Here in the US, we’re about to celebrate American Thanksgiving. No surprise to anyone, it will look very different this year.

Traditional American Thanksgiving (not during a pandemic) means gathering together with large numbers of family and/or friends and stuffing yourself with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, candied yams, pumpkin pie, and a number of other family traditional recipes. And, of course, stuffing itself. It’s a rather gluttonous day in normal years.

This year, with Covid cases spiking across the country, it will look very different. Families won’t (or shouldn’t) be traveling or gathering together. The meals might include some of the same traditional dishes, but in much smaller quantities. In fact, here in Lincoln City, turkey breasts are nowhere to be found, but full turkeys are overflowing. I’ve never cooked a full turkey before, and I’m not about to start this year when it’s just the two of us. So, we’ll be having smoked turkey legs instead.

I’m kind of excited to try the turkey legs. And we’ll be watching a movie with my sister in New Jersey over Zoom on Thanksgiving. I haven’t seen a movie with my sister in so many years that I can’t remember the last time now.

Before the pandemic hit, I was feeling like Thanksgiving (and Christmas) had become too focused on that gluttony I mentioned before. But not this year. The pandemic has forced us to look at what’s really important: finding ways to be together even if we’re far apart.

So, I’m thankful, truly thankful, for some of the lessons this pandemic is teaching us. I’m thankful for new traditions and for being reminded to focus on what’s important. I’m thankful for the joy I have in my life even during such a stressful year. Hell, after surviving a brain tumor, I’m thankful just to be alive.

And I’m thankful to have the holidays to look forward to this year. We will certainly be making the most of them.

In that spirit, thank you to the 194 backers who made our WMG Holiday Spectacular 2020 Kickstarter such a great success! And if you missed the Kickstarter, never fear: You can still buy the WMG Holiday Spectacular 2020 Calendar of Stories (a story a day for 37 days!) in time for its launch on Thanksgiving Day. Just click here for more details.

The Calendar of Stories is a great way to share the holidays with your friends and/or family, especially this year. Buy one for yourself and one for them and you have a great excuse to check in with each other daily to talk about what you just read.

Now, that’s a happy holiday season!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.