COLUMBIA, S.C. — This holiday season is very different compared to last years.
As the pandemic seems to slow and many have taken advantage of vaccines more loved ones can now celebrate together, continuing with their Thanksgiving holiday traditions or making news ones.
Midlands families say this holiday season is extra special and downtown Columbia just about deserted, as families say this Thanksgiving is about embracing one another.
Resident, Tim James says, "Just a special time of year, you can feel it in the air, it's a fun time of year,."
His wife Gay James saying, "It means everything, our family is the most important thing to us. During this year a lot of families have lost loved ones to COVID and other things, so hold tight to each other, treasure each moment and do as much as you can."
In 2020 many couldn't travel to see family and loved ones, but this year it's much different, with many gathering together and enjoying being right up next to each other.
James says, "We have waited 18 months to get the family around the table."
Grant Petrey said , "Recognize how lucky we are to have great communities and families like we do."
Khristopher Gaines of Columbia was excited, saying this year, his mom was able to fly in for Thanksgiving.
"I actually just moved out here a year ago, a year half ago, she just got in two nights ago. So the awesome thing is to have a mom come out here and see me doing my thing," said Gaines
His mother, Jackie Henderson who flew in from Houston said about traveling, "Especially after the COVID season not being able to travel, being secluded for such a period of time, it's actually fun because now I can travel to go see them."