontentious version of the one where everyone gets their birthday off except for Leap Year babies! (notorious letter from the archives) hahahahahahaha!

  17. ThePear8*

    Just wishing everybody a safe and happy Thanksgiving. This is definitely an extremely tough year and whether you’ll be seeing family or spending the holiday alone, I hope you find something to celebrate and be thankful for, and stay safe and healthy.

  18. Jane Smith*

    Hapy Thanksgiving if you’re celebrating.

    As for me…Christmas family dynamics have started early this year. I’m upset with my brother because he won’t buy me a gift. It isn’t even about the present, it’s about feeling cared for and appreciated. I told him he hurt my feelings, he hasn’t acknowledged this at all.

    All of them (including elderly parent) are intending to meet up at some point over the festive period, ignoring social distancing and covid-19 rules.

    I am the only one bothered by this, or even attempting to follow the rules.
    I visited my parent last weekend and they were poorly (they didn’t tell me this before I went, I found out when I got there and they started coughing), they insisted it was GERD, when I left later that day they went for a covid-19 test.
    I just cannot…
    It’s like they don’t respect me or my boundaries, or they think my needs don’t matter.

    So I’ve started setting boundaries, and of course I am on the receiving end of extinction bursts of boundary-violating behaviour.
    I’m so stressed.
    I just want to go away for the holidays (I’m not going to).

    1. FreakInTheExcelSheets*

      Yeah Christmas dynamics always start early in my family too so I feel you. Luckily I’m across the country from all of them right now and not travelling (though I might for Christmas – we’ll see how I feel about travelling then). For example, just had an amusing conversation with my mom telling me “your sister was complaining that I never tell you to keep your mouth shut about politics around your father but I know it’s because you know when to keep your mouth shut. So this is your official reminder not to talk politics.” The funny thing is none of us have opposing views? My sister just manages to turn everything into an argument (which is the real problem rather than politics).

    2. Lunch Eating Mid Manager*

      My sympathies, sounds like a rough family situation. My main advice would be to continue protecting your own health and avoid people who aren’t taking COVID seriously, for whatever reason (no need to argue about why with them). My secondary advice (as parent of a boy and a girl who bicker a lot, even though I try to foster their sibling bond) is to try to let go of your brother not getting you a gift. If he’s a positive presence in your life in other ways, I would try to not care about if there’s something under the tree from him. Maybe buy yourself something nice in the post-Thanksgiving sales, such as Small Business Saturday, and it will be great because it’ll be from the person who knows you the best… you! Have a good day tomorrow.

    3. Xenia*

      I’m so sorry for you. One of my family members just started setting boundaries with another, and I’ve been caught in the fire tornado of DRAMA that has resulted. I wish that sitting boundary-violater down and telling them clearly ‘hey, you’re doing x, y, and z and it’s not acceptable’ would actually result in them saying ‘oh, I didn’t realize—I’ll do better’. Nope. Instead there’s tears and ‘how could they do this to me’ and a lot of emotional manipulation.

      It’s hard to love someone and be mad at them at the same time.

      1. allathian*

        I’m so sorry, I hope you can stay out of it. Unless you want to plonk yourself firmly on the boundary setter’s side of the fence and tell the boundary crosser to shut up. Perhaps you need to be firm about your boundaries in refusing to listen to the drama. If the boundary crosser realizes they’ll get no sympathy from you, rather the reverse, they will hopefully shut up about it around you.

    4. allathian*

      I’m so sorry. I hope you can find some peace in this difficult situation and do what’s right for you. Your brother sounds childish, if he’s usually bought you a present but decided not to this year to “punish” you for taking COVID precautions.

    5. lasslisa*

      Do you think it might have been your influence that inspired them to go get the test? I know sometimes if people are in denial or under stating their own symptoms, seeing an impartial person react can have a real influence even if it takes them a while to admit it.

  19. Anna Nother-Thing*

    My joy is that somehow my immediate family ended up in the same city 3 years ago, it means we could be each other’s bubble this year and can have Thanksgiving together. My angst is that I am hosting that Thanksgiving and have about three dozen things to do tonight and tomorrow and I jus dun wanna.

  20. Not A Girl Boss*

    Has anyone with divorced parents figured out a good system for Christmas?

    My husband’s parents and mine are both divorced, and all live within a half hour of each other but 3 hours from us.
    When my husband and I first got together we lived far away from family and Christmas was my absolute favorite time of year, but now that we live close it’s hectic and stressful and awful with all the parents fighting over “prime time” with us. Lately we’ve been spending 2 days in their town and everyone gets a half day, but it’s frankly exhausting and miserable. But my dad can’t drive this far, and otherwise having everyone come here makes the visits drag out over 4 days instead of 2.
    I started having anxiety over this year back in October. It’s getting out of hand. I had dreams of running away to an island somewhere after last year, but COVID.

    1. Lunch Eating Mid Manager*

      I would say stop going at this time of year. Just tell them you’ll see them in January (maybe MLK long weekend?) going forward, and not at all until everyone is vaccinated. You didn’t mention having kids in the picture, but I would 100% suggest getting this in place before little ones are in the picture, because packing a lot of travel/family time in a Sat/Sunday is miserable. Also hosting elderly family in a small house with small kids is… miserable. Just set boundaries and after a year or two they’ll get it!

