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Happy and Safe Thanksgiving Tips

Thanksgiving gatherings, travel and maintaining safety are still a work in progress. However if you are alone, with immediate family or having a small gathering does not mean the day can not be safe and festive at the same time. Below you will find a few activities and ideas to help you enjoy whatever kind of holiday circumstance.

1.Begin with a parade and end with a holiday movie marathon. While the most famous parade's structure has been modified (it will be televised only -no crowds) the show is still going on. Get cozy on the couch with a coffee, cocoa or tea and tune in to a time honored tradition. After all the wonderful food and beverages (and hopefully a little walk after dinner) you know you would most likely end up on the couch anyway, so why not add one or two of your holiday favorite movies to cap off a lovely day.

2.Treat yourself to an artfully crafted beverage. Whether with or sans the alcohol, there are so many beautiful and tasty fall recipes to choose from. Perhaps try a lovely warm cup of apple cider with a fragrant cinnamon stick, and if you decide to be saucy add a bit of your favorite brandy. Or you could keep the cider chilled and dip a lovely glass rim in water and then brown sugar and add a little prosecco instead. Now there is a festive way to treat yourself. As a medical facility we would be remiss if we didn't remind everyone-all things in moderation and to drink responsibly. Okay moving on.

3.Cooking Thanksgiving dinner. The most traditional of Thanksgiving activities usually includes the ever famous turkey. However there are so many other options out there, this time lets get creative. What about maple glazed salmon, tangerine glazed ham with sage, or stuffed pork loin. For meatless options perhaps a mushroom wellington or butternut squash lasagna. There a plethora of recipes out there that will put a fun and tasty spin on the traditional feast. Not in the mood to cook? Try a takeout feast!

4.Build a Thanksgiving playlist. There are a surprising number of songs about Thanksgiving and or playlists already set just check your favorite app or home device and they should have one that fits your vibe. Or better yet make your own, all your favorite songs playing while you dance around the living room kitchen or back yard.

5.Soak up the last of the fall foliage and take a Thanksgiving stroll. Whether it's a walk around your neighborhood or a full-fledged hike, it will feel good to get some fresh air and work off some of the yummy fare you have or will enjoy this day.

6.Host a Virtual Thanksgiving with family and friends. Set up a fun and cozy day by playing games, cooking and watching the football games together. Get creative with computer or phone placement so everyone can see the whole room and a more people can be seen at a time and it will feel more like your there.

7.Dress it up! Whether you are in person or having a Video Chat Thanksgiving, make the day more festive by donning a chic look. Pull that favorite dress or suit out of the closet and make yourself feel amazing. Everyone will love to see you looking your best.

8.Last but definitely not least, Safety. Everyone knows the basics of safety at this point so these are just a few reminders. -Try to keep gatherings to your household or regular group, if not keep them as small as possible. -If traveling, follow all transportation guidelines, mask up, sanitize and socially distance when possible. -Try to avoid "pot luck, buffet or pass around the table type situations and have food from one source and have a couple of lovely masked volunteers to serve everyone else. -Try to celebrate outside if possible. If chilly think about outdoor heaters. If inside -ventilate well. Open doors and windows and use high quality air filters and don't forget social distancing. -Use an carry hand sanitizers. -Get tested if you have any symptoms. -Stay home and away from others if you are feeling unwell or sick. -When around older individuals or people with medical conditions, protect them by wearing a mask.

We know the last year and a half has been difficult and stressful for most, please use this holiday to find some fun and joy and share time with others in creative ways. We hope some of these tips and or ideas will give you an inspiration for your holiday.

We wish you and your family a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.

Integrative Medical Associates D. Graeme Shaw, M.D.

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