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I got "the question" last night when I was talking to my mom.

"Are you guys coming up for Thanksgiving?" she asked.

Ugh. I had been dreading that question for weeks. I knew it was coming. My parents are all about holidays and tradition. You know what they're not all about? Missing holidays and tradition.

This is going to be a very tough topic for a lot of families here on the SouthCoast, across the nation, and around the world. With the holidays coming up, what are the plans going to be?

My family looks forward to holidays in a big way. My parents live about 90 minutes north of us, and about 90 minutes south of my sister. We don’t get the chance to pop in casually on one another – which is both good and bad – but it means that holidays and special occasions are crucial to us.

Not surprisingly, at the beginning of the pandemic, we didn’t see my parents for months. Once restrictions were loosened and the weather became more cooperative, my parents were thrilled to see their grandkids again. My mom actually got emotional a couple of times after seeing the kids. She talked about how hard it was not seeing them during the lockdown period of the pandemic.

Now that Thanksgiving is approaching, I have no idea what to do. It’s hard to think about my parents spending Thanksgiving or Christmas alone. I know that my parents would be crushed.

On the flip side, though, I have two kids going to two different schools and a wife that is teaching at a third school. Throw in my niece who is going to a fourth school, and steadily spiking numbers, and you’ve got a high-risk pool of people.

As unthinkable as it is to consider not spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with my parents, it’s nothing compared to thinking about the worst happening after they caught the virus. That would be unbearable, and it is a very real thing for a lot of people.

Maybe mother nature will cooperate again and gift us with unseasonably warm temperatures on Thanksgiving Day. If we could have dinner outside, I think that might sway the risk/reward balance back to seeing my parents. I’m not sure if I can convince my dad to mask up in his own house.

Who knows, maybe a vaccine will be made available by Christmas? We can only hope.