With Thanksgiving just days away, local health officials are asking families to stay home and help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Over the last few weeks, cases of the the virus in Bell County have increased to numbers not seen since July, and both local health officials and the CDC are asking Americans to keep holiday celebrations exclusive to members of their household this year and avoid travel if possible to get those numbers back down.

According to KWTX, Dr. Jackson Griggs, the CEO of the Waco Family Health Centers, recently advised families to keep the number of family members at this year's Thanksgiving dinner to minimum. He's encouraging small groups to set up outside (weather permitting) and the wearing of masks except when eating.

I know with the year we've had we were all looking forward to spending quality time with our loved ones, but it's important that we continue to physically distance, mask up, and be mindful of what we touch to ensure that we all make it to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving next year.
Below I have compiled a list of ideas that you and your family can do on the holiday to still spend time together. Check it out.
** Zoom is lifting the 40 minute time limit for free meetings on Thanksgiving.
Here are some ideas:
1. Have someone host a cooking Zoom meeting. Maybe one traditional family dish, and everyone that can’t gather can prepare that dish simultaneously. Could be a good way to pass those recipes on to the next generation.
2. Story time. Have every household tell a story about a prior Thanksgiving, or other fun family stories everyone would enjoy. It would be great to hear stories about the parents, grandparents, etc. You can even designate a Griot to take notes and put it all together in a book or video at a later date to pass on.
3. Pictionary or Charades is interesting on Zoom. Give it a try!
4. A virtual lip sync battle. It may be a little late to prepare for Thanksgiving, but there’s time for Christmas. (That’s for the families without singers that can just free style greatness ). A TikTok challenge could be fun too, and the younger generations can take the lead and share their TikTok wisdom with their elders.
5. Have a scavenger hunt.
Those are just a few ideas for how you can get creative and spend time with family virtually and safely as we try to get those COVID-19 numbers back down.
Be safe and innovative, and may you find strength, wisdom, and joy through these challenging times.

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