Thanksgiving during pandemic makes family detour to creative options they plan to keep

Between drive-thrus, drop-offs, zooms and many other options, local families certainly didn’t miss out on the food or the fun.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Recreating tradition. 

That’s been the theme of the holidays this year as families turned Thanksgiving meals into drive-thru celebrations. That’s what Sydney English and her family did Thursday afternoon.

“Being around each other and experience her good cooking again it was special this year for sure,” English said.

They didn’t have to miss out on her grandmother’s cooking, and the chaos of the holidays wasn’t a distraction from catching up.

“And then this year sitting around in cars, we actually had conversations with each other and we actually got to hear updates in everyone’s lives and that usually doesn’t happen,” English said.

Because Thanksgiving is Sydney’s favorite holiday, last minute, she ran to the grocery store and bought what was left.

“And I tried to recreate as much of my family meal as possible and it was basically a Friendsgiving minus the friends,” English said.

“At the end of the day I dropped off some of the food that we made for my mom and that was so special for her because she wasn’t going to have a Thanksgiving meal either,” English said.

This untraditional celebration gave Sydney and her family some ideas to adapt to for the upcoming holidays. Adapting is what Toni and Trent McKinley have been doing for 18 years.

“A lot of things that have went virtual or drive-by have been really good for him because that’s exactly what we need,” Toni McKinley said.

Trent has a rare metabolic disorder that affects his immune system and while he needs to be extremely cautious, they made the most of Thanksgiving, between eating outside, porch drop-offs and decorations.

“We do have some fun things up our sleeves for Christmas,” Toni said.

They plan to dress up and deliver joy to their loved ones.

“We’re gonna take Christmas to people instead of stealing it, and leave it on their porch,” Toni said.

It’s a way they can embrace the holiday spirit but also stay healthy. Trent also loved the lights under Louisville which come to town every year. Last year, Toni said he went 21 times and they plan to pass their record this year.

Luckily it’s perfectly safe for him to enjoy. These families are just some examples of how you can still celebrate even though times are different.

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