GR family eager to bring back Thanksgiving traditions following a virtual gathering in 2020

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Thanksgiving is just hours away and some families in Grand Rapids are preparing to get together with loved ones in-person this holiday.

“Thanksgiving is a big holiday for us to get together,” Ari Larae said.

Kimberly Spencer normally has a house full of her family members each year but last year was different because of the pandemic. They had to scale back quite a bit and only those in her household were able to meet at the dinner table.

“It was sad because we weren’t able to have anyone over. We had family members that were ill and in the nursing home so that first Thanksgiving was kind of rough,” Spencer said.

Because they couldn’t have people over, they had to do things differently.

Spencer’s eight siblings, adult nieces and nephews were able to join a Zoom call on Thanksgiving Eve. They each talked about their holiday menu as they exchanged recipes.

“It was really nice to get on there. We laughed and talked about past Thanksgivings and cooking mishaps,” Spencer said. “It was fun while we were doing Thanksgiving prep all on the same call and connecting that way.”

The following day, they gathered again on Zoom and said grace as a family before partaking in their Thanksgiving feast.

Family members gathering at Spencer’s home this year for the holiday must be vaccinated. It won’t be a full house like what they’re used to but they’re all eager to bring back the holiday traditions.

“For me, it’s sitting down at the table and talking about what we’ve been through through the year and what we’re looking forward to,” Spencer said.

“And then also Black Friday shopping,” Larae added.

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