Shortly after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that private gatherings in the state would be limited to 10 people for pandemic-related safety concerns, Talia Reese did the math and realized her Thanksgiving plans might be as ruined as a roast turkey gone completely dry.

Ms. Reese, a resident of Great Neck, a suburb of New York City on Long Island, usually goes with her husband and two children to join other relatives at her parents’ home nearby for a gut-busting gathering, turkey and all. But at last count, the list of this year’s attendees numbers 13.

“Watch my mother disinvite us. She’s extremely compliant,” said Ms. Reese, a professional comedian who made the remark only somewhat in jest.

Talia Reese, top row, second from right, with her family at Thanksgiving in 2019.

Photo: Cary Reiss

Cities and states around the country have capped gatherings at 10, prompting some difficult soul-searching and angst among holiday hosts. Suddenly, getting into the family Thanksgiving dinner is becoming a hot ticket.

香蕉视频苹果下载North Carolina announced last week that its indoor gathering limit was being reduced from 25 people to 10. Massachusetts also put a 10-person cap on indoor gatherings into effect earlier in November. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently announced a 10-person limit on meetings and social events.

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香蕉视频苹果下载This Thanksgiving may turn into the holiday of the rescinded invitation. As families pay heed to edicts, they are trying to determine who can still come—and who must get the boot. Some are abandoning gatherings altogether to avoid any strife or hard feelings.

Franette Gil, Ms. Reese’s mother, doesn’t deny that her daughter’s family might get cut. “It’s really stressing me out,” Ms. Gil said of the prospect.

香蕉视频苹果下载Ms. Reese suspects she is on the possible chopping block because her children are in school and her family is thus more potentially exposed to the virus compared with other Thanksgiving invitees. Ms. Gil confirmed that is indeed her concern. For now, Ms. Reese is agreeing to her parents’ demand that she and family members take Covid-19 tests shortly before the holiday, and she hopes to still get a shot at devouring her mother’s famed stuffing.

Franette Gil, in her kitchen, has decisions to make.

Photo: Jerry Gil

香蕉视频苹果下载“We all pound it,” she said in fond remembrance of Thanksgivings past.

For other New York families, the math is even more daunting in terms of planning Thanksgiving this year. Take Joe Spallina, on Long Island. He comes from a large family, with several siblings and their respective children, that typically celebrates the holiday together for a gathering of 30-plus people.

Mr. Spallina says it is a tall, if not impossible, order to whittle that figure down to the requisite number of 10 attendees. “I can tell you our family group chat has been on fire the last 24 hours,” he said. He wonders if any exceptions can be made.

“There’s never been a Thanksgiving I haven’t spent with my entire family,” said Mr. Spallina, who has five children.

A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion, in 1993.

Photo: Everett Collection

Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said Wednesday at a press conference that it would be up to local governments to handle enforcement of the gathering limit, but he made it clear that policing of some kind was needed. “The rules are only as good as the enforcement. Period,” he said.

香蕉视频苹果下载A spokeswoman for Mr. Cuomo said the only exception was for households of greater than 10 people where all members are already living under the same roof. A spokesman for New York City said the city will enforce the limit and will have more details on that soon.

Some families are finding workarounds to the state mandate. Lenora Lott Paige, a resident of Greece, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester, said she normally hosts about a dozen people for Thanksgiving. But this year, she is keeping it well below the 10-person limit and is looking to organize a dish exchange with those not in attendance—meaning everyone can prepare a side dish to drop off at everyone else’s homes.

香蕉视频苹果下载“That way we still have each other’s cooking,” she said, adding she might offer stuffing or a dessert as her specialty.

Lenora Lott Paige, left, Janelle Long and Jasmine Paige at Christmas in 2019.

Photo: Coty Paige

Which isn’t to say all New York families plan on following the governor’s mandate. One of the most prominent rebels is Joe Borelli, a New York City councilman who represents parts of Staten Island. After Mr. Cuomo’s announcement of the limit, Mr. Borelli, a Republican, took to Twitter香蕉视频苹果下载 to declare his plans for a holiday gathering of greater than 10: “Kids will see their grandparents, cousins will play in the yard, sis in law will bring strawberry rhubarb pie, & a turkey will be overcooked,” he tweeted.

In an interview, the councilman added that he feels people should still be mindful of the pandemic and wear a mask indoors. But he said the edict from the governor goes too far: “We’re to the point now where we’re just restricting people’s lives.”

香蕉视频苹果下载Some residents of the New York metropolitan area are hoping to ease the decision-making burden on their friends and families by disinviting themselves from the Thanksgiving table.

A Norman Rockwell rendition of a family dinner.

Photo: Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

Lauretta Farrell, a resident of Westfield, N.J., is one such example. She bowed out of a family gathering in New York when she realized she was probably the 11th attendee on the list. “I didn’t want to be the person” who forced a tough decision, she said, adding she will likely make herself a dinner of turkey cutlets as her stay-at-home alternative.

香蕉视频苹果下载Nancy Kopilnick said it is her skills in the kitchen that have ensured her a spot at the annual family Thanksgiving gathering she will be attending in Manhattan. Ms. Kopilnick, a resident of Montclair, N.J., said the attendee count for the holiday is currently at 11, but her place is guaranteed because she does most of the cooking.

“I didn’t get the boot because there goes the turkey,” she said.

Write to Charles Passy at

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香蕉视频苹果下载 Appeared in the November 16, 2020, print edition as 'Hot Ticket: Your Family’s Thanksgiving.'