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Arlington couple organizes drive-thru Thanksgiving Meal

"It's better to be safe right now than cry at Christmas...that's the way I see it," said Ruth Parker, who organized a family drive-thru instead of gathering.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Ruth Parker of Arlington has been making a Thanksgiving meal every year since she was 13 years old. She and her husband Chris genuinely love the holidays and especially love making the holiday meals. You could say they have perfected it by now.

"The kids come for the pies and the adults come for the stuffing," Ruth laughed.

She and her husband Chris woke up Thursday morning at 5:00 to get the turkey in the oven. She spent the entire night before just preparing for the meal. But this year will be very different, and certainly a lot quieter. 

"Right now we'd be having a house full of people," Chris said.

This is what Thanksgiving in a pandemic looks like. The extended family will not gather today because of COVID-19. But Chris and Ruth spent little time feeling sad about an empty home and decided to do something about it.  The Parkers organized a drive-thru and drop-off-style Thanksgiving.  

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At noon, four cars filled with family members drove up to where Chris and Ruth had stationed a table in front of the home at the top of their horseshoe driveway. Ruth handed off bags filled with the Thanksgiving meal they had cooked. 

"I hope we get to see each other for Christmas," Ruth's daughter said in the exchange.

This drive-up and drop-off at the home is the safest way Ruth can think of sharing Thanksgiving with her family.  The quick exchanges between cars with her children and grandchildren are not long, but they are enough to keep the heart happy.

"It's better to be safe right now than cry at Christmas...that's the way I see it," said Ruth.

RELATED: Families go virtual for Thanksgiving 2020

Ruth has been cooking Thanksgiving for decades, and probably never felt more thankful than now. She said she is thankful to be alive and especially thankful for her family and friends. She says if the pandemic is still around during Christmas they might organize handing out presents by drive-thru and drop-off, too.