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        News — #Thanksgiving

        Shopping & Saving this Holiday Season

        Shopping & Saving this Holiday Season

        Shopping and Saving This Holiday Season 

        By Elena Allison 

        If you haven’t done any online shopping since the beginning of the pandemic.. Congratulations, you’re doing better than the rest of us! But if you have a holiday coming up, odds are, you have started to think a little bit about how gift giving and receiving is going to look in the time of COVID -19. The Holiday Season already can raise stress and anxiety levels. Fighting with big crowds, coping with financial stress, making returns, and struggling to find the perfect gift can all cause frustrations during a time that is supposed to be filled with joy and relaxation. The stress of 2020 and the current global health situation can undoubtedly add to this stress if not planned for and properly managed. Today, we are sharing some ideas to help mitigate some of the chaos that is the holiday season. With a little bit of planning and advanced preparation, you’ll be able to take on the holidays like a pro! 

        Shopping Will Start Earlier

        One thing we can all expect is for the shopping rush to start a bit earlier this year in an effort to avoid holiday crowds like those on Black Friday. Even though it might feel like a bit of annoyance to already have to start thinking about gifts, this might actually have some perks to it! For example, sales will probably start earlier and last longer! That means you won’t have to make your purchases right away, and prices might keep dropping closer to the holiday! 

        Most Shopping Will Probably Move Online 

        With stores limiting capacity and some states beginning to implement lockdowns once again, it is almost a guarantee that this holiday season will involve many more online purchases. Because of this, stores may even be stocking fewer items and instead redirecting customers to their websites! If you want to avoid bigger crowds as a safety measure, consider taking a peak online for the perfect gift! We love websites like Etsy, society6, Redbubble and Storenvy for supporting local and independent artists! 

        Expect Shipping Delays 

        If you can, it is probably best to go ahead and begin your shopping in order to have a wide safety net for delivery. With the expected increase in online purchases, it is possible that shipping carriers and the post office will be overwhelmed with packages. To make sure your delivery makes it to the right place at the right time, make sure you mail presents well in advance of your holiday, and ask for a tracking number! 

        Spending Less On Gifts May Be The Norm This Year 

        This year, the reality is that many people may have tighter budgets. If you do a regular gift exchange with family or friends, it might be a good idea to have a realistic conversation with them about what a realistic amount to spend is. No one wants friends and family to feel obligated to spend money on gifts, so even if you don’t know someone’s financial situation, it might not hurt to bring this topic up gently. This may clear the air of any tensions surrounding gift giving this holiday season. One benefit from the current situation is that a lack of presents may force us all to take a closer look at the real purpose of the holidays: love, family and togetherness. 

        What are your plans for the holidays this year? If you’re still struggling to find the perfect gift, check out our Rafi Nova Gift Guide

        Giving Thanks for Tradition

        Giving Thanks for Tradition

        By Elena Allison 

        If you live in a high risk state (which as of this month is almost all of them), we are hoping your Thanksgiving plans this year are a little different than usual. Many of us are splitting family gatherings into smaller groups, staying in with roommates to celebrate ‘Friendsgiving’, or simply ordering takeout and getting together virtually. Whatever your plans are this season, one thing that does not have to change is the joy that comes from celebrating family, friendships, and blessings. Today, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite, most meaningful Thanksgiving traditions, and shared some ideas for how to make these pandemic proof! Although many of us are grieving the loss of life, jobs, and plans this year, these fun ideas are sure to bring some cheer to everyone involved and create some lasting, memorable moments. 

        1. Add a New Recipe to your Thanksgiving Menu! 

        This year, try adding a new recipe to your annual Thanksgiving menu! It can be something more traditional for Thanksgiving that you usually don’t prepare, or it could be something completely unusual for your family! Making something new or challenging can be a great way to keep your family intrigued and involved in the holidays. If your plans are virtual, or your family is splitting up, consider making it a bit of a contest! Have the pickiest eaters in the family decide who the winner in each group is. Maybe everyone can chip in a little bit in advance to get the winner a gift card, or some new Rafi Nova masks and accessories! 

