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  • Ray St-Amour


These COVID times have changed many of our usual routines and visits. We made sure this summer to have friends over for a socially distant visit and meal on the deck or the patio and enjoyed the social aspect of having company. A feeling of normalcy… To be frank I am not looking forward to this winter as these visits will not happen in the same way. They will be fewer, shorter, in the garage with the door open and with a heater going. That is how we celebrated Mother’s day earlier this year, each family coming over at a different time over the weekend.

So what is a COVID thanksgiving for me? Well, since we have a large family, now having 5 grandkids apart from our grown children and their partners we knew that we could not socially distance in the house. So we came up with the idea of having an early Thanksgiving so we could have it outside.

Yesterday was our early el Fresco Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone by now was very well versed on the routine of a family meal outside. We have the green bin on the deck for the Royale Chinet plates and left over food from their plates. We have the clear garbage bag stapled to the deck beside the green bin. We have a card table with the food, plastic ustensils, napkins and plates. The grandkids now understand that they just go inside to use the washroom. One of my daughters even has her young boys trained to “water the trees”. We live in the country and have lots of trees surrounding our property.

Our early preparation was the same as usual for Thanksgiving. We just had less people than usual, not inviting my partner’s family as we would usually do so the turkey was smaller. We just had our own little family which is large enough now. Marianne cooked the turkey on Friday and did her gravy and stuffing as well. This has been the new way of doing things for a few years now. It takes some stress out of the day of the event, leaving the cleaning of the house and me to do the pies and mashed potatoes the day of.

The even went very well. Better than I thought it would: I guess those monthly family get togethers have made el fresco meals together feel like normal. The grand-kids always have a blast, playing together, running around on the country property. One hiccup was when one of my grandsons reported that he stepped in dog pooh. I asked him where, curious as I had gone over the whole property around 1 pm, making sure all the doggy gifts were taken care of. His response “I found it on my shoe!” We all had a good laugh. When I told him about cleaning the large back yard his wise response “That was 5 hours ago: Mollie would have had time to do more poops”. Lesson learned!

So, as a family we have adapted to safely getting together doing the COVID times. I have spoken to friends and clients and many are not sure of what they will do for Thanksgiving. The COVID numbers are on the rise once again and we all need to play is safe, even at holiday times. We are hoping that by next Thanksgiving we have a vaccine and that once more we can welcome our family in our home, and give big hugs to all our loved ones.

Ray St-Amour, MSW, RSW

Maray Counselling



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