My Thanksgiving table and the number of chairs around it will look a lot different this year. Instead of a traditional meal, I will be going out to dinner, and here’s why.

I come from a large family and I cherish that very much. Growing up with a dozen cousins made every family outing and holiday feel like a grand event. Over the years, our family has grown even more as my cousins had children, and we look forward to our large gatherings during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

However, 2020 had other plans in mind, which forced my family to come to the tough decision that we will spend Thanksgiving with our immediate families only. Our decision comes before Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has even released her official protocol for Turkey Day, but we decided it was best to play it safe in hopes that we will be reunited for Christmas.

While I have many cousins, I only have one brother, and he will be spending Thanksgiving with his wife and son. So that leaves me, my dad, and my fiancé (whose family is in New York) to come up with a game plan for my favorite holiday.

Instead of spending hours in the kitchen, cooking way too much food and being stuck with a week’s worth of leftovers, we decided to treat ourselves this holiday and go to a restaurant. Partially because I don’t know how to cook a Thanksgiving feast for just three people, but mostly because I know my cooking wouldn’t compare to that of the many aunts in my life.

My dad, Ross, and I will be enjoying a special Thanksgiving menu at the Capital Grille in Providence, a top-notch steak house downtown. We are, quite literally, leaving the cooking to the professionals.

I got emotional when I realized that my Thanksgiving table would be much smaller than previous years, but it made me realize how lucky I am to have people at the table to begin with; no matter how big or small that table is, I am grateful for who is sitting there.

Would you go out to eat for Thanksgiving? Tell us why or why not in the comments under this post on our Facebook page.

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