Thanksgiving has always been a time for gathering with family, celebrating traditions, and enjoying lots of food. It’s one of our favorite holidays!
Unfortunately, this year, things are going to be a bit different. Many people are wondering whether they should cancel the festivities altogether. Others are stumped about how to navigate the “new normal” without ruining the holidays.
If the thought of a COVID-19 Thanksgiving is bringing you down, don’t worry! You can still enjoy it in a fun and safe way. Here are a few of our favorite ideas.
Host Dinner Outside
One of the best things about living in Florida is the beautiful weather! This year, consider taking your Thanksgiving dinner outdoors. This will give everyone room to spread out and plenty of fresh air to breathe.
Use your back patio or set up a table and chairs under a tent or shade. Bringing all of your Thanksgiving décor outside will help you create festive mood. You can also add ambiance by hanging strings of lights or adding tiki torches around your backyard. If we’re lucky enough to have cooler temperatures, you might even be able to set up a portable firepit.
Make Safety Fun
Some basic precautions can go a long way towards keeping everyone as safe as possible, but they don’t have to ruin the fun. Sure, you might miss hugging Grandma or snuggling with Little Timmy, but you can keep things festive by coming up with a silly greeting everyone can do from far away.
You can also buy Thanksgiving-themed masks and individual-sized hand sanitizers so everyone can keep one in their pocket to use throughout the day.
Look for disposable plates and cups in fun themed patterns. Disposable cutlery and single-use condiments will also help minimize contact. Even better, when everyone is done eating, clean-up will be a breeze! This will leave you with extra time to swap family stories or play fun, low-contact games like charades.
Many experts say the safest option this year is to stay home and celebrate Thanksgiving virtually. Although this might not sound exciting at first, it doesn’t have to be boring!
Consider having family members swap some of their favorite recipes so you can still enjoy grandma’s famous baked apple pie, even if she can’t make it for you.
Before you dig into dinner, plan some online social time. Since a traditional “potluck” isn’t in the cards this year, consider asking everyone to bring something different to share – like a cherished family photo, a song and dance routine, or a toast.
Keep your phones or computers connected after the “formal” part of the day is done so you can still catch up with each other, just like you would if you were enjoying the day in-person.
Relax and Enjoy
Regardless of how you choose to spend your Thanksgiving this year, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself feeling a bit more stressed than usual. We’ve got a solution for that too!
This year, why not start a new holiday tradition? Pick up a bottle of locally made rum and add two of Rusty's favorite fall cocktails to your holiday menu.
Here’s our secret recipe.
Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail
- 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter – room temp
- ¼ cup of your favorite honey
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- A pinch of salt
- 1 cup of your favorite spiced rum (try our local favs from Siesta Key or Loaded Cannon)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 4 cinnamon sticks to garnish (optional)
Combine brown sugar, butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add boiling water and rum and stir until the butter mixture dissolves.
Pour into 4 mugs and garnish with optional cinnamon sticks and serve warm. You can make a larger batch and keep on warm in a crock pot.
Spiced Apple Rum Punch
Combine all ingredients in your favorite pitcher or punch bowl and serve over ice.
Enjoying the holidays this year is all about keeping a positive attitude. Despite these trying times, we’ve all got something to be thankful for.
Still not quite feeling the holiday spirit? There’s nothing a bit of retail therapy can’t solve! Here are a few fun, festive items from our newly curated collection.