Thanksgiving Day gatherings will be different during outbreak, but traditions continue on a smaller scale

Families plan more intimate Thanksgiving dinners during the pandemic

MADISON, RANKIN COUNTIES, Miss. (WLBT) - The pandemic is making 2020′s Thanksgiving Day gathering like no other.

Some in the metro who say some things will remain the same but maybe on a smaller scale.

Marcus Ellis of Walnut Grove and his wife drove from Walnut Grove to their favorite restaurant Table 100 in Flowood to pick up their Thanksgiving dinner. The drive to Flowood is the farthest they’ll be traveling for the holiday.

“We’ll take all of the necessary precautions. everyone will be masked up,” said Ellis. “Everyone will wash their hands and we’ll maintain social distancing, no hugging all of that but we will still celebrate”.

The day before Thanksgiving is a busy one for Table 100 employees. They’ve prepped all week for the catered meals.

“A lot of people are very busy and tired and this is their day off and they usually work and they just want to have a break and want a nice holiday meal without having to go through all the work of cooking,” said Table 100 Banquet and Catering Manager Carletta Perry.

Jose Gonzalez and his four brothers won’t be getting together Thursday for the usual big family bash. The Brandon resident will stay home with his wife and two children.

“They’ll bring their sons and daughters together. It’s a big gathering,” said Gonzalez. “So it won’t happen this year but maybe Christmas”.

Families continue to turn to restaurants like The Trace Grill in Ridgeland to provide the annual dinner.

Customers say fewer people will be at the table but they still want to celebrate.

A steady stream of people flowed in and out picking up their catered meals, turkey dressing and all the fixings.

“We’re a lot more careful this year, " said Jesse Ross of Sawanee Tennessee. “Trying to wear face mass when we go round and stuff, but no we’re just not having a big family dinner like we used to. We’re just gonna do it all through Zoom and just get together and see how things have been... see how things have been.”

The Trace Grill Front of the House Manager Evan Thompson said catering was a big hit during the pandemic.

The restaurant sold the most fried and smoked turkeys and corn bread dressing than they’ve ever sold.

“We’ve actually had our busiest year yet with Thanksgiving catering,” said Thompson. “Even though folks may not be having as big a Thanksgiving as normal, they’re still having their immediate families.

“Last year we spent probably a week together. we were shopping different places and this year it’s just staying inside, not going to the stores, no going grocery shopping,” said Nicholas Blanchard of Brandon.

Adam Horlock of Jackson is staying put too.

“We knew Thanksgiving would be a little bit different this year with everything going on in 2020,” said Horlock.”Everything is different but still trying to find some normalcy in a very different year”.

Some said they chose the catered dinners to avoid the grocery stores, but they still wanted the traditional yet smaller dinner despite the pandemic.

Many picking up their meals said they don’t plan to travel this Thanksgiving.

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