WOSU's Letters from Home collects stories about our day-to-day lives during the era of COVID-19. This week, Ohioans share how they're planning to celebrate the holidays in light of the pandemic, which has officials and public health experts urging people to avoid travel and large gatherings.
Joanna Hysell from Columbus
Our typical Thanksgiving experience is a trip to Yellow Springs for a quiet late lunch with about eight total family members, then back to Columbus for a less formal dinner with about 30 people, buffet-style, where there is enough cream cheese balls and desserts for an army.
We love our families and some of the extended family members at our raucous buffet I only see a couple times a year. As a parent and adult, the holidays aren’t the same for me anymore. It's normally a day spent traveling – out of town for one family, then rushing back home to check on the dog and grab the salad or potatoes or whatever dish for the next feast.
We have decided that this year, for everyone’s health and safety, we will all be staying home. I’m sort of looking forward to a warm oven, lounging around in my pajamas as long as I can, watching a movie and enjoying a nice dinner with my little family. I know that for many people, this is very hard for them, but I think of it as a holiday missed this year to avoid missing several holidays in the future with a loved one that could possibly end up sick if our celebration spreads an illness.
Anonymous from Canal Winchester
We had a family Thanksgiving outdoors before Halloween! I will make some donations on Thanksgiving and visit the family cemetery, stay home alone and decorate for Christmas. A winter hike may be our family Christmas time with a smaller, outdoor gift exchange. A family Christmas vacation in June is hopeful!
Following protocols is a wonderful gift for health care workers and may provide the gift of life to someone who may have been susceptible to the virus.
Nicole Smith from Westerville
The original plan was for my parents to prepare our Thanksgiving meal and pre-package it for me and my siblings' families. My immediate family was going to come to my house to visit around the fire pit outside and then everyone would take their packaged food home.
Now, I'm scheduled to have my wisdom teeth removed on the 23rd, so we may not do anything for Thanksgiving. But that's O.K. with me and my husband.
This week, Letters From Home is continuing to ask the question: How are you safely planning for the holidays?
Answer this question using the form below, and try to keep below 1,000 words. Your response may be edited for length and clarity.