Reviews | How to Celebrate Thanksgiving Pandemic, Round Two


But it is always possible to gracefully navigate these conflicts, Emily Esfahani Smith, doctoral student in clinical psychology, argues in The Times. After you’ve had the vaccine conversation, banish politics from the table if you know it could lead to an explosion. And perhaps even more effective than avoiding politics, she says, is granting each other grace.

“It means assuming good faith, despite the annoying or passive-aggressive behavior of family members,” she writes. “While the pandemic has increased tensions within families, it has also created openness. Today more than ever, people recognize the importance of being together and how precious and fleeting life can be.

If you foresee an inevitable and intolerable conflict – or if you just don’t feel up to the occasion – skipping Thanksgiving is also an option. “Things are still turned upside down, and many of us (me, for example) still feel fragile,” writes Elazar Sontag in Eater. “So this could be the perfect year to politely decline invitations, rain-check family gatherings and do something for ourselves. Why not take a trip?

However, depending on who you decline the invitation, this may not be a decision to be taken lightly. “Realize that not introducing yourself can have repercussions on your relationships,” says Peter T. Coleman, professor of psychology and education at Columbia. “If you do decide to stay away, I recommend that you let people know beforehand in the clearest and most respectful way possible.”

As Times Food columnist Melissa Clark wrote last year, perhaps a little sadly, “The purpose of Thanksgiving is to be big: a huge turkey surrounded by a multitude of sides and whatnot. is never too many pies, all devoured by relatives who may or may not be under the influence of the flowing wine.

The fact that this cornucopia fantasy was out of reach for so many last November is, for some menu planners, all the more reason to commit to cooking again now, as Sam Sifton predicts. of the Times, “with abandon and joy.”


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