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As you may have heard, Thanksgiving’s canceled.

Twitter: @CDCgov

Maybe not by everyone, but, well, it should be. COVID cases are spiking, and hospitals are overwhelmed. So staying home this year is the smart, safe, and compassionate thing to do.

Sure, it can be difficult to cancel plans and potentially disappoint your loved ones — but you wouldn’t be alone in making that call. We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community how they’re celebrating the holidays differently in light of the pandemic. Here’s what they said.

Twitter: @HHSGov


“We decided that each family who would normally attend will make a dish and drop it off at the other houses.”

“It’s just me and my husband this year. We’ll be dropping food off at two other houses. That way, we can still feel together while we eat our meals.”



“I’m happily staying home and ordering pizza with my daughter. I’m actually looking forward to this Thanksgiving more than I have in years.”

“I hate big Thanksgivings. Every year, we have a huge fight over my family trying to force me home and me not wanting to go. This year, they’re ignoring COVID and traveling to see other family.”



“First year of non-stressful holidays! I get to hang out with my dog all day, relaxing.”

“It’s more than likely that my parents will continue to binge Gilmore Girls while I stay upstairs and watch Hannibal. It’s lowkey, and I will thoroughly enjoy it — only to then have to experience the hell on earth that is working retail on Black Friday.”


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“My husband and I are going on a hike, then eating a cheese plate with fresh bread and watching Dr. Who.”



“I’m a hospital worker — currently working in a COVID unit — and I will be working both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.”

“Normally, I have to shift my schedule around (by working five to six days in a row) to take one of them off. But, I won’t be seeing any of my family members for the holidays this year, so I’ll get paid to be with my work family and FaceTime the fam on my day off.”



“We’ll have a Zoom holiday and try again next year. I don’t want to lose any more loved ones just for the sake of tradition.”

“I grew up really close with three other families. Like, I consider those friends to be siblings, and their parents might as well be my parents. We’re scattered across the country now, but we always get together for Thanksgiving.

Except for this year. It wasn’t even a question. We’ll have a Zoom holiday and try again next year. One of my ‘moms’ died this year. I don’t want to lose any more just for the sake of tradition!”



“We always do a construction paper turkey contest while we’re waiting to eat pie and dessert, so this year it’s going virtual.”

“Normally, I would travel home for Thanksgiving to be with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law. My parents live in New Hampshire, and I currently live in South Carolina for graduate school. We all agreed that it’s not safe for me to travel home, so we’re going to do a Zoom Thanksgiving!

We’re going to be on video call for most of the day, cooking together in our three households, before we sit down for our meal. We always do a construction paper turkey contest while we’re waiting to eat pie and dessert, so this year it’s going virtual. The day after Thanksgiving, we always go and get our Christmas tree and decorate the house for Christmas together, so that’s going to be virtual this year, too. It’ll be different for sure, but what matters is that we’re together; which we will be, just in a different way.”


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“I ordered a turkey dinner for two from the local grocery store, and all I have to do is heat it up. Since it’s just me, I’ll have plenty of leftovers.”

“My parents made the call to not do an in-person dinner this year. They really want to see their grandkids and are hoping that staying at home for Thanksgiving will give them a chance to see them at Christmas.”


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“I told my family that I’m not coming home for Christmas. My brother and dad are furious with me.”

“I wish they understood. I don’t want to contribute to the bigger problem. 😔”



“Normally, it’s just me and my husband, and I like that intimate celebration between the two of us, but this year, I really wanted that family gathering. But we canceled our trip because I just didn’t feel like it was responsible to fly out.”

“My step-mom had bought plane tickets for us to visit Ohio because the tickets were so cheap a few months back. I haven’t had a holiday with my family in fourteen years. And even though my husband and I have been married for ten years, he hasn’t really had any extended time with my dad’s side of the family.

We had a whole week planned. Skyline Chili, the Cincinnati Zoo to see Fiona, cooking together, decorating for Christmas together, really bonding with my little brother and sister. But our numbers kept rising instead of going down. Our hospitals are full. I feel like we keep narrowly avoiding exposure.

So, we canceled our trip. I just didn’t feel like it was responsible to fly out. Normally, it’s just me and my husband, and I like that intimate celebration between the two of us, but this year, I really wanted that family gathering. I needed it.”


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“It will just be me, by myself, in my apartment. It sucks, but better than the alternative.”

“My family usually does a huge Thanksgiving celebration that acts as an impromptu family reunion every year and lasts for four days. It’s obviously not happening this year, which is a bummer, because I moved to a state 12+ hours away in the spring, and it was the only thing I was looking forward to.

I see a different side of my family for Christmas usually, but I’m not traveling anywhere because I live in an area with a lot of cases, and my family on that side is high-risk.”



“I’m going to make a couple of dishes, get a rotisserie chicken, and drink wine while I watch Thanksgiving episodes of Bob’s Burgers. 🤷🏻‍♀️”

“I was supposed to fly down south for Thanksgiving but ultimately canceled my flight. You think you’ll never get sick or that you’ll just be lucky, but then you end up contributing to the problem when you do get sick. So I told my family I wasn’t coming, and they asked why — like nothing was wrong.

