Reach Out to Others This Thanksgiving Weekend
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As Thanksgiving approaches this year, amid the news of a second wave of COVID-19 and re-imposed restrictions on social gatherings, many of us are feeling unsettled, a bit disappointed that large family get-togethers will not be taking place, and perhaps even a bit lonely. As has been the story of 2020, everything feels different, including Thanksgiving.

For many, pandemic-related fatigue is affecting mental health, physical wellness, relationships and habits. Meeting up with friends for coffee, bumping into an acquaintance at a sporting event and sharing a laugh, sitting amongst hundreds of smiling concert-goers, attending large joyful celebrations, like wedding receptions – all seem like things of the past. Even some introverts, who perhaps found physical distancing and staying home a welcome relief in the early stages of the pandemic, are now craving a return to normalcy. A return to human interaction. Seeing smiling faces. Shaking hands. Talking face-to-face. We miss people. 

Let’s not forget the value of meaningful conversations. The simple act of sharing something that’s important to you with another person can provide immediate satisfaction. Not everyone enjoys daily social exchanges and connections with family, partners and housemates. With the sudden disappearance of ordinary social interactions from daily life, the impact on those who live alone is magnified.

Perhaps this Thanksgiving, we can all take the opportunity to reach out, in a safe and creative way, to those who could probably use a boost. Perhaps you know someone who lives alone, or you know someone who is struggling with depression or anxiety. Chances are, pretty much everyone you know, even if they appear to be doing just fine, would welcome any gesture that promotes a sense of interaction and connectedness. Small acts like dropping off a meal, sending a letter or note, or chatting via Zoom, can go a long way.

This Thanksgiving, perhaps more than ever before, I think we can all agree that we're thankful for the connections we have with others.
Arts and Crafts Corner
Make a Pine Cone Turkey This Weekend
Supplies:
  • Pine cones
  • Scrap ribbons
  • Brown pom poms
  • Wiggly eyes
  • Red twine
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors

Directions:
  • Use the hot glue gun to create 5 loops of ribbon. Shape the loops into an arc, using the hot glue to string them together. Repeat, using smaller pieces of ribbon. These ribbon arcs are the feathers for your turkey!
  • Slide the feathers into the pine cone. Secure them in place with hot glue.
  • Attach 2 wiggly eyes to the brown pom pom. Cut a small triangle from orange ribbon and secure it to the pom pom with hot glue.
  • Place the entire turkey head onto the pine cone with hot glue.
  • Make a small loop out of red twine for the turkey's gobbler, attach it to the pine cone with hot glue.

Use as place cards for your Thanksgiving Day table by adding names to strips of paper and placing them into each turkey.
Thanksgiving Safety Amid COVID-19
This Thanksgiving, if you're having a small gathering with your closest friends or family, plan ahead to stay safe and minimize exposure.

Think outside the box of your normal dining room table
If you can, have the event outdoors. Consider having smaller groups under a covered patio with heaters when needed. Or set up small tables gathered across multiple rooms to space out.

Reduce contact by swapping out family-style serving
One simple solution to minimize exposure during the meal is to have just one person serving and handling the food and desserts. The designated person serving the food should wear a face mask and gloves while plating.

Have a backup plan to coordinate virtual visits for guests who can't make it
Try to include anyone who cannot attend. If anyone doesn't feel well, make them a plate, send it to them and then they can Zoom in so that everyone eats at the same time. This is the year to send at-risk family members a care package and make arrangements for them to connect virtually. When you sit down to eat, go around the room with Zoom to share what you're thankful for.
Get Lost in a Corn Maze!
Challenge your family to a race through a corn maze; you’ll prove that breaking a sweat doesn’t have to be a chore. There are many great options to choose from here in Essex County. Last one there is a rotten pumpkin!
A Brief History of Thanksgiving
Why is Thanksgiving in October in Canada?

When Canadian Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday in 1879, November 6 was actually its official date. But in 1908, lobbyists moved it to a Monday in order to extend the weekend preceding it.
It wasn't until after World War I and II though that things became official. Whenever it was held slightly earlier in the month, the holiday would conflict with the newly created week of Remembrance Day (November 11th). So, on January 31, 1957, nearly 70 years after it was first introduced to the Canadian calendar, the Parliament of Canada announced that they would officially begin marking Thanksgiving annually on the second Monday in October.
Recipe of the Week
This eye-popping stuffing is filled with cornbread, apples, cranberries, steamed chestnuts, a bit of Parmesan...and it takes less than an hour to make.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Weekly Poll Question
What are your plans for Thanksgiving this year?
A nice dinner at home with the people I live with.
A virtual Thanksgiving celebration!
An outdoor Thanksgiving.
Nothing special. Just relaxing at home.
Poll Results

What is your favourite part of the fall season?

Pumpkin flavoured drinks 11.4%
Apple/pumpkin picking 20%
My fall wardrobe 42.9%
The holidays this season 25.7%