      1. Not A Girl Boss*

        Lol, we don’t have kids but do have 2 dogs we have to bring and trust me it is miserable, especially since 2 aren’t particularly dog friendly. But a big mark in the no-kids column is what an absolute boundary-violating nightmare the grandparents would be.

        The COVID excuse doesn’t fly as well for us because for various reasons we’ve had to see all of them at one point or another this summer (funerals, family needing live-in medical care) and have a quarantine-test protocol down pat by now, plus we live in a very low infection rate state.
        I’m also genuinely worried this could be one of the last Christmases with my dad, and my MILs depression from isolation is worrying my husband. It’s not really that I don’t want to see them, it’s that I don’t want my time with them to be spent watching a clock and listening to them complain about each other – which is something Christmas in particular brings out in them.

        1. Lizzo*

          My husband’s father’s family (so, my father-in-law) is a “get the entire extended family together every Christmas” type of family, which was fine when all the cousins were young. Now half the cousins are married, and a few have children. The arrangement we’ve set up is that every other year we’re all together, and then on the “off” year, the married cousins will go to the spouse’s parents’ house. (We also try to gather in the summer months on the off year so we don’t have to wait two years to see each other.) There was some disappointment with this new arrangement the first couple years, but that has dissipated as time has gone on, and the older generation who were clutching their pearls about the change realized that they *will* get to see everyone…just not as often.

          We also stopped going to see my in-laws for Thanksgiving about 7 years ago (husband’s family is/was geographically closer than mine, so we’d see them for Thanksgiving AND Christmas EVERY YEAR). It got to a point where it just wasn’t enjoyable to spend eight hours in the car for three days of togetherness, especially when we’d spend seven days with them at Christmas. Again, there was some pearl clutching at the outset, but we’re adults, and so are they, and we’re not responsible for their emotions, good or bad.

          Bottom line: Remember that time is valuable and your priorities with respect to your time matter, and so if you want to prioritize seeing your dad and your mother-in-law in person this holiday season because that is what will be best for you and for them, then do that. See the other folks at a different time (Valentine’s Day?) when you can enjoy the time with them more. Make your decision, and stick to it. Don’t allow anyone to manipulate you into making a different choice. Short term pain for long term gain! :-D

          Good luck!

    2. Maeve*

      I mean, it is a pandemic, you have a great reason not to see them. My parents live a 15 minute drive for them and I sure won’t be seeing them for Christmas, because they aren’t in my household, and it seems like most everyone I know is doing the same. (If you live in a country where numbers are under control I realize that’s different!)

    3. fhqwhgads*

      COVID is a very good reason to not participate in ANY of this next month. Islandless but just don’t go. Based on allllllllll the people intending to gather tomorrow despite COVID, things will be a lot worse by Christmas. Sequester yourselves this year at minimum.

    4. Xenia*

      The way mine’s working out is that I spend Christmas with one parent and Easter with another. I think that’s a lot more workable than trying to cram everyone into two days. In your case, one family gets Thanksgiving and the other gets Christmas? Or alternatively, go to neither and skip it altogether.

    5. Emmie*

      There’s no solution that will make everyone happy. What do you want your holiday to look like? Would you rather stay home? You have a lot of uncomfortable options:

      – Stay home and accept everyone’s displeasure.
      – Go. Air BnB it. Invite everyone over at the same time, and set a no arguing rule. (Something necessary with my divorced parents.)
      – Alternate holidays in whatever manner works for you. See the mom’s one year, the dad’s the next.
      – Tell them all about your problem, and ask for their help picking between options you set.

      Traveling to see family is exhausting and not a vacation. I was happiest when I had a central location where people could visit me, and I carved out time to be by myself.

      1. Not A Girl Boss*

        Thank you. I think you’re right, I keep looking for a “perfect” solution and it doesn’t exist, so instead I keep living with the worst option of all.

        The parents were all in the same room for our wedding and it was a nightmare. They didn’t fight on the day of but snarked about each other for months after. But I like the Airbnb rule regardless. I could entertain shorter bursts of people if it was closer to them

        1. Not So NewReader*

          Are the two moms okay with each other? How about the two dads?

          I was thinking if you could get them to double up, do something with moms one day and dads a different day that would be a little less crazy making?

          I think I would grab the opportunity with Covid to just say, “sorry won’t make it this year”. Maybe that would help them chill out a little in some odd way?

    6. Sandi*

      I’m in this situation, although they all live closer but the problem of running around between places is very familiar. I have enough vacation time that I do my own thing on the 25th (it helps that we’re not religious so their push to meet on that day in particular is based on a desire for rituals and control) and then I meet up with them on a different day. My situation is likely different from yours, of course! The issue is that they all push to host on the 25th, and want to do the same rituals every year (board games must start at 9am, brunch must start at 10:30) so I feel like I’m an actor in a play rather than enjoying their company. Choosing different days seems to have addressed a lot of this as I no longer feel rushed.

    7. BelleMorte*

      Don’t celebrate with family on THE day of the holidays. Keep that day for staying home with your nuclear family, even if that means your husband and your dogs, create your own traditions for the two of you. Applicable to any holidiay. Easter, Christmas, Rosh Hashannah May day, Mother’s day etc.

