Since I just celebrated my 2,100th INAM column on Friday, I cannot think of a better way to kick-off my next hundred than with thankfulness, especially for our wonderful essential workers!

thumbnail_126174624_10225202696522646_8452638950100480085_nAs I’m sure many of you know, I usually use my Thanksgiving columns to list the many things I’m grateful for. But for this crazy year, my premise has to be that I’d be most grateful if everyone (who is not needed at a hostpital, store, or the like) would please just spend the holiday at home, either by yourself or with the people with whom you live!

So I’m writing about Thanksgiving a few days early to have time to convince those of you who need the encouragement to please not gather with people outside of your household on Thursday. It’s just not worth the risk this year! I promise—you can do it by yourself! Mr. X and I have done so several times over the years, even when there was no need, which there definitely is this year!

The CDC recommends that if you feel you must have a gathering, these are the rules to employ: The dinner needs to be held outside, people from no more than three households should be in attendance, and the whole thing should last no more than two hours. Yes, none of that says Thanksgiving to me, either, but if the dinner is just soooo important to you that you must risk your life to have it, please just follow those precautions.

But okay, tell me who can even eat Thanksgiving dinner in two hours, let alone socialize, help out in the kitchen before and after, and even be greeted upfront. And how are you supposed to watch a football game outside and in under two hours? This is not a normal Thanksgiving by any stretch of the imagination, so we should all just acknowledge the situation and respect it.

melinda beckI’m begging everyone, please just forget the company and have a lovely time by yourself or yourselves. Trust me–this will be a memorable enough Thanksgiving. Here are a couple of easy ideas for solos, duos, or small fams: If you live in an apartment house or condos, maybe you and your floor-mates can take chairs and eat in the hallway together! You can either have your own meals, or, if you trust each other a bit, each make one dish and share them! (With masks on, of course, until you eat.)

And if you live in a house alone or with just one or two or three other people, it’s so easy to get those prepackaged meals in just about every supermarket in this country. And then you just heat everything up. Or order individual dinners from your local diner or coffee shop.

Wise words.

Wise words.

On Mr. X and my very first Thanksgiving together, we had been invited to Lynn Redgrave’s house, (because he was doing a TV series with her at the time,) which I was jumping out of my skin over. So I put on my cutest holiday outfit, and went over to Mr. X’s apartment, all excited. But, to my shock and disappointment, he was…still in bed! He said he didn’t want to go out. Besides that I was crushed to not go to Lynn’s, in specific, I asked what we were going to do about Thanksgiving dinner at all! And he said we’d take-out…turkey club sandwiches! From our neighborhood coffee shop! I was horrified, but never wanting to spend even a second without him, I went along with it. And you know what? It was one of our most romantic holidays ever! And most memorable ones. (We did the same thing for the next few years, but we graduated to full-on turkey entrees from the place.)

That brings me to the other reason I’m writing this at the beginning of Thanksgiving week, rather than just the day before. I’m taking the rest of the week off because, since I’m smart enough to not endanger myself and others, Mr. X and I are staying home alone this time, of course. Since that’s a rare occurrence for us on recent Thanksgivings, I need a few days to prepare our feast! [Note: If you’re in need of some unique recipe ideas for the occasion, just go up to my Food section on here, and scroll down to Recipes. Last week’s Asparagus Stix recipe is uber-easy (and fun and different!,) and appropriate for Thanksgiving.]

And now I must reiterate, as much as I really truly adore Thanksgiving, especially the camaraderie, it is just one day, people!!!  It is not worth getting sick, and possibly dying, or killing someone else, over!

Notice--six people!  I hope they all live together!

Notice–six people! I hope they all live together!

Here’s one little, but very important, cautionary tale: My friend (who’s an Oscar-nominated producer,) told me about his film executive pal, a man who has always been fit and healthy. He and his wife thought it was okay to attend a dinner party during the pandemic, with just two other couples they trusted. Well, all six of them came down with the virus, and that one man wound-up in the hospital for a month, and in a coma for eighteen days! So, was it worth it to those six people to have dinner together? I think not. (And the man has declared that it definitely was not!) The virus can happen to anybody!!!

If that tale doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will. I wish that only the people who don’t follow the very easy advice to stay safe this year–wear a mask, wash your hands, stay at least six feet apart, don’t travel, and most importantly, do not gather with anyone outside of your household–would be the only ones to suffer with coronavirus, but, alas, life doesn’t work that way.

I look forward to when our Thanksgiving can look like this again!

I look forward to when our Thanksgiving can look like this again!

So, I’m begging everyone one more time—please, please, please just calm down for Thanksgiving and respect the science already! Remember—we want to give thanks, not the virus!

If you don’t want to listen to me, maybe you should read this other article on the risks:

Or this one:

Or this one:

But I’m not saying to sit in the house all holiday week-end. Here’s something fun to do in SoCal–the drive-thru Holiday Lights Show in Ventura, entitled Holidays In Your Car! It goes from now until the beginning of 2021, in two locations. Mr. X and I just went to the Opening Night, so I’ll give you all the deets next week, when I’ve had a chance to absorb it all. But here’s the link to the pertinent info, if you just can’t wait for my in-depth review:

Screen Shot 2018-11-25 at 3.00.32 PMAnd lastly, if you need one lovely simple way to look at this year’s challenging situation, Henry David Thoreau said, “I am grateful for what I am and have. My Thanksgiving is perpetual.”

I wish you all a Happy-While-Being-Safe Thanksgiving!


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