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Families planning for limited Thanksgiving gatherings

With the CDC advising against travel, many families are preparing to spend Thanksgiving with just immediate family or other small groups.

Posted: Nov 22, 2020 10:59 PM
Updated: Nov 22, 2020 11:11 PM

This year, Thanksgiving will be unlike any other. The CDC is recommending people postpone travel, saying the safest way to keep yourself and others safe is to stay home.

It’s disappointing for many who say Thanksgiving is all about family.

"When you think about Thanksgiving, you're thinking about family. And when you're thinking about family, you're thinking about Thanksgiving and it's hand in hand,” Matthew Darnell said Sunday.

As families across the country prepare to celebrate on Thursday -- either virtually or in a limited capacity -- people seem to be heading the warnings and limiting their gatherings as coronavirus cases continue to surge around the nation.

Darnell said that his Thanksgiving crowd this year will down to fewer than 10 -- in years past it was closer to 40.

"We're really not gonna have anybody there,” he said. “It's just gonna be super immediate family and probably like eight people, that's it."

Other people in Big Spring Park echoed the same message Sunday.

"We have a big family. A normal gathering would consist of probably 50 people gathering, so we won't be doing nothing like that this year,” Joey Liles said.

Liles said his family had not planned to travel this year, which makes things easier in his effort to keep them safe.

The American Automobile Association estimates a 10% drop in total Thanksgiving travel this year, projecting that air travel will be down nearly 50% from 2019. AAA also estimates car travel will drop, though only about 4%.

Another family in the park said they had canceled their plans to travel to Georiga for the holiday. The family was planning to drive to the Peach State to celebrate with a group of about 20, but made the decision Friday to stay home and spend it with immediate family.

While some were a little bummed that they aren't going to get to spend the holiday with their usual groups, they said having those larger gatherings is something to look forward to and makes them grateful for what they've been able to have in the past.

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