        2. Start Playing Family Trivia 

        This idea is inspired by my roommate and her parents, who over the quarantine reconnected with their extended family in the U.K. to play a weekly game of Trivia! Now every Saturday afternoon I usually hear some impassioned discussion in British accents coming from our living room. This one is fun for the whole family. Take turns making the questions for different rounds so every generation has a chance to be represented. You might learn a little bit about anything from the newest TikTok star to the biggest 80’s pop hits. 

        3. Make a Thanksgiving Pinata 

        Believe it or not, this one is fun for both kids and adults. Set up a space for some mess, and get ready to get crafty! We love this set of instructions from You could either make this on Thanksgiving Day to break it open on Black Friday, or prepare the pinata a few days in advance to have it ready for your get together! 

        4. Take a Hike 

        If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm climate right now, why not get out and enjoy it! Pick a park or trail you haven’t been to before (we personally love this website from the U.S. national park service), pack a bag, and go! Make sure you check park hours and any holiday closures, and don’t forget to bring a water bottle, a charged phone, and a clean mask! 

        5. Head to a Pumpkin Patch/ Apple Picking Spot 

        If you haven’t been apple picking yet this season, now’s the time! Lots of orchards have opened with social distancing measures in place to keep everyone safe. Check with your local farm to find out what holiday hours look like and what restrictions are in place. 

        6. Take a Zoom Family Photo 

        Everyone look at your webcam… and say cheese! If you’re feeling like you want to forget about this year, you’re definitely not alone. But when our posterity asks what we did to stay connected and create happy memories, why not show them! Gather everyone around the computer screen, smile, and take a screenshot! Make sure not to leave this year out of the family photo albums, even if it looks a little different. 

        7. Organize a Scavenger Hunt 

        This one is especially fun if your Thanksgiving holiday is virtual or if your family is split into groups this year. This scavenger hunt pack from is sure to have your entire family running around the house looking for items! Is there a better way to make more room for Thanksgiving leftovers? 

        8. Watch the Parade on TV! 

        If you were planning on heading to Times Square for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year.. don’t! Although there is still a parade happening this year, one that you can watch online here on Twitter and YouTube, there will be no in person spectators in an effort to enforce social distancing. Additionally, this year’s parade won’t be marching through the traditional Manhattan route, and will be featuring less people. What better excuse is there to curl up on the couch with some hot cocoa or cider, and spend time at home with family and friends!

        9. Help Those in Need

        We love this article from Delish that outlines some of the many ways you can donate your time, money, or resources on Thanksgiving this year! What better way is there to give thanks than by giving back. This year in particular, there are many individuals and organizations in need of support. If you don’t feel like leaving the house this year, you and your family can spend some time writing cards to prisoners, military or seniors! This easy and simple task is sure to spread some joy among all those involved, without unnecessarily spreading germs. 

        Which one of these was your favorite? How is your family or friend group going to celebrate Thanksgiving this year? What are you most grateful for right now? Let us know in the comments, or send us a DM on Instagram @rafinova_go! 

        Marissa's Pumpkin Bread: Thanksgiving Recipes

        Marissa's Pumpkin Bread: Thanksgiving Recipes

        All throughout the month of November, Rafi Nova will be featuring Thanksgiving Recipes on our Blog! Here is Marissa's Famous Pumpkin Bread Recipe!

        This recipe will make 3 loaves of pumpkin bread.
        • 4 eggs
        • 2 cups of sugar
        • 1 cup of oil
        • 1 teaspoon of oil (Crisco-or Wesson)
        • 2/3 cup of ice water
        • 1 can of canned pumpkin or squash
        • 3 ½ cups of flour (regular)
        • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
        • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
        • 2 teaspoon of baking soda
        • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

        Directions: Be sure to pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Beat the 4 eggs well. Add sugar and oil, then add water and pumpkin. Mix very well (it will be soupy). Add all dry ingredients and blend. Before putting in the oven, do not grease the pans. Bake for an hour, then shut the oven off and leave in for 10 minutes! 

        This pumpkin bread makes for the perfect fall breakfast or dessert!