      Visit with your extended family before or after, the weekend before, the weekend after etc. Shift it up each year so no one has claim to any one day.

      1. Lizzo*

        Going to add to my comment above to say that one of the things we started doing as we were phasing out in-person Thanksgiving with my in-laws was spending Thanksgiving Day at home, either with friends of our choosing for the big meal or by ourselves, and then leaving early Friday to travel and doing a second meal that day with family.

        If the point is to get together, then we can get together at any time. It doesn’t have to be on the exact day.

    8. Natalie*

      I grew up in a blended family so I got used to this early – assuming you and spouse don’t want to just celebrate alone, you pick ONE parent to spend the official holiday with, none of this shuffling around to 4 houses over 2 days.

      Some people rotate who gets Christmas or whatever your favorite/most important holiday is. When I was growing up my parents alternated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my (winter) birthday. Or maybe you pick a different fixed day in the holiday season for each parent – one gets Thanksgiving, one Christmas Eve, one Christmas, one new year’s day. Whatever feels right to you and spouse is fine. And, given the pandemic, this is a great year to get a breather and think about how you generally *want* to spend the season.

      1. Not playing your game anymore*

        My old friend had a very complicated family, adoptee, with birth parents, divorced adoptive family, steps and also in-laws. And a husband who was a firefighter. He tended to get Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Friday, or Sat and Sun after. They always knew which was scheduled months in advance, but he could get called in at any time with no notice, because…fire. Barb claimed it was such a relief to not be available for the big family gatherings. She never admitted to the fams that she had really a good idea if he’d be available, just “don’t plan on us!!!” Then if he was working she’d take a dish to the fire hall and celebrate with the fire fighters and their families. Then she might slip off to see one or the other of her parents, step parents, ex-step parents on her own. If he was off he was “on call and they stuck close to home or took a dish and went to the fire hall… ” and maybe popped in on gathering or two sometime over the weekend.

    9. Semi-Anon for Identifying Details*

      I’d say to tell them you’re staying home Christmas week, and visit after it. You could even tell them the truth – trying to visit everyone in two days is exhausting, and no-one is happy with the results, so you’re changing how you do things. The other option is to move your own celebration – accept that the days of the 24th/25th are going to be an unpleasant duty you do for your family, and have your own home celebration offset by a few days.

      Also worth keeping in mind – even if you have a quarantine-test setup that works now, in four weeks the Thanksgiving wave of infections will have hit, and things might be very different. So you might have to cancel anyways.

    10. allathian*

      I feel so grateful that my parents are still contented in their marriage, and that even though my in-laws are divorced, they’ve both remarried since and these days even enjoy each other’s company at family celebrations. My FIL’s wife doesn’t want to have anything to do with us, which is fine by me and doesn’t seem to bother my husband either. My FIL kept a second household with her for years until he got caught at it and my MIL filed for divorce. This happened so long ago that I wasn’t in the picture yet, when my husband was a teenager. Things were AFAIK quite bitter for a while, but they’ve managed to patch things up pretty well now that both have moved on with their lives. My FIL’s wife resents that he gets along so well with his ex and the mother of his children, but that’s her problem.

      When I was growing up, my parents made the decision early that they wouldn’t travel to both sets of grandparents every year. Instead, we spent every other Christmas with each set of grandparents. This avoided a lot of logistical problems.

    11. Coffee*

      Maybe explain that it’s too tiring and combine the parents into one group? Or at least two groups, with one parent/parent-in-law from each side, who presumably aren’t fighting with each other (as they are not ex-spouses).

      You have my sympathies.

    12. Esmeralda*

      Many years ago we instituted a “we don’t travel fly anywhere to visit anyone in December” rule. We wanted holidays at home and we got tired of spending hours (and one nightmare year days) in airports. If people wanted to see us, they could come see us. We’ve had only two exceptions: the year my FIL was dying and the year my brother got married.

      Set a boundary and stick to it.

    13. Ranon*

      My sister and I spent the holiday with the parents who are best at that holiday (e.g. Thanksgiving with the best cooks, Christmas with the least Grinchy, etc)- and as we moved further away we switched to visiting when the weather/ seasons were the best (why go to the Midwest for Thanksgiving when you can go for tomato season?)

      Half day marathon visits are miserable, sounds like it’s time to reevaluate!

    14. The Time Being*

      Granted, I have only my own divorced parents to balance, and not a partner’s, but I found explicitly alternating years seems to work best. Rather than trying to dice my vacation up finely, I decided one set of family gets Thanksgiving and one set of family gets Christmas and they alternate. I set the schedule and they get to ask me to change it up if there’s a good reason (ie one year my mother’s family planned a Christmas cruise and I definitely wanted to be with them for that!) but otherwise the schedule is as I decree.

      It works surprisingly well! My mother and father absolutely hate each other, but fortunately it manifests as each of them trying to one-up each other in the “reasonable” category and make a big show of treating me well. I’m pretty shameless about taking advantage of that. After the shit they put me through during the divorce, I will take whatever I can get. In this case, you might also leverage New Year’s to get another vacation you can divide among family, or split up the holidays another way.

      1. Not A Girl Boss*

        Lol how do I trick my parents into competing over reasonableness? My mom is the only reasonable one, and it makes me feel so bad to take her up on it because shes the only one who really “deserves” to be put first at Christmas but I always end up caving to the unreasonable ones instead because it’s too exhausting not to.

