Some benefits to a socially distanced Thanksgiving? Less stress and family drama


The CDC has recalled and issued warnings about romaine lettuce, turkey products and more. (courtesy: Shutterstock via CNN)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — As most Thanksgiving gatherings go, there’s a lot of stress associated with Turkey Day.

There’s the stress of cleaning one’s home if you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner. There’s the stress of making sure the turkey is done right on time. There’s the stress of trying to ensure that one relative doesn’t start a fight at the dinner table. There’s the stress of trying to find enough time to visit with family and friends, both of those who live in El Paso and those who have come in from out of town.

2020 is different, which means many families will be Zooming their meals with extended family and friends, instead of the large gatherings that signify this holiday. And for others, that’s a welcome relief.

According to a survey from See’s Candies, even with all the changes to the holiday and the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, 56 percent of survey takers aren’t feeling stressed about the day and are most looking forward to holiday staples like turkey (36 percent)  and pie (33 percent). 

A quick social media poll found that some El Pasoans are grateful for a smaller gathering this year. One KTSM 9 News viewer, Sandra S., said her husband is the cook in her family, and he’s feeling less stressed about cooking the family meal.

“My husband is the cook in the household, aside from having a full-time job, and us having a 4-year-old, 3-year-old and a 1-year-old … so definitely removing Thanksgiving dinner from his plate is a relief for him.

Instead of a full Thanksgiving turkey, the family will buy ready-made rotisserie chickens and will make only a few side dishes. This year will be a low-key event, but as a health care provider, Sandra said she is doing what she can to keep her family, and fellow El Pasoans, safe this year.

“We will miss everyone, but not the busy schedule to try to spend time with everyone in one day,” she said. “This year I’m thinking Thanksgiving movie, crafts for the kids, story about Thanksgiving, food, finish the Christmas decorating and a lot of snuggling. … Definitely sacrificing one year in order to cherish the many more to come.”

Adriana M. said she’s making the most of this year’s holiday.

“While I’ll miss spending time with extended family, I’m looking forward to really focusing on my kids this year without the distractions of being a good host. Plus, I get to avoid family drama.”

While some may be relaxing this Thanksgiving, some El Pasoans are still bummed about missing out o family and friends this year.

Sharon Anne R. said she’s feeling more stressed by not seeing her family and friends.

“I’m more stressed that I won’t have them here,” she said. “I have always hosted and have tons of people in my not-so-big house. … However, I will be so sad not to see them laughing and talking at the table. Safety first.”

Fellow El Pasoan Teresa R. agrees that while this year’s holiday isn’t the same, and will miss the stress that comes with being with family.

“Yes and no. Yes, because not so much to cook and clean up. No, because it’s always been family time and it being hectic was worth it! But safety and life come first now.”

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