Giving Thanks – 2020 Edition

Tips, tricks, and suggestions on how to stay connected and festive this Thanksgiving.

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At this point, the news has probably started sinking in that the family gathering you may have been planning won’t be happening this year. Let’s remember though that Thanksgiving is an opportunity to recognize and share your blessings, which is especially important given the year we’ve had.With that in mind, here are some of the things we’re planning to make sure nothing stops us from celebrating the season in the best way possible.

Establish Your Game Plan

If everyone in your inner-circle is organized, tech-savvy, and OK doing their own thing before sitting down for a video chat, then it seems you are in for some relatively smooth sailing.

However, if family or friends aren’t up to shopping for, or preparing a holiday meal, or aren’t video conference literate, here are a few ways to keep them included:

Order In, drop it off or have it delivered.

Balancing healthy concerns, dietary restrictions, and mobility levels, help your participants get what they need.

If you plan to make the same meal, make sure they have the proper ingredients and recipes with time to spare. If they are going off-menu see what they need and either help them get it delivered, or infuse a personal touch by dropping it off yourself. PSSST. Bartell’s has delivery options to help you grab what you need. Lower Queen Anne, Bellevue Village, Shoreline, and Capital Hill/Broadway will even be open and at your service on Thanksgiving proper.

If everyone is comfortable with the idea, set up delivery or pick-up from one of your favorite restaurants. With the COVID crisis wreaking havoc on the restaurant industry, many are remaining open on Thanksgiving, or offering special Thanksgiving take out, or take away when they otherwise wouldn’t

Feeling Fancy? Check out Canlis’s take & bake offering. Brioche and black truffle stuffing? Yes, please.

NW Classic? Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing also has its own take & bake option.

Going to non-traditional? All four of the delicious International dumpling house chain Din Tai Fung’s local outlets will be open on Thanksgiving day. Full disclosure. My family and I eluded the who’s-parents-do-we-visit-first shuffle last year and enjoyed the (insert folksy exclamation) out of our meal. 😊

Obviously, the benefits to ordering-out are easier cleanup and the ability to order just enough to suit your tastes for day-after leftovers.

If you are a turkey devotee’, but eschew white meat because it’s too dry, or find the whole process of fussing for hours I IMPLORE you to spatchcock your bird this year! ‘Spatch-what-now’ you may ask? Spatchcocking is the more fun term for butterflying your bird. By removing the backbone and pressing it flat, your fowl of choice cooks more evenly, stays moister, and have decadently crispy skin.

Here are two of our favorite recipes from Serious Eats and Allrecipes.

What button do I hit?

Zoom past the woes of video conferencing

If you are working from home you know that even your most tech-savvy, otherwise brilliant, and capable co-workers have struggled with unmuting, screen sharing, and managing video settings.

With that in mind, here are a few suggestions to keep things going smooth-ish.

Nana, can you hear me?
Do a couple of very patient, clearly worded, non-jargon filled dry runs with tech-averse participants. Take a subtle adult education approach. Use the WiifM model (What’s in it for Me) to reinforce the benefits of becoming comfortable with the process (more facetime with you and others, the ability to teach friends so they too can stay connected, etc.). Clearly outline what you are going to teach them, walk them through everything, and get their buy-in. In the end, make it clear that it’s ok to call you for follow-up.

Many of us take for granted the tech basics that we’ve gradually adopted over the past decade+. Don’t assume that your participant knows what actions correspond to which outcomes. You are the subject matter expert, so wield your power with kind, understanding, benevolence.

Nana, can you see me?
Make sure that the camera is in the best position by doing a dry run. Set up the camera and check the field of vision to make sure you can see as many participants as possible. Most meeting options have a way to test your camera ahead of a conference, but if it’s too much of a hassle to figure it out, you can join the meeting a few minutes early to make your adjustments.

This may mean shifting chairs or repositioning the table altogether, family and friends are worth the mess, right?

Don’t let tradition defeat the point.

Although we can get caught up in the hype, the main reason we celebrate Thanksgiving is to spend time with family and friends to express your love and admiration or fulfill your sense of obligation.

Don’t feel pressure to celebrate on a specific date. If more people can celebrate Thanksgiving on Sunday instead of the previous Thursday, then Sunday it is!

Take advantage of day-after turkey sales. While everyone else is stuffing their virtual shopping carts with Playstations, TVs and whatever Tickle-Me-Cabbage-Patch fad is gripping the nation this year, you can navigate to the frozen birds and scoop up one of the best deals in the store.

The bottom line, Thanksgiving, as its name implies, is a day for giving thanks. Enjoy the people you can be around, on whichever day suits you best, in whatever way you want.

And don’t forget to set some time aside to reach out to those who can’t.

And thank you for your support and patronage. We couldn’t have made it to 130 years as your neighborhood drug store without you.

Your friends at Bartell’s

Not a turkey person? Send us your favorite turkey alternative or meatless main and we’ll add them to our post!