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Thursday, November 5, 2020


 ALSO: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer(s) tips on how to better plan for the holidays to avoid COVID-19. CDC image. Click here. 

At we like everything about AP contributor Melissa Rayworth’s article, including the headlines. A good headline is like a side dish of homemade cranberry sauce. The article is good enterprise journalism as it is timely given we’re mired in a pandemic that has put squash (or rutabaga) on holiday travel. We miss you, grandmas everywhere, but since many are still with us, pass the peas (Zoom or not) and give Ms. Rayworth a read. 

GUEST BLOG / MELISSA RAYWORTH, Associated Press, follow her on Twitter at many people, it's hard not to think about the upcoming holidays already. Some folks are holding early Christmas celebrations so they can be with elderly parents outdoors while the weather still allows it. As the holidays approach, the pandemic is forcing people to come up with creative ways to celebrate. Experts say rituals have always been with us and there has always been room for improvisation. 

Nina Bryant will cook a feast for Thanksgiving this year, as always. Bryant works as an executive chef. But in her own family, she’s the one everyone depends on to prepare her grandmother’s recipes, which spark memories at the holidays. So along with a turkey, Bryant will make her grandmother’s sweet potato souffle, and fingerling potatoes with tender asparagus. 

This time, because of the pandemic, she’ll do it all several days before Thanksgiving, then ship portions from her home in Florida to her family around the country. 

That same week, Jeannine Thibodeau plans to go all out as well. She’ll bake brownies three days in advance. Then she’ll roast a turkey, along with “about 5 pounds of mashed potatoes and gravy and stuffing and green beans and cranberry sauce.” Since she can’t welcome the friends she’d normally invite, she’ll pack ample portions in gift bags with handwritten notes, then place the bags on her stoop for contactless pickup on Thanksgiving Day. 

Once mealtime arrives, Bryant and Thibodeaux both plan to fire up digital devices and connect with loved ones over Zoom. Family and friends will eat together, apart, sharing in the communal experience of a holiday meal without being able to ask each other to pass the gravy. 

For the conclusion to this article: click here. 

MORE ABOUT MELISSA RAYWORTH: For nearly two decades, Melissa Rayworth has been exploring the building blocks of modern life -- the ways we design and organize our homes, how we interact with entertainment and pop culture in our marketing-saturated society, parenting, relationships and marriage, and much more -- as a writer for regional, national and global media outlets. She's also an experienced managing editor for print and online magazines. That work continues, and has grown to include the launch of a private storytelling service called Breadcrumbs, which Melissa has created alongside her husband, writer Ted Anthony. (Visit to learn more.) After three years living and working in southeast Asia, Melissa currently splits her time between Pittsburgh and New York. Available for freelance: http://MELISSARAYWORTH.COM/ 

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