Chicago Tribune

Smaller turkeys. Yams to go. Lobster? COVID will transform holiday meals

CHICAGO — Leslie Highberger usually celebrates Thanksgiving with her husband's extended family, at a different destination each year. Last year they all met in Naples, Florida. Twenty people gathered for the fall feast.

This year there will be no flying or large gatherings as COVID-19 cases rise and fears of spreading the virus to loved ones cloud the holiday. Highberger, 30, and her husband plan to have two Thanksgivings close to home, each with about six people. One dinner will be with her husband's father in Wisconsin and the second with her parents in the Chicago suburbs.

"They will still want to do the whole turkey thing to make it feel like a traditional Thanksgiving," said the Roscoe Village resident. "It will be a lot of food."

As families grapple with how to spend Thanksgiving in the midst of a pandemic, many are planning for smaller soirees.

Just 29% of consumers said they plan to host or attend a

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