Skip to content
Things To Do
Link copied to clipboard

To do this week: Start planning the holidays

We have some great tips for celebrating for Thanksgiving and upcoming holiday season while staying safe.

The holidays are coming soon. Get ready.
The holidays are coming soon. Get ready.Read moreCheyenne Cohen / AP

On the to-do list this week: Election season is (mostly) over, but holiday season is coming up fast. So let’s talk turkey. With coronavirus numbers rising, giving thanks is, much like everything else this year, going to look a little different. We’ve got what you need to prepare for the meal, but also for those conversations with relatives who may be on the other side of the political divide.

And remember: We’ve collected our best articles with our best Philly tips. They’re in one place here.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and, as much as possible, it’s still a good idea to stay home.

Know this

» Ask us a question through Curious Philly:

Stay safe, do stuff

Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:

  1. 🌟 Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show at Franklin Square (Light show / in-person / outdoors / free) Ooh and ahh at more than 100,000 twinkling lights at Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show, which returns for the holiday season on Nov. 19. The show, set to festive music recorded by the Philly POPS, starts at 5 p.m. nightly and occurs every 30 minutes. (Free, Nov. 19-Dec. 31,, map, add to calendar).

🔎 Find more of this week’s safe kid-friendly, outdoor and arts events.

Do this

The holidays are coming up soon. Here’s how to get ready:

  1. If I start quarantining now, can I see my family? What if we all get tested, can we ditch the masks? Well, it’s not that simple. First off, self-quarantining is rarely realistic for everyone involved. And tests aren’t necessarily perfect or enough. Also, not to be a total Debbie Downer, but with the case counts where they are right now, the risk is not ideal. Grace Dickinson asked medical experts how to make sense of it all, and if there is some way that we can see grandma.

  2. Want to try a Zoomsgiving? Here’s how, according to Tiffani Rozier: “Two words: good planning. Make sure the plan includes a designated leader, a shared theme, menu, and timeline. This strategy works for a Friendsgiving as well. Choose a virtual ‘head cook,’ such as an auntie, and have a preholiday cooking session so everyone can ask recipe and cooking questions.”

  3. Want to do turkey al fresco? First all, take note: It’s not advised to do the holidays with people outside your household, even outdoors, full stop. But if you do something anyway, there are important things to know to keep safe: Think about how big your yard is, make it lunch instead of dinner, mask up when not eating, and think about making it alcohol-free.

  4. OK, but you still need a turkey, right? Jenn Ladd has got you, with a list of spots where you can get a fresh bird, from Reading Market to Bucks County, South Jersey, Montco, Delco and more.

  5. But what if you don’t want to cook? No problem. Jenn Ladd has compiled several restaurants that are offering Thanksgiving dinner for takeout or outdoor dining.

Talk about this

So, what are y’all going to talk about over Thanksgiving? It’s been a year of fraught conversations, and just because Election Day has passed doesn’t mean that it will get easier to talk to family members on the other side of the political divide, even if the meal is held virtually. Elizabeth Wellington has some tips if you want to repair some relationships broken by this broken year:

  1. Start with yourself. Give yourself a break. Sit with your feelings, and remember your own sense of resilience. It’s only when you’ve recovered that you can start to think about starting to heal your relationships with others.

  2. Think about whether the relationship is worth saving. Are you close? Is it worth it? Sometimes it’s worth finding a vulnerable place with people you don’t agree with. Other times, it’s just better to walk away. Dig deep until you have an answer.

  3. Take some first steps. Listen actively, and, if possible, in person (or on video / on the phone). Don’t get into it over social media. And start by taking a neutral approach. Avoid gloating or name-calling, and try talking about how you feel.

Much more advice about each of these steps in Elizabeth’s full piece.

» READ MORE: How to fix relationships the election has strained.