Things are different in the South, and where my family is, I guess they’re not seeing anything different. But it was very frustrating having to explain when I shouldn’t even have had to.”


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“I’ve not seen my family in four years due to various issues with money, vacation time, and my illnesses. This was going to be the year it finally aligned. Thanks to COVID, we’ll all be hanging out at our own homes in our own states.”

“My husband and I were supposed to visit my family who all live in New York, as we live in North Carolina. I’m immunocompromised, and my parents are older. Probably do a group FaceTime though.”



“This year, we are doing a food swap. One family will make the sides, the other one will make the rest, and we’ll meet up to swap our dishes so that we all have the same food. Then, we’ll Zoom in our own houses.”

“We usually go to my grandparent’s house with my aunt and uncle (who live two hours away) and eat, then do a big puzzle.”



“I’ll be spending both days with my mom — we live together. Thanksgiving will just be eating food. The biggest difference this year is my job canceled the holiday potluck party, and I’m absolutely fine with that. I always find those stressful.”

“For Christmas, we’re dressing up part of the day and then getting into Christmas pajamas. I’ll talk to my brother and dad — who live in other states — and then we’ll watch the Call the Midwife Christmas special and listen to carols.”


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“I’m not seeing my family for either Thanksgiving or Christmas this year. I work retail, and my parents are both in the high-risk category. Any Christmas could be their last, and I’m so scared it will be this one.”

“I will never forgive the current administration for the mishandling of this pandemic, and I will never forget their refusal to pass the financial aid packages that could have let state governments enact lockdowns or stay-at-home orders.”



“I’m staying home with my husband and two boys instead of celebrating with the family. We are doing a vegetarian Thanksgiving and only making dishes we LOVE.”


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“My partner and I are getting a two-person dinner pack from a very fancy restaurant on Thanksgiving and getting drunk that afternoon.”

“Christmas will be inside — just two folks and two dogs watching Die Hard and drinking mimosas. I’m doing virtual cookie baking parties with friends and sitting down Christmas Eve to a virtual family Christmas with my closest friends.”



“I will be spending Thanksgiving alone as my parents and I live in different states.”

“Sadly, some of my family members are skeptical of the coronavirus, and while that’s their prerogative, I would never forgive myself if I got a family member sick or ended up getting sick, putting my elderly parents in a terrible position to care for me.

I usually go home and visit for Christmas, but I just am on edge about visiting this year because of everything. While I can get tested beforehand, I’m still a bit nervous about traveling and going between two households. It might be a very lonely Christmas, and I’m honestly devastated.”


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“I think we’re just going to make some TikToks.”

“This year, we’re not really doing Thanksgiving at all. I’m a teenager, and it will be my first time ever not doing something.”



“We hope to do some Zoom activities with my grandparents, but we sadly had to break our 16-year tradition.”

“Every year, my family goes to a hotel for Thanksgiving to get away from the stress and spend time with my grandparents without being too crowded in their house. Because of travel restrictions, we can’t go over state lines to see them, so Thanksgiving will have to just be us alone this year.”


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“Just spending the day with the husband and our kids. No travel and no other guests. We plan to wake up and have a family breakfast, then head out for some hiking.”

“We’ll head home in the afternoon, and everyone will watch cozy Thanksgiving movies and wait for our small, family dinner. Probably dessert while we listen to Christmas tunes and that’s all. :)”



“My fiancé is severely high-risk, so neither of us has gone anywhere since March, and that’s not going to change for the holidays.”

“This will be my first Thanksgiving (and probably Christmas) without my immediate family. I’m bummed, of course, but it’s the right thing to do, especially with things getting so bad again.”



“I haven’t told my family yet, but my son and I aren’t going to Christmas.”

“My cousin is getting married two days before Christmas. It’s bad enough to have an indoor wedding during the pandemic, but then two days later, the whole family will be together after being around 100 other people in close quarters. No, thank you.”


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“Every year, I go to my grandma’s house the Wednesday before and help her make dinner. This year, at 22, I’ll be making dinner entirely on my own. Wish me luck!”



“This year, we will all be making dishes for ourselves and each other, packing each other’s dishes, and dropping them off at each other’s places the night before. We’ll reheat them on Thanksgiving day with our own separate little families and hold a Zoom meeting for our prayer together. Then, we will feast. 🤗❤️ “

“Sadly, it’ll be the first time away from my parents and sisters for Thanksgiving. We all live about 10 minutes away from each other, but our husbands work away from home, so we’re staying away from one another to be on the safe side. We just wanna get through the holidays being healthy. Stay safe, everyone.”


Not sure if you’re gonna see your family for the holidays yet? Guess what, there’s still time to change plans! If ya need some more ~info~ (or the last push) to make that call, check out why you should cancel your in-person Thanksgiving plans here.


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