Zooms-giving was pretty terrific, in my opinion. There were enough technical skills in the group, and literacy, etc. that we could talk each other through the controls and have meaningful conversation that lingered for a couple of hours of our afternoon.
Let's see, counting noses, we had five screens here in town, plus two from North Dakota, one from Kansas, and one from Utah. And the hostess, in NY state. We got the Utah contingent to switch to a phone link so they could go outside and video the "flock", because son's GF is a bird person and his Utah cousin keeps chickens and ducks. We got the story of the wild mallard they had nursed to health, that flew off in migration and came back to their house bringing a mate the next year, and again the next.
We got the description of son's GF's birds, too, and the whole "who does what for a living" intros of several folks who've moved or changed jobs.
We swapped stories of Thanksgivings past where things went wrong or were fond memories, and I was once again corrected in my memory... the year the cat pulled the turkey off the counter WASN'T from when I was a child (I tried to share this one with my older sister earlier in the week and she did not remember it). No, not at all. Different house from where I'd placed it, different decade, different cat! My SON remembered the incident, so it had to be the house in NY state! And he identified which cat.
Fascinating... and of course we had the circle of things we were thankful for... a lot of thankfulness for remaining employed throughout the year... or in a couple of our cases, being retired with stable incomes... that we are taking care of each other... and taking care of others.
We talked about the mental health challenges, the educational needs of children, the importance of weighing risks and having that hug, anyway, when it's worth it to you. We had respectful comments about people's choices in the pandemic... I appreciate that nobody got either accusatory or defensive, it was civil! None of us are "in your face" anti-maskers, but the sizes of our pods, and the personal practices of seniors are different. Some of these families have young children, and the needs of young children to have in-person contact, and if you're wearing a mask, what the hey, that hug might just be worth it!
My older sister and I are probably the most cautious, but that makes sense, given we're the "at risk" group. However those who have jobs that require contact... well, the point was made that as a physical therapist assistant, physical touch is a requirement of the job, for another sister.
Hoping my fellow Sparkers managed to find a way to have contact with loved ones, in some form, this Thanksgiving Day. We like it enough, we're booking to have another on Christmas!