BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday for families to come together and give thanks. 

But in recent weeks, Governor Phil Murphy has been urging people to limit their Thanksgiving celebrations in New Jersey to immediate household family, and a small number of close relatives or friends. This is due to the fact that New Jersey has been reporting daily cases in the thousands, for the first time since early in the pandemic.

For students like sophomore Kyra Ford, the usual holiday traditions may look different. Ford said, “I enjoy seeing my loved ones on Thanksgiving. My sister, my grandma and I make pie every year.”

Sign Up for Mountainside Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Keeping the number of guests to lower numbers will hopefully help to contain the spread of the virus.

“The only thing we are doing differently this year is that only my mom’s side of the family is coming over, ” said junior Reagan Hopeck.

  Some families also have decided to change the location of their Thanksgiving meal in order to avoid travel. 

Ford said, “I am going to my family friends house this year. Normally I would travel to visit family in other states, but I cannot do that this year.”

Thanksgiving is also all about family traditions. This can range from food to activities to decorations. 

Senior Sara Hunter said that every year her mom makes her special apple pie, which is a  tradition that will surely bring her family together.

Although, Hunter said, “I’m not sure if we’ll be able to do a family dinner this year.” 

Many students are unsure about what this Thanksgiving is going to be like. 

However, despite some of these disappointing changes, students are still finding fun and safe ways to enjoy Thanksgiving. 

Hopeck said, “This year my family is playing a corn hole tournament if it is warm enough.”

A recent increase in COVID cases could compel Governor Murphy to take even more restrictive steps for Thanksgiving celebrations. However, students can still keep up the spirit of giving by preparing traditional family recipes for immediate family and neighbors. Families can still enjoy watching parades, sports and movies safely from their homes on Thanksgiving.