COLORADO — As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread and cases continue to rise in Colorado and around the country, Thanksgiving may look a lot different this year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) have recommended to scale down Thanksgiving celebrations this year.

According to the CDPHE’s website, “As we approach the holidays, it’s important to think about the best ways to keep our loved ones and our communities safe as we celebrate. The COVID-19 pandemic changes a lot about our lives, and the holidays are no exception. The best way to celebrate the people we care about most right now is to keep them safe by not interacting with them in person.”

In that case, some of you may be wondering how to celebrate the holidays with the pandemic restrictions in place, or if you’re opting to take your Thanksgiving Day gatherings virtual, how to make the most out of it.

Thanksgiving celebration ideas from the CDPHE:

  • Cooking and eating a special meal with members of your immediate household.
  • Sharing your favorite recipes and photos of the food you’ve cooked via text message or email.
  • Watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, a football game, and other televised events at home.
  • Cooking and baking treats for your neighbors, friends, and family, then delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve face-to-face contact. You can video chat with them later as they take their first bite.

Electronics at the table! Something to celebrate.

  • Schedule a time to share a meal virtually via Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Duo, Google Chat, etc.
  • Have people share recipes and show their turkey, stuffing, or other dishes they prepared.
  • Create coordinating menus
  • Create a decorating theme
  • You can have everyone make a brief toast virtually.
  • Simultaneously watching your favorite Thanksgiving movie with family and friends in other households over video chat.
  • Family into board games? Check out online games as options instead.

The CDC created a list of lower risk activities to higher risk activities:

  • Lower risk activities
    • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
    • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
    • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
    • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday
    • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home
  • Moderate risk activities
    • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
    • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing.
    • Attending small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place
  • Higher risk activities:
    • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
    • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race
    • Attending crowded parades
    • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household
    • Using alcohol or drugs that may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures.

Top 3 things to remember this Thanksgiving from the CDPHE

  1. Only interact in-person with people from your household (defined as those who normally live and sleep under the same roof).
  2. Refrain from traveling. Celebrate virtually with the people who don’t live with you.
  3. Wear a mask and keep your distance while grocery shopping for your Thanksgiving feast. Plan ahead and limit to one trip.