  21. TimeTravlR*

    I’m so thankful for blessings this year. Husband and I were both facing furlough (we work for the same agency) but it didn’t happen! We are healthy and able to work 100% remote. It’s been tough to not see family and friends, but keeping our fingers crossed that it’s all worth it. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

  22. old curmudgeon*

    Feeling thankful that my spouse and I are both employed in jobs that aren’t going away, both working for an employer who has already told us that we’ll continue 100% remote work through at least early April next year, and that both of us have thus far dodged the virus.

    I just put three decorated miniature pumpkin pies in the oven. Tomorrow afternoon, one will get dropped off on our daughter and son-in-law’s front porch, one on our son-in-law’s parents’ front porch, and the third will be our dessert after we eat our tiny roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and homemade rosemary biscuits. Oh, and homemade ginger-cranberry sauce.

    Um, well, and there is one more pie in the oven. I baked a Schadenfreude pie, too. Dark. Rich. And oh, SO bittersweet. Been planning that one since November 7.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  23. Me*

    I’m actually grateful for the slower holiday week. It’s just Dh and I tomorrow. Our oldest is across the country. Our youngest is off adventuring.

    Oldest kid is setting up a zoom call tomorrow with DH’s side of the family and a separate one for my family. Meanwhile I’ll cook some smaller amounts of our regular thanksgiving recipes.

    Both of our kids will join us for an online game of cribbage. There’s an app for that! It’s something we play on any given holiday and since we will be in three different states that’s how we will play this year.

    No shopping this weekend. I have Friday off so I’ll start decorating then. I’m really looking forward to it.

    Oh and Dh and I get an entire pumpkin pie to ourselves. I’m considering it equivalent to quiche, good for any meal.

    1. Elspeth McGillicuddy*

      Pumpkin pie is definitely good for any meal, though I am particularly fond of it for breakfast. It’s got eggs and milk in, it’s nutritious.

      1. Me*

        My boss and I have a tradition of bringing in a slice of pumpkin pie on the Monday after thanksgiving. We eat it for a mid morning snack, so not quite breakfast. The quiche thing is our running joke.

        We will have to enjoy it virtually this year!

    2. Double A*

      I’m also actually looking forward to a smaller holiday at home. Just my husband, 2 year old daughter, and my parents (they’re in our bubble and provide our childcare). Normally we go to my husband’s relatives and it’s fine but basically just spending a day with strangers and knowing there’s a few really f’d up dynamics in the mix that no one talks about.

      I don’t really like cooking but don’t mind it for special occasions so I made some pretty off the hook masked potatoes and am going to make stuffing, soup, and green beans tomorrow. Also I just started my second trimester and the whole first trimester processed sugar was making me feel like garbage (curtailed any comfort/stress eating over the election which was annoying). That seems to be improving so I’m excited for some desserts.

      And I think tomorrow we’ll set up the Christmas tree.

  24. Rage*

    Yesterday, my foster dog Yankee got adopted! Yankee is a chocolate labradoodle who was in training to be a service dog for a disabled veteran. At 18 months, he was just about ready to test out to be placed with his new handler/owner.

    Then, in September, he blew out his ACL. X-rays taken after the injury also revealed hip displaysia. So he was immediately retired from the service program. I was worried that we would have trouble finding a home for him, but last night a couple came over to meet him and his sister Kimber (who has the same hip issues). The husband is a disabled vet and also has a service dog thru the group that was training Yankee. But their “pet” dogs had passed away this past year and the wife was wanting somebody for herself. Well, Yankee decided that she was the one and he charmed her socks off! I was thinking they would go with Kimber, as her personality seemed more aligned with what they were looking for, but Yankee made his decision, and he is settling in well. I’m so happy for my boy (plus he’s still local so I can visit him). We have about a dozen other people interested in Kimber, so I’m sure she’ll get placed soon too.

  25. yepoditr*

    I am thankful that everyone I love most is taking the pandemic seriously. I cannot image the stress on those who have the added worry of wondering how soon a loved one will contract Covid-19. I’m thankful that my husband & I are employed & that our companies are putting employee safety ahead of “butts in seats, everyone back to the office”. I’m thankful that we already have three vaccines ready/nearly ready to be distributed. Mostly I’m thankful this year is nearly over & I’m so hopeful that 2021 will be a much better year. God bless.

  26. Bex*

    Two siblings and two cousins have tested positive for COVID. Because of this, they FINALLY cancelled plans to gather for Thanksgiving (it was going to be a 30+ person gathering, including my 82 year old grandma and 60 year old mother).

    Another upside, this means we will no longer have to do a zoom call with my homophobic and transphobic brother and his family, who took the time to send my younger half brother and I a letter (post guardianship hearing where my partner and I were awarded full custody of kid) about how we are “sinful, amoral, sick in the head, a drain on society, and would honestly be better dead” than spreading our “sickness” in society.

    It’s also the one year anniversary of my partner’s brother’s passing.

    Tomorrow is gonna be a quiet and solemn day. I’m driving myself crazy trying to make it a good day for the kid and my partner. I’m cracking at the edges but can’t even say anything because it’ll stress them both out and that’s the last thing they need.

