This Thanksgiving we focus on the thanks

This Thanksgiving we focus on the thanks!

It’s been a difficult year for all of us, but it’s especially difficult for those facing serious illness who cannot be together with their loved ones right now. Some might even feel that this may be their last opportunity to carry out important family traditions, and the holidays may amplify feelings of loss and sadness. While celebrating separately is no one’s ideal of how we would like to enjoy the holiday, this year, more than ever, it’s the best thing we can do to keep one another safe and healthy.

Today we would like to share some ideas about refocusing our perspective toward appreciating what we have, and keeping our loved ones safe and healthy.

Focus on the thanks

In moments like these, it can be difficult to step back and think about the positives, but counting your blessings can be a great strategy for finding hope and joy in our lives. We have so much to be thankful for. Instead of focusing on missed experiences, let’s savor what we have. It’s so easy to get into a rut of worry and stress. Don’t let missing a traditional Thanksgiving add to your problems. Find a way to focus on the thanks.

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”Eckhart Tolle

Ideas for other ways to celebrate

Perhaps it doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving without Grandma’s famous sweet potato casserole and Aunt Lucy’s jell-o salad. Is it possible for Grandma and Aunt Lucy to make their famous creations and portion them out for pick-up or delivery to each family member’s home? If family members are too far apart, maybe receiving a smoked turkey will help when you’re missing one another. One family matriarch we know sent a ham or smoked turkey to each child who protected her health by staying home. Add a call to the grandkids, and it’s a lovely (and very 2020) way to be together.

If the family always loved a dish of yours, consider making a nice recipe card and sending the ingredients. Or, send any special treat online or with local delivery. Up for even more of an adventure? Film yourself making the dish with your smart phone and send it out to family. No one cares if it’s shaky or unprofessional. In fact, that’s part of the fun and is sure to result in something to be enjoyed for years to come!

If it’s just two of you, order takeout or home delivery of a special meal. Many groceries and restaurants are offering traditional meals by the person. If you want turkey, eat turkey! Or what about ordering your favorite meal that is not traditional? Tamales, curry, steak and potatoes even pizza can be a celebration.

If you like the formal appeal of serving your meal on china, candles, and silver, go ahead! Even if it’s just you! Or perhaps we should say, ESPECIALLY if it’s just you! If there ever was a year to treat yourself, this is it.

Or, put on sweat pants and watch football on television if that’s a real treat to you. You decide!

Go nontraditional

What about a family film fest for a small family? These days you can stream just about anything to your living room, so make a list of the movies your family loves.

Have a dance party. Put on your favorite music and dance the blues away!

Get outside! Take a walk and enjoy the fall colors. Or, have a glass of wine on the porch and wave to the neighbors.

Take a moment to do what you can to ensure everyone in your community enjoys Thanksgiving. Your time or your money can do wonderful things for your neighbors in need, and studies show that giving makes the donor just as happy as the recipient. We can all use some happiness right now.

Think outside the box this year. Maybe you will even be fortunate enough to start a new tradition.

If you decide to keep it small, find other ways to connect

  • Have a family Zoom call or Skype – be sure to have a moderator
  • Send emails and texts
  • Share photos
  • Tell family members what they mean to you
  • Have everyone think of what they are thankful for
  • Send treats by mail, order online or do a local food delivery

Stay safe!

Experts recommend that if you decide to go ahead with large Thanksgiving gatherings, you need to take precautions.

  • Everyone get tested in a timely fashion, or be sure to have been taking adequate precautions
  • Don’t pressure anyone who has to decline for health reasons
  • Wear masks when not eating
  • Place chairs at the table further apart
  • Set a time limit of less than 90 minutes total
  • Don’t share napkins, cutlery, or glasses
  • Instead of passing food around the table or a buffet, have one person make the plates – the fewer hands, the better!
  • Gather outside on a nice day

However you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, focus on the thanks!

About Us

The mission of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care is to bring expert care, peace of mind, comfort, guidance, and hope to people who are affected by life-limiting illness or by grief. Our vision is that each person in our community is valued from life through death and each family is supported in their grief.

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Our Programs

Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care provides comprehensive, expert care for all ages at all stages of serious illness.

Hospice Care

When the focus shifts to comfort instead of treatment, care comes to your home or nursing facility with a plan tailored to your needs, including emotional and spiritual support for the whole family.

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Hospice Care

Palliative Medicine Fellowship

Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care is the community clinical site for the University of Kansas Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship. We're committed to developing physicians with specialty-level training in caring for patients with serious or terminal illness.

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Palliative Medicine Fellowship

Community-Based Palliative Care

Beginning as early as diagnosis and at any stage of serious illness, our nurse practitioners make home visits as needed to help coordinate your care and provide expert pain and symptom management.

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Community-Based Palliative Care
Hospice House

Hospice House

When symptoms cannot be easily managed at home, two hospice houses provide 24/7 expert care in comfortable home-line settings where family members can be relieved of caregiving duties to focus on loved ones.

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Carousel Pediatric Care

Carousel provides palliative and hospice care for perinatal and for babies through young adults with a dedicated team of pediatric nurses, social workers, chaplains and other specialists.

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Carousel Pediatric Care
Solace House

Solace House

Our center for grief and healing supports individuals and families who have been impacted by the death of a loved one, whether anticipated, or sudden and unexpected. We provide opportunities to share, listen, learn and heal with peer group support from age 3 through adult.

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