Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier and Nancy O'Dell Share Their Tips for Parents Who Work on Holidays
For many families, one of the most beloved Thanksgiving Day traditions, aside from spending time with family and stuffing our faces with food, is getting to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade live on TV. It's rare to get a front-and-center seat to the action, but Entertainment Tonight anchor Kevin Frazier is right in the middle of the action when he hosts CBS's telecast of the parade.
For Frazier, hosting is a dream come true, as he fondly remembers the days when his parents used to take him to see the parade as a child. "I'm still a little kid at heart, and I still get geeked up when I hear the bands and watch the balloons go by, so every year when it comes around and they say, 'Are you ready for the parade?' I still pinch myself. It is one of the magical things that happens in my life," he tells Parents.com.
For Frazier, Thanksgiving had often been spent away from his three children Shane, Reece, and Tony. "So many years when I've worked in local news I had to miss Thanksgiving and miss the meal," he says. "Work is part of life, so what I've tried to do in the past is celebrate Thanksgiving the next day or on the weekend to make sure there's a chance for everybody to come together."
Since joining ET, working on Thanksgiving has been different for Frazier, as he flies his entire crew out to New York City so that once he's off air, he can join them in exploring the Big Apple. "It gives me a chance to spend quality time with my children, and to be a part of those celebratory moments, be it walking to Rockefeller Center or just going to Central Park to hang out and ride a bike."
Although O'Dell isn't hosting the Thanksgiving Day parade (Frazier's fellow Entertainment Tonight correspondent Keltie Knight will be co-hosting alongside him), she does have to work over the weekend, so like Frazier, she's familiar with the struggle of spending time apart from family during this holidays. "It's not easy being away, but there are plenty of ways to feel closer during the holiday weekend," she says.
Whether you're working on Thanksgiving Day or over any holiday weekend, it's still possible to create memorable traditions with your kids. We asked the Entertainment Tonight anchors to share their best tips for how to balance working through a holiday and spending time with friends and family.
1. Get in touch (even if it's a quick call)
Not all jobs allow for you to have your phone nearby, but most provide you with a lunch break at least. During that time, Frazier says he would always call or Skype with his family to say hi and catch up with his wife and each of his children. Not only does this give his children a chance to see their dad, but it also reminds them that he's thinking of them on this very special day that's about giving thanks. "Do what you can, when you can—that's what it's all about!" he adds.
2. Celebrate Thanksgiving on another day
Just because you have to work on the actual calendar date of a holiday doesn't mean you can't still celebrate! O'Dell suggests choosing another day where the family can get together and celebrate. "One year when we had to actually travel on Thanksgiving Day to get to the East Coast, we celebrated the day after and pretended it was actually Thanksgiving," she says. "We wanted to celebrate with family and be grateful for all the good in our lives, so we just did all the cooking and giving thanks on the day after."
3. Be as present as possible when you are home
There's not much you can do about having to work on Thanksgiving, but, to make up for it, what Frazier likes to do is be as "at home" as possible when he's not working. "When I'm home, I'm super home—I drive to games, I hang out with the kids in the backyard, we play basketball or soccer, or we hop in the pool together," he says. "When I am there, I'm there and if I have to go, they get it and understand that I will be there when I can."