    Light a candle or spare a kind thought for a stranger in California who’s slowly breaking up, please. I don’t know how I’ll get through this season.

    1. yepoditr*

      I’m so sorry. There’s always someone who had to be the rock, the glue. I wish I could give you a hug.

    2. kt*

      Oh, I’ll definitely keep you in my thoughts.

      I just learned about the poetry of Adrian Michael Green — you can easily find him on Instagram. Perhaps one of his short poems will be like a hug.

      1. I'm just here for the comments*

        I’m so sorry things are stressful for you right now. But you and your partner sound like kind and wonderful people and your younger brother now has the family that he needs. I hope the entire holiday season goes well for you all.

        1. Bex*

          Thank you. Honestly, getting the kid and holding everything together for him has been a big motivator for us. And he’s happy now, which means so much.

    3. tamarack and fireweed*

      Oh, dear. Many kind thoughts to you. I do hope that you’ll have a tiny bit less stress than it could have been and get to breathe too.

      (And do boycott all Zoom calls or, $DEITY forbid, in-person meetings with that asshole of a brother. I’m really sorry – as a fellow LGBT person [presumably] I know how I lucked out with my own brother even while the rest of the family was a little less convinced at first. You know that there’s nothing wrong with you, unlike with him – hold on to that.)

      1. Bex*

        Just waking up knowing we didn’t have to do the call lifted stress. And yeah, my brother took my coming out the worst… which hurts. He was my hero for a while.

    4. c-*

      Hey there. As someone who has had to keep it the heck together under incredible stress for family, I’d like to offer some words:
      – Your partner and brother see you. They love you and are grateful for you. You are being so incredibly strong and kind, and they know and appreciate it.
      – You don’t have to do it all alone, all the time. You’re human and need rest and solace as well. You can tell your partner that you’re sad and need to vent for a few minutes, you can ask your brother for a hug, you can call a friend and ask them to listen, you can go into your car or your bedroom and cry your eyes out and/or take a couple hours for yourself. It’s ok to be exhausted, and it’s ok to stop, break down, or rest, as needed. Try asking for help, the people who love you will step up more (and better) than you imagine, I promise.
      – Captain Awkward’s blog archive really helped me out during my stressful times with family, highly recommend.
      – Your SIL sounds horrible and cruel and I’m very sorry you had to deal with that bullshit. I’m sorry about your and your family’s losses, as well.
      – I lighted my big, yellow, lemon-scented candle for you. Sending you all the best, and some well-deserved rest.

      1. Bex*

        I’ve been reading CA a bit lately, the humor and warmth there has helped. And you’re right – speaking up will help. I just struggle with doing that – I minimize my own needs sometimes. I did take last night to watch my own silly shows tho, and just sleep cuddling the cats. It helped.

        My brother and SIL are less than awesome. I wish it were different – there was a time my brother was my hero.

        And oddly enough, lemon is one of my favorite scents. Thank you. I appreciate your kind words.

        1. c-*

          Yay for TV shows and cuddling cats and enjoying lemon-scented things! And speaking up! I’m glad that helped :)
          Sending all the jedi hugs your way!

    5. allathian*

      I’m sorry things are so tough for you right now. Perhaps this will plant a seed to cut all contact with your brother. Your trans half brother (?) who you’re fostering deserves better than to be exposed to people who think he has no right to exist. If you can’t go no contact with your brother on your own account, please consider doing it for your foster kid’s sake. Even if it means forcing your parents to choose whether they’ll spend future holidays with you or your brother, if you refuse to have any further contact with him. His behavior is despicable.

      I hope that you can find some consolation in the thought that strangers on the internet are thinking of you and your grieving partner. I also hope that you can find some people outside your immediate circle to talk to. Things are tough for your family members but that doesn’t mean you should have to carry the whole load all by yourself.

      1. Bex*

        Yeah, we’ve started drawing lines with family about if my brother or our father are present, then we won’t be, due to how hateful and vile they’ve been. I’m NC with my brother but this was pressure from my sisters to be on the call, as we were the only 2 not home for the holidays.

    6. WoodswomanWrites*

      I’m sorry you’re going through all that. Yes, this fellow Californian is sending kind thoughts to someone who is clearly kind yourself.

    7. RB*

      I am not clear on why you would have even been contemplating a zoom call with those horrid people. Seems like that’s something you can cross off your list for infinity. Take care!

      1. Bex*

        I wasn’t keen on the call, but was receiving pressure to participate since my brother and my’s families were the only ones who wouldn’t be there in person. I’m going to talk with my sisters before Christmas and lay out some firmer rules I think.

        1. pancakes*

          Please keep in mind that you don’t have to reach consensus with your sisters about any of this. Whether you are or aren’t up for continuing to listen to such horrible & abusive comments is your decision, not theirs.

    8. Caroline Bowman*

      What the actual…

      I am so, so sorry for the hateful way you have been treated. Why do the awful ones keep living and yet the ones we love who actually are great, have to die? My sincere and sustained best wishes to you and to your family that you have chosen that excising the poison from your life leads to happiness and health, mental, physical and everything else that is good. It clearly sucks hard now, but the path is being cleared for good times ahead.

      Because I cannot resist snark, how do you spread being trans-gender in society? Do you go and lick someone (please don’t do that! LOL)? Is it touching them or coughing on them that does it? What a conundrum, clearly you are very powerful.

