JOHNSTON: Instead of canceling, reimagine the holidays

Published 2:40 pm Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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hanksgiving looks different. Many of us will stay closer to home and have fewer people over to celebrate. This is definitely a disappointment, as Thanksgiving is a time of good food and fellowship. 2020 has been the year of “reimagining” traditions and the way we normally do things. I’m trying really hard to say that we aren’t canceling holidays and traditions, just doing them differently. So I wanted to give a few fun ideas for turkey day that might help you reimagine the holiday.

Get crafty. All ages can enjoy making a turkey-themed craft. The craft can be as simple as making a turkey by tracing your hand on a piece of paper. Use your thumb for the head and transform your other fingers into feathers. You can find tons of crafting ideas on social media sites for all ages and abilities. Many of the crafts are things you have on hand or can easily get from local stores or online shopping sites.

Get moving. During a normal year, Clark County has a turkey trot and everyone goes out, freezes their turkey tails off and gets the cutest T-shirts. Sadly, we aren’t doing that this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a “turkey trots” with your family or virtually with your friends. You can choose a shortened race with your immediate family members or make it a friendly competition with family members or friends via video conference or social media tagging. Friendly competition is fun during this time of limited social interaction and physical activity has been proven to help enhance our mood — so it’s a win-win.

Spend time in nature. Take a nature walk and call it a turkey hunt. On your hunt, look for things like sticks, leaves and acorns. You may even see a wild turkey. This can be a fun activity for young children. There are all sorts of scavenger hunt-type activities you can find on the Internet. Check those out and move it outdoors.

Make and eat a different kind of turkey. If you have a turkey or Thanksgiving-related cookie cutter, now is the time to dust it off and put it to work. If you have children, allow them to help you make and decorate turkey-themed cookies. Not only is this a great way to spend time as a family, but it can teach children important skills like measuring, fractions and how to read a recipe.

Read. Reading books about turkeys or the history of Thanksgiving is a great way to promote literacy and educate your children about the holiday. You can check out turkey-themed books from the library by going to www.clarkbooks.org and reserving for curbside pick-up (there is a curbside tab on the right side). There may also be some neat videos on the Internet that tell the history of Thanksgiving.

For more information or ideas, feel free to reach out to me at the Clark County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

I hope each and every one of you has a Happy Thanksgiving.

Shonda Johnston is the Clark County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. She can be reached at 859-744-4682 or by email at shonda.johnston@uky.edu.