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Texas Families Take Different Approaches To Thanksgiving Get-Togethers, As COVID-19 Cases Surge



PLANO, TX – Boxes of turkeys stacked inside a freezer at Hirsch’s Meats in Plano are quickly being claimed for Thanksgiving dinners.

“Our phones. All day. Non-stop. People are looking for turkeys,” said the butcher shop’s owner Gary Hirsch.

He wasn’t expecting quite so much demand for turkey this year. “I thought celebrations would be smaller,” he said, explaining his decision to order more small turkeys and fewer large ones. “But we’re not having a hard time selling the larger turkeys.”

At Easter time, when COVID-19 cases were climbing, he says, people were cancelling plans and cancelling orders for ham. “We got stuck with a lot of product. People weren’t getting together,” he said.

The CDC has urged Americans to avoid travel and stay home, as the number of infections once again surges.

But, Hirsch says customers seem more relaxed now about gatherings and have shared a wide range of approaches to the Thanksgiving holiday.

“I got some people saying they got family coming in. There will be 14 of them. You know, some people say, ‘Nah, we’re not going to do it. It’s just going to be the two of us.’”

Some households scaling down their dinners are opting out of cooking.

Central Market reports its seen a significant increase in the sale of ready-to-heat holiday meals.

In Fort Worth, Melissa Gonzalez usually throws a big Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. “I’m like, wait, I don’t know if I know how to cook a small turkey,” she said laughing.

This year, her family with connect with relatives online. “I’ll probably still get a 20 pound turkey,” she said. Gonzalez is prepared for a lot of leftovers.