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This year the holiday season will look different due to the pandemic. A few members of the IU School of Medicine medical education community shared how their plans have changed.

What are your holiday plans?

pumpkin pie and person holding cup of coffee

This year the holiday season will look different due to the pandemic. Families around the country are choosing to celebrate at home and virtually with loved ones. Although there are promising vaccines on the horizon, it is important to make decisions now that help lower the risk of spreading the virus.

A few members of the IU School of Medicine medical education community shared how their plans have changed. From hosting a Zoom-giving to supporting local restaurants, individuals are finding creative ways to connect.

“Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I was born on Thanksgiving Day, and every year my entire family (on both my mom's and dad's side) comes to my parent's house. I pretend that they all come in for my birthday, but I know they're really just in for the holiday. Normally we eat, talk, eat, play games, eat, exchange holiday gifts, and then eat some more. This year will be a bit different. This year, like many other people, I'm helping to host our first ever Zoom-giving. Our whole family will log on and eat together virtually, enjoying each other's company while staying safe from all the mayhem. Although it's a bit different, I can't wait to see everyone's faces on the screen, and I still very much plan on eating until I'm uncomfortably full.” 

Eric, Class of 2021

“I will be headed home (after being tested of course) to see my parents who I haven’t seen in a couple months. We intend to just spend some quality time as a family of three since my brother is currently in Scotland and hasn’t been able to make it home! We usually have a celebration for international students, so I might be having my parents and I find ways to cook for others safely for those that might be staying on campus or for those that aren’t able to have holiday meals!”

Megan, Class of 2021

“Thanksgiving this year might look a lot different, but I’m excited to try my hand at preparing a small Thanksgiving dinner for my husband, myself, and our two dogs (and that includes our first attempt at homemade pumpkin pie)! We’ll sit down virtually over Zoom to cheers with our families while my siblings inevitably poke fun at my cooking attempts. Wishing you all a safe and fun holiday!”

Rebekah, Class of 2021

“With a new baby, comes new traditions which means my parents coming to visit us this year. We normally do a large spread with about 30 plus family and cousins on the south side of Chicago, but this year it will be very intimate and probably include a Zoom with my husband’s family. For our dinner we decided to shop local and plan to participate in the local can food drives through my daughter’s kindergarten class. We will also be celebrating my birthday, which is on Thanksgiving this year.”

Lauren Henninger, Lead Advisor

“We had a turkey in the oven early this year. We had a baby in March and this will be her first Thanksgiving. Like many, we have started celebrating Holidays early and already put up holiday lights. We are getting turkey from Kincaid Market and like to pick up gluten free treat from 1923 Bakehouse in Franklin.”

Antwione Haywood, PhD, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs

"For the last several years we’ve celebrated both Thanksgiving with family as well as Friendsgiving. We’ve tried something new each year - I recommend spatchcocking the turkey and trying the world’s best green been casserole. This year, weather permitting, we’re going for an outdoors Thanksgiving with our local survival pod using fires and radiant heaters to keep warm. As a family we’re not traveling so we will Zoom in to share time together with our family in the evening."

Daniel Corson-Knowles, MD, Director of Clinical Distinctions, Phase 3

Are you still figuring out your plans? Check out guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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Susanna Scott

Susanna focuses on communication for Medical Student Education, Faculty and Staff. She is also working toward her doctorate in health communication at IUPUI.
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.