My Mom Doesn't Want My Unvaccinated Partner at Thanksgiving | Ask the Rev. | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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My Mom Doesn't Want My Unvaccinated Partner at Thanksgiving


Published November 17, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

ID 229224769 © STUDIO9194 | DREAMSTIME.COM

Dear Reverend,

My partner of eight years is unvaccinated. (Don't get me started. It is what it is.) My mom is hosting Thanksgiving dinner and doesn't want anyone who isn't vaccinated to come. I don't want to miss out on getting together with my family, but I feel bad leaving my partner alone at home on the holiday. I'm really torn. What should I do?

Wendy Wishbone (female, 37)

Dear Wendy Wishbone,

I hope you understand that your mother isn't trying to be a meanie. She's likely looking out for the well-being of your partner as much as the other people who will be at the gathering. Anyone can spread or contract COVID-19, whether they're vaccinated or not. If you're vaxxed, your chance of getting very sick is greatly lessened, but coming down with the virus can still be a drag. (Trust me, I know firsthand.) People have their reasons for not getting the vaccine and, even if we don't agree with them, it's their choice. Not being invited to parties is one of the consequences.

Would your mom accept your partner into her home with a negative COVID-19 test? If so, find out what her comfort level is. Would she be OK with a rapid test on Thanksgiving or the day before? Would getting a PCR test a few days in advance and quarantining while waiting for the results do the trick? You should also read up on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for holiday celebrations at Of course, the host calls the shots, and if your mom is not flexible on her vaccine requirement, you'll have to respect her wishes.

You shouldn't skip spending time with your relatives. If your partner can't join you, consider this an opportunity to spread out the celebration and maybe make a new tradition. Start the day with a fancy breakfast while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Have your own special dinner at home the night before or the next day. As I always say, the only thing better than Thanksgiving is two Thanksgivings.

Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

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