For many, Thanksgiving is more than just a meal with turkey and mashed potatoes and falling asleep on the couch while watching a parade on TV. It’s an opportunity to get together with loved ones. This year, with concerns about health risks, Thanksgiving may look different for many families, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing! With a little creativity, you can make Thanksgiving 2020 more than you expected or hoped it could be! Here are some ideas:
- Plan Ahead. You may not physically be in the same place as your extended family this year. The good news is that you will be able to avoid sitting too closely to Great Aunt Marge when she feels the urge to take her teeth out. Chances are, the extended family will miss you just as much as you miss them, so plan ahead to connect:
- Write letters and send them so that they arrive the week of Thanksgiving; share things you would talk about in person while at the Thanksgiving meal—your life, hobbies, and changes in work, school, and family.
- Set up a video call for a specific time during Thanksgiving, but be sure your friends and family members know how to use the technology ahead of time.
- Get Creative. Did you know that the day after Thanksgiving has been designated the National Day of Listening? MGC offers a perfect way to observe this and add meaningful creativity to your 2020 Thanksgiving! MGC’s free Tell Me A Story kits help customers collect and preserve oral histories (cherished family stories, etc.) by providing everything needed to host and record an interview or chat, including a digital voice recorder, instruction sheets, time-keeping cards, permission forms, and numerous sample questions to get started.
All you need to check out a kit is your MCPL Access Pass (Library card). You can place a hold online and pick it up at your local MCPL Branch. After you finish recording, return the kit to your local MCPL Branch or MGC. We’ll save the recording onto a CD or flash drive for you, and with your permission, archive it into our oral history collection. You can also save the digital recording yourself by using the USB cord in the kit and connecting it to a computer.
- Be Thoughtful and Encouraging. If your holiday traditions include volunteer work, try to think outside of the box this year! It might not be possible to serve in your usual, in-person way, but there are other ways to help. Perhaps you could pick up groceries for an elderly or immunocompromised neighbor and leave them on their porch. Other ideas include:
- Order a meal through a restaurant or meal delivery system (Grubhub, Uber Eats, Doordash, etc.) and pay for it to be delivered to someone else.
- Rake leaves and bag them for someone in need.
- Leave anonymous gifts of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) like hand sanitizer, gloves, and face masks for those in need.
Thanksgiving is more than the circumstances this year brings our way, so make it special in your own way! We hope your holiday is filled with creativity and encouragement, and we cannot wait to hear your stories.
Midwest Genealogy Center