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A different Thanksgiving

COVID-19 is gnashing its teeth at yet another lifelong family tradition: the celebration of Thanksgiving.  

This year’s all-American event, set for Nov. 26, comes with a set of pandemic-driven conditions. The first is it should be celebrated in family gatherings not to exceed more than 10 guests. Everyone is encouraged to wear a mask when not eating – the latest recommendation passed down by Gov. Kay Ivey. The serving of food in paper or plastic dinnerware is encouraged. Each guest should bring his or her own food, drinks, plates, cups and utensils. If celebrating indoors, make sure to open windows. Practice 6-foot social distancing and wash hands.  

The annual Thanksgiving celebration at the home of Jeff and Pam Gray will be observed as it has for more than 25 years, along traditional lines. I will smoke the turkey, my wife Geanell will bake pecan pies and provide home-grown green beans, sweet potato casserole and sweet tea, our daughter Pam will make the cornbread dressing and bake a butt portion ham, hash brown casserole and dinner rolls, our son Clif B. and wife Renae will bring a smoked pork roast and a slow cooker of field peas; and son Steve will prepare a corn casserole and baked sweets.  

Family members for dinner total 12 plus a number of invited guests. An evening meal with carryout will be provided.  

Traditionally, the afternoon turns from a Thanksgiving theme to Christmas shopping. Advertised special buys of big box stores capture the attention of family members as they pre-shop for Christmas gift bargains. Gift lists are discussed and prepared, and plans are made for After-Thanksgiving and all-day morning Black Friday shopping trips. Meanwhile, non-shoppers lie back, relax and take a nap or watch a football game.  

Here, COVID-19 enters the picture again. Big box stores are advertising the beginning and extension of Black Friday price discount offers throughout the months of November and December in an effort to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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