Students and families modify Thanksgiving plans in light of pandemic

Students share their new Thanksgiving holiday plans and why they still look forward to the day


By Alejandra Loya

In the midst of a pandemic, what precautions are students taking and how are they celebrating thanksgiving this year?

Ellie Basgall, JAG reporter/photographer

So far, no official restrictions have been placed upon the giving of thanks in this trying time. However, the holiday of Thanksgiving this year looks very different for some students due to restrictions from COVID-19. After a long wait, some students and their families have decided not to make plans with extended family.

“The virus has definitely affected our plans,” junior Nicholas Botkin said. “Normally we would eat at our aunt and uncle’s house with our extended family, but unfortunately that isn’t an option since they both recently got COVID.”

Junior Anna Springer and her family have decided to make similar plans. 

“My family and I usually go to my aunt and uncle’s house with my grandparents but this year we decided it would be safer to not get together,” she said.

Their plans, however, besides for the visiting of family, haven’t changed a tremendous amount, and the students both remain thankful for the normalcy.

I am very excited because even though my entire family can’t get together I will still get to spend time with the people who matter most in my life.”

— junior Anna Springer

“For Thanksgiving, our plans are pretty simple: we’re going to cook our Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving and eat it as a family at our house the next day,” Botkin said.

Springer plans to stay home and watch movies with her family. 

“My family and I usually don’t watch movies together all that often so I’m excited to watch movies with them,” she said.

Despite their restricted plans, and despite the inability to see extended family this year, both students said that this was a new opportunity to get closer to immediate family and give thanks for simple things that may often be overlooked.

“I give thanks to my cross country team and coaches, my friends and family, my cozy house, my school, God, and my car,” Botkin said. “[Thanksgiving break] also gives all of us a breather to really give thanks during the time when some of us get caught up in the more materialistic side of Christmas.”

Springer, too, maintains excitement despite the changes. “I am very excited because even though my entire family can’t get together I will still get to spend time with the people who matter most in my life,” she said.

The changes to this year have certainly affected the plans of some people around the world, but here at Mill Valley, many students still give thanks for the blessings in their life.

“I’m definitely excited for Thanksgiving,” Botkin said. “Having a more intimate dinner with just our family is definitely a blessing. Plus we have more control over the food since we’re making it instead of other family members.”

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