Teachers share Thanksgiving plans, traditions with Covid-19 in mind

Jackson Parks
Junior Editor

Image from Karolina Grabowska via Pexels.com

With the impacts of Covid-19, everything has changed. Like every other holiday since Covid-19 this year, Thanksgiving is bound to be compromised too. Like everyone, teachers hope to adapt their Thanksgiving traditions this year.

Social Studies teacher, Conner Katsev, shared his plans for this year.

My plans for Thanksgiving are a little different this year, as I am sure everyone else’s. I will be staying in St. Louis instead of going down to the Lake of the Ozarks. Both my grandparents are in their 90s and that would be too many people in one house at one time, so we will do Thanksgiving with just my immediate family: my wife and me, older sister from Chicago and fiance, younger brother who is at UMKC graduate school, and my parents. It will not be as loud or rambunctious, but will be so nice to see everyone again.”

Thanksgiving plans may change, but traditions can always be adapted and kept alive somehow.

In terms of continuing his traditions, Katsev said, “My wife and I are going to cook sweet potato casserole as well as try to create the famous Thanksgiving staple (angel biscuits). It might be a complete failure, but we will give it our best shot. I think we are going to make new traditions as well.”

Social Studies teacher Alison Bryar shared her plans and traditions for this year.

“The plan was always for us to host my husband Dan’s family from Chicago in St. Louis for Thanksgiving once we had our own home to do so, and we were really looking forward to being able to do that this year. However, due to COVID, Dan’s family is not coming into town.  This year we were looking forward to starting new traditions such as hosting Dan’s family for Thanksgiving, and introducing them to the Turkey Trot and the Turkey Day Game. Hopefully, we will still have my family over for Thanksgiving. No matter what we end up doing, we will have a turkey dinner, and tune into the Turkey Day football game,” Bryar said.

Bryar had shared her plans for Thanksgiving before the cancellation of Turkey Day, which has affected many families’ plans.

English teacher Melissa Rainey also noted what her family is doing this year, and how it is adjusting to Covid-19 and its impact. She said, “ We all have to wear masks so that my mom, who is 80, can attend. I plan on buying most of the meal from Dierbergs and just making the pies, creamed corn, rolls and cranberry sauce myself, which will free up more time to clean the house really well.”

On the topic of traditions and how to keep them going this year, Rainey shared, “If I’m honest, I will only miss the Chili cook-off and Turkey Day game. The day of cooking and cleaning is not a tradition I am sad to see go. Being a mom at the holidays is more work than enjoyment, as we make the holiday joyous for others more so than for ourselves, so this year I plan on kicking back with a bunch of store-bought turkey, etc. and enjoying myself and my family’s company.”

SSD Teacher Marina Holcomb also gave her plans for the changing holiday, “Unfortunately, my family has to keep our Thanksgiving celebration to just immediate family. Instead of going from house to house, it will just be me, my husband and our three daughters. I will not be in any line for some fun Black Friday shopping. Wait-I take that back! I will be ON-line and not IN-line this year.”

For her family’s traditions, Holcomb said, “I will keep the tradition alive by doing what we always do. We will eat at noon, watch TV and play board games. My oldest daughters will start their day off with a 10 K Turkey Trot. With many virtual races, they can run it anytime during a specific window. They agreed to run it Thanksgiving morning to keep their annual tradition similar to previous years.”

Keeping traditions alive during an ever changing climate can be difficult, especially during the holidays. The rise and spread of Coronavirus this year has certainly affected anything it possibly could, so the adaptation of Thanksgiving comes at no surprise. For Webster’s teachers, they hope to safely and cautiously continue their traditions this holiday season.


Jackson Parks – Junior Editor

This will be Jackson Parks’ first year on ECHO staff, but he made several contributions while taking journalism class his sophomore year.


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