      1. Bex*

        Thank you. Most of my family is caring, but they are willing to overlook a lot in the name of fAaAmily, and since my half brother and I are the only out LGBTQ+ folks, I guess it’s easy for them to ignore.

        And yeah, apparently the fear is the kid will just go sneezing his true self on everyone and suddenly chaos! *eyeroll*

    9. Pippa K*

      Perspective is a funny thing. When I read your post I thought “wow, well done you!” and didn’t realise until the end that you were narrating your stress rather than your triumph over difficulty. From the outside, what I saw was that you’ve clearly put together a warm and kind life, extending care to others so well that you’ve formally been awarded custody and holding your ground in the face of people who disparage and attack you. That is some impressive grace you’ve deployed there, Bex. My sympathy for your sorrows and I hope the quiet holiday will give you some time just to rest.

      1. Bex*

        Thank you Pippa. We’ve worked hard to build a good and caring and loving life, and having the kid with us has helped us know we’re on the right path. Still. The exclusion and hatefulness hurts.

    10. mlk*

      From one Californian to another–Happy Thanksgiving! (actually, I’ve lived in CA almost half my life but a good chunk of my heart is still in Ohio)

      I don’t know if it’ll help, but I became a mom to twins at 45. I got through by reminding myself that I didn’t have to be superparent–just survive. It’ll all work out somehow.

  27. Elspeth McGillicuddy*

    The night before Thanksgiving- when your house smells wonderful, full of pies and spices and yummy things in the oven, and you’re eating ramen for supper because everything is for tomorrow.

    Just me?

    1. Holly the spa pro*

      Ramen sounds so good! Good call. We cheated and already ate some of our dinner rolls and deviled eggs for tomorrow. Ramen might keep my hand out of the cookie jar.

    2. D3*

      Traditionally, we go out for dinner on the night before Thanksgiving. This year, I’m with you, only it’s canned soup.

    3. Elizabeth*

      I usually put something in the slow cooker. I’d planned on chili, but my DH requested no tomato, so I did beef stew instead. It saves the panicked “but what are we eating tonight??” while I am working on what can be made ahead, and it makes me feel accomplished going into the cooking.

  28. I edit everything*

    I’m bummed, because I had COVID. I’m not quarantined any more, and most of my symptoms are gone, except that I haven’t gotten my sense of smell back. I won’t be able to smell dinner cooking tomorrow. No coming in from outside to a kitchen full of all those wonderful scents. That might be the worst part of the whole thing, even worse then spending my birthday in isolation. Y’all are going to have to take extra-deep sniffs for me.

    1. Elspeth McGillicuddy*

      Would a description of an amazing box of smells make it better or worse? Cause I brought home a really gorgeous smelling box of groceries Monday.

    2. I'm A Little Teapot*

      Once your sense of smell comes back…. make some of those dishes! There’s no rule that you can only make them for Thankgiving.

    3. RB*

      Maybe you’ll have your sense of smell back a day or two later and you can simmer the leftover carcass for hours to make broth. That always smells so lovely.

  29. AnonEMoose*

    I’m really thankful that my family agreed not to do an in-person Thanksgiving this year with no arguments or drama. I am kind of missing my usual pie-baking frenzy today, but I did still make an apple pie for DH and me, and the pie crust turned out as it should. I put the pie crust I didn’t need today into the freezer for future use, since it freezes well. I’ve even managed to find a local source for lard (pie crust is pretty much the only thing I use lard for these days, but I won’t use anything else for pie crust).

    And I’m sad not to be seeing my family tomorrow, but I’m thankful that DH and I are both healthy and employed. Also looking forward to these next 4 days with just DH and the cats, and our planned gaming session via Zoom on Saturday.

    1. Seeking Second Childhood*

      I’m glad about something very similar–bad weather means a tent wouldn’t be enough even with a heater, and our one family member who is joining us agreed it would defeat the ventilation purpose of a tent to seal the walls. So we calmly said it would be Friday…. It does feel wrong to wake up at 4am and not start prep early.
      My husband & daughter & I will probably make sushi. (Smoked salmon & other cooked or pickled ingredients, it’s the assembly that’s the tradition for us by now.)

  30. Glass Piano*

    Prep for our four-person household Thanksgiving is underway, it smells great, and for the first time I made my roll recipe decision based on relative ease of making sandwiches out of the finished product, since ~4 will be consumed at dinner and we’ll have a bunch leftover. Any ideas for sandwich fillings that will go well with a buttery roll as the bread?

  31. tamarack and fireweed*

    Here’s a small one. My organization had its IT department send out an email message today about the use of Zoom over the holiday weekend. I half expected an admonishment about using tools for professional use only, but it was the opposite: “… we wanted to remind everyone that […] all [ORG employees] have use of Zoom even for personal use. Use Zoom to host big holiday gatherings, connect with family at a distance, catch up with friends, defend your trivia night champion title, and more.” Then they attached instructions on how to get on Zoom for those co-workers who haven’t used it yet (if they exist).

    I’m sure they’re paying a flat fee, and it makes no difference whatsoever fiscally, so it’s nice that they do what they can do to keep it humane.

    1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

      Even if it is financially neutral for them, it still required someone to have that thought and voice it explicitly. I think it’s fantastic.

