Large family to hold a socially distanced Thanksgiving, DOH encourages others to do the same

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and local health officials are urging people to not gather with anyone outside of their household. For many, this means not getting to be with all the family they normally spend thanksgiving with.

Such is the case with the Kneeland family. “There’s 11 kids, 32 grand kids, and how many great grand kids?” Asks Patrick Kneeland. His sister, Bridget Jensen replies, “I lost count. Probably 15 or so.”

Holidays have always been big for their family. They’re so large they don’t all spend thanksgiving together and break it up into what they consider smaller groups. “I usually host the local family up here which is a small group of about 20-to 25 people,” says Bridget.

But this year, being indoors with that many relatives isn’t an option. “My niece who lives down the street she was going to host it outdoors,  get some heaters and social distance-and we decided it's just not worth the risk. We have grandbabies and we have older people, we just decided that we're just not going to have it together this year and that's because we love each other.” Bridget and Patrick’s sister, Gretchen Tapp says things will also be very different at their house. “Usually we would buy a big turkey to cover a lot of people, but my husband went out and just bought a breast and a turkey leg.”  

But in a way there’s something very special that’ll happen. Approximately 50 members of their clan will be on a zoom call together. They say it’s been very hard to be apart, but for them, the decision to socially distance is easy. “This is very serious, and we love our family and we respect each other, we wear a mask, we do it all because we have to,” says Bridget. Gretchen adds “and because we want to see each other for the next holiday.”