Thanksgiving is just days away, which means Christmas, Hannukah and other celebrations are not far behind!
The calendar at this time of year is typically loaded with gatherings of friends and family, where we get a chance to express our gratitude to those we love and have fun. But with the pandemic still raging, holiday plans are anything but typical.
While things will be different this year, that doesn’t mean they can’t still be joyful. Here are some ways to help your kids cope with the changes that revised planning may bring.
First, make sure you allow your children and teens to express their disappointment, anger and sadness. It’s hard enough for adults to deal with missing our normal get-togethers, but for kids, it feels even bigger. Not being able to see grandparents, cousins and other family members is sad; let them know you feel the same way, but that you have high hopes things will return to normal for next year’s holiday season.
Thanksgiving is all about expressing gratitude. Around your table this year (and, in fact, every year), ask each person to express what they are grateful for. Remembering what we do have—the love of family, a full belly, a warm home and the promise of a vaccine in the new year—is a great way to put things in perspective.
While your usual traditions may need to be on hold for the time being, it’s a great time to create some new ones! Some possibilities:
- Try a new game or enjoy a standard like charades.
- Get crafty and create some homemade decorations, holiday cards or “thank you” signs to front-line workers that you can display in your front yard.
- Bake something yummy for your neighbors, especially those who aren’t with their families this year.
- Take advantage of our beautiful Long Island parks and take a family hike.
- Ask your kids what they’d like to do that would make the holidays more special.
To read about safety tips for your Thanksgiving from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, click here.