  32. Nursecrys*

    So thankful for tomorrow and Friday being paid holidays!
    It has been a stressful year with a ton of changes, but we are all healthy and gainfully employed.

  33. Nixologist*

    We’re doing a six person Thanksgiving, outdoors. It will include my mom, stepdad, boyfriend, brother, and brother’s girlfriend. We all live within four blocks and will be cooking in our own homes before meeting outside my parents’.
    Even that feels risky, but I’ve accepted the idea. We all rarely see anyone and see each other the most.

    All of my coworkers are traveling! It’s insane! If my mother did not live next door to me, I wouldn’t be going anywhere.

    So I’m very thankful for my (sometimes perceived as unusual) proximity to family!

    1. A Person*

      Good to hear about someone else doing local AND not inside. My mom lives near us but we’re not doing indoors so we’re going to do some cooking, bring her food, and then do outdoor pie later on.

      A lot of her friends are going over to their kid’s place and I keep feeling bad but at least we’ll get to see each other.

  34. ThatGirl*

    Well, I’m freshly unemployed and my mother in law has COVID (she’s slowly recovering, no breathing issues), but things don’t feel too bad. We have a house and a dog and plenty of support and are in decent financial shape. We’re going non traditional and having chips/queso/guacamole and tamales tomorrow, we’ll play games and watch movies and drink beer. It will be a little lonely but there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

    1. Diahann Carroll*

      I love non-traditional Thanksgiving meals. I’ve been doing them for years now. Tomorrow will be lemon butter salmon, roasted garlic mashed cauliflower, and gluten free cinnamon coffee cake for dessert.

        1. Diahann Carroll*

          Thanks, allathian and ThatGirl! I hope the cauliflower turns out okay – never had it before, so this could turn out to be a disaster, lol.

      1. Juneybug*

        Could you share the GF cinnamon coffee cake recipe? I am celiac and always looking for good recipes. Please and thank you!!

  35. Elizabeth*

    I McGuyver’ed pumpkin pie tonight. I forgot that I needed evaporated milk in addition to sweetened condensed milk. I started to use the regular milk in the fridge, but chunky milk is no good. I discovered that unsweetened coconut milk can be reduced to approximate evaporated milk and produce a very nice custard.

    1. Tuesday*

      Nice! I’m always impressed when people can adapt recipes and make emergency substitutions. I tend to be at a loss if I have to go off script.

    2. allathian*

      That sounds great! I wonder if you can replace the sweetened condensed milk with something vegetable-based for people with milk protein intolerance? Most recipes do contain eggs, so going vegan probably won’t be easy.

      1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

        There are recipes for sweetened condensed coconut milk online that I found when a friend’s sister had to avoid dairy for a while! I don’t know if they actually tried any of them though.

        1. Diahann Carroll*

          I have, and the pie was delicious. I couldn’t taste the difference between the dairy free version and the one with sweetened condensed milk (my evaporated milk was also lactose free).

    3. Roci*

      You can reduce regular milk too. They don’t sell evaporated milk cans near me so I just DIY. Lots of recipes of ratios online.

    4. Pippa K*

      I ran out of brown sugar while making pecan pie but found some molasses in the back of the cupboard. Combined it with white sugar, guessing at proportion to avoid ending up with an overly liquid filling, and it turns out to be the best pecan pie I’ve ever made. Of course I’ll never be able to replicate it!

  36. Scout Finch*

    One of the best scenes EVER from The West Wing (and that’s saying a lot IMHO).

    https://www.youtube (dot) com/watch?v=luTzmLiVC4I

    The conversation in that show could be hard to follow sometimes, but it was so worth my attention.

    Stay safe, y’all.

    1. SarahKay*

      Thank you – I had forgotten how funny that scene was! Now off to watch the rest of the episode on DVD.

  37. Third or Nothing!*

    I got off at noon today! I don’t have to work again for 4.5 more days. And the weather today and tomorrow is GORGEOUS!

    We are moving our usual Thanksgiving festivities to Friday due to the weather, actually. Thursday (tomorrow) is going to be sunny with a high of 75. Friday will be cloudy, windy, and rainy with a high of 60 and this will continue on into Saturday. Typically we like to go hiking over the break, but all that rain is going to close the trails. So we shall hike on Thursday instead, and have our Thanksgiving meal on Friday and decorate for Christmas on Saturday!

    1. Seeking Second Childhood*

      How funny–your family & mine are postponing Thanksgiving by a day for weather for opposite weather! (I wrote more in a reply above. I hope when I’m not insomniac the location makes sense.)

  38. TurtleIScream*

    Our plan was to travel 2 hours to my in-laws for Thanksgiving, spend the night, then visit with friends (all parties have been basically quarantining, so little risk). But then I got sick – my asthma makes everything seem more serious – and my doctor is requiring a Covid test; I won’t get results until next week. So those plans are a no-go. Since I hadn’t planned on being home, I really don’t have food in the house. I am trying to convince someone to bring me sweet potato casserole, so we’ll see. I have my sense of taste and smell, and definitely still have an appetite, so I am really going to miss Thanksgiving dinner! On the plus side, since I’m staying home, so are the dogs, so I get to snuggle pups all day :)

  39. Rovannen*

    I am thankful for a boss that gives her employees the tools they need to do their jobs. My last boss was temperamental and co workers would ask me what the mood of the day was before they had to go and beg for supplies.

