Families give thanks this year despite adversities

As people gather around for Thanksgiving, many show gratitude for family. In many homes, hosts place as many extended family members that can fit at tables as guests wait for dinner to be served, and soon a delicious meal of turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, and biscuits, followed by pumpkin pie with whipped cream is consumed. 

This year Thanksgiving is not going to be the same; there won’t be as many family members around the table because many household’s annual Thanksgiving plans are being impacted by COVID-19. 

Caleb Makowski, a junior at Canton High School, and his extended family, typically go to his aunt’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving. This year, his grandparents will probably not be there. “So, I basically am obviously a little bummed that some of my family members will not be able to come to visit this year for Thanksgiving because of COVID,” said Makowski P-CCS student.

Otherwise, the family’s plans aren’t changing. “My cousins get a football and play a football game. Positions are quarterback, wide receiver, and safety,” said Makowski, a Canton High School student.  

The Nimmerguths visit each side of the family in alternating years for Thanksgiving. “In the morning we go to America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit, Michigan, but because of the virus, the parade is online this year,” said Rebecca Nimmerguth, special education teacher at Salem High School. They also watch all the football games and root for the Lions and Packers. 

The Nimmerguth family is still keeping its original Thanksgiving plans, “but we are taking it day by day,” added the resource room teacher.

The Lanks always watch the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving football game and they annually go to their grandparent’s house. But this year, Thanksgiving is going to be held at Madeline Lank’s house instead. “I am upset that I don’t get to celebrate in our traditional way that we celebrate every year, but I am still happy that we get to celebrate at all,” said Lank, a P-CCS student.

“We usually have it at my grandparent’s house because they have a big table,” said Lank, a senior at Salem High School. This year, there are some family members who won’t be joining in the festivities. These include her cousins who live in Philadelphia and an aunt who lives in Texas. 

 “My family is handling the change by getting together still, but just not all together and in much smaller groups. We will also most likely call our other family members on Thanksgiving that couldn’t celebrate with us because of COVID,” said Lank, a Plymouth resident.

The Podolinskis spend their Thanksgiving alternating between Columbus, Ohio, and Chelsea, Michigan. They were considering going to their grandparent’s cottage in Boyne, Michigan, this year.  “We are not spending the Thanksgiving weekend with them up north as we usually do. I feel sad that we can’t all spend the night with each other in their house up north,” said Carson Podolinski, a senior at Salem High School. They are instead spending the day at her grandparent’s home in Chelsea.

The Podolinski’s traditions include watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” building gingerbread houses, and watching “The Polar Express.” “We always watch ‘The Polar Express’ after Thanksgiving dinner. It is our family tradition to kick off the Christmas season,” said Podolinski, a  P-CCS student. 

“We watch the Lion’s game every year,” said Podolinski, a Plymouth resident. The family also watches the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and America’s Thanksgiving Parade.  

Even though Thanksgiving plans may need to change due to the pandemic, people have adapted to the circumstances, grateful that families can take steps to stay safe.