    I’m thankful for a coworker that follows through. When she says she’s going to take care of a project, I can cross it off my list.

    I’m thankful for our boss’s second in command, who can calm a room just by walking through it.

  40. Detective Rosa Diaz*

    Not in the US, don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, BUT this week I got the call for a possible foster placement! He is a 6mo baby boy!

  41. Seeker of truth and light and grilled cheese*

    I will not be celebrating Thanksgiving, as it is an incredibly painful and horrible holiday for friends who are indigenous people. I will spend the day off work, happily quarantined at home by myself. I will do some reading up on the history of the tribes that used to live where I live now, and will donate to the Navajo Nation’s covid response, go for a hike in the afternoon, and of course take a nap and cuddle with the cats.

    I sound like such a downer but after seeing the pain the holiday causes for people I dearly love, I can no longer participate. It’s so wrong when you really stop and think about it. And re-naming it to friendsgiving etc really doesn’t change the history of the holiday. Maybe if a friendsgiving was on a different weekend…

    1. June First*

      I participated in an online racial justice discussion about this exact topic earlier this week. One takeaway is that this is a good year to hit the reset button on how we celebrate. We can change our thinking about the holiday’s meaning as well as gathering size, etc.
      I have several statements/prayers about Indigenous cultural heritage to incorporate into our small meal.

    2. nep*

      Not a downer at all.
      I appreciated the interview I heard on NPR yesterday with a young woman talking about how she and her community have long been marking the national day of mourning.
      Agree 1,000 percent.

    3. Tiffany Hashish*

      Thank you for this. The myth of some thanksgiving unity feast between Indigenous folks and colonizers is truly violent one.

  42. allathian*

    I must say that while Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated in my country, I sometimes really wish it was. This thread is a joy to read. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who’s celebrating tomorrow.

  43. londonedit*

    It’s a normal day here but I’m thankful for the fact that I decided to come and bubble with my immediate family when our second lockdown in England was announced (all done very safely and without the use of public transport; I’ve been here three weeks now and everyone is fine). It’s taken all the stress out of Christmas plans (it’ll just be us and I’m already here and we’re all safe) and it’s nice to have company having done 10 weeks totally alone in a small flat during the first lockdown earlier in the year. I’m also thankful for the fact that I’m able to work from home with no issues, and that I work for a company that’s taking Covid extremely seriously and being very supportive to its staff.

    Wishing everyone here all the best for the rest of 2020 and let’s hope there might be some light at the end of the tunnel in 2021.

  44. Tamer of Dragonflies*

    TL;DR…Found out all the essential employees where I work are going to get hazardous duty pay, back-dated to March…

    Hope this isnt too much into the realm of work but I wanted to share some good news. There are multiple divisions in the company, but only a few that are considered essential. Essential divisions went to a rotating skeleton crew, but my division couldn’t function like that. We have 200+ sites to maintain over a large area.Distancing is difficult at best and some work is done in close quarters. Like shoulder to shoulder and hip to hip close. Im VERY thankful that no one has contracted the ‘rona at work.
    Anyway,the good news…Got an e-mail yesterday that everyone who works while the ‘rona has things shut down will receive hazardous duty pay, back-dated to March. In a time where many companies seem to be doing wrong to their employee’s, not all of them are jackarsed turd tribbles.

  45. Kowalski! Options!*

    Not located in the States, but just wanted to extend warm Thanksgiving wishes to those who are celebrating on their own. Holidays on your own are really tough, and having been through more than one on my own, please know I’m rooting for you.

  46. Won't Give Up*

    My 2020 started in 2019 when my mom died in February and my dad died in December. Surely, 2020 had to be better. My brother died in January 2020. I was laid off in March. One of our three dogs died suddenly in May, but I found a new job, which suited me very well, in that same month. In August, another of our dogs died after a long battle with cancer. On Oct. 15, the company I was working for shut down suddenly with no warning. Today is Thanksgiving Day, so I’m not going to gripe about any of that. Instead, I am thankful for my partner of 29 years for her support, for our remaining dog and our two cats, for my sister for her love and support, for my partner’s family, who are the best, and for my new job, which I start tomorrow. (I hope it lasts longer than 5 months.)

    1. Lcsa99*

      I knowhow hard it is to roll with that many punches so so my thoughts are definitely with you. Stay strong!

    2. My Brain Is Exploding*

      Awww…hugs. and kudos for finding those things for which you are thankful. You’re gonna make it ok.

  47. Twisted Knickers*

    Just got off of a Zoom call with my parents, sister, kids and nephews, as all of us decided the safest way to celebrate with each other was to do so remotely. We have a tradition each year of singing a verse of a favorite Thanksgiving song and, this year, my son and daughter-in-law, who are musicians, recorded a lovely piano/flute accompaniment for us so we could all sing together across four states. It brought a smile (and perhaps a tear!) to my 88-year-old parents as well as the rest of us. This year’s celebration is certainly different and not what we would have wanted, but I will always cherish this memory. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

    1. Jean (just Jean)*

      >This year’s celebration is certainly different and not what we would have wanted, but I will always cherish this memory.

      That is lovely. Thank you for sharing.

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