By Tiffany Chan

BOSTON (CBS) – Instead of gathering around the dinner table surrounded by family and friends, Governor Charlie Baker says the holidays will be a lot different this year due to COVID-19.

“The best way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to only gather with your household, the people you live with,” said Gov. Baker.

READ MORE: Pop-Up Clinic Held In Mattapan, Where COVID Vaccination Rate Remains Low

That means having the tough conversation to cancel the get-togethers.

“Manners matter, but safety first,” said Jodi Smith.

Jodi Smith (WBZ-TV)

Smith has been in the etiquette business for 25 years, heading Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting.

She said the politest way to decline an invitation is to be honest.

READ MORE: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments

“You want to be grateful, which is very appropriate for Thanksgiving, thank you so much for inviting me. Then honest – I’m so sorry I can’t attend,” said Smith.

If you’re the host and people are expecting to come over, she said it’s important to get the word out now.

“I can first send out an email saying: the numbers are rising… I was I was hoping this would go down, but this year we’re not having Thanksgiving,” said Smith. “Then I’m going to call each one of them to make sure they got the message.”

The etiquette expert added that wearing a mask in someone’s home isn’t rude; it’s the right thing to do.

Bill Ross from Salem told WBZ-TV it’s not worth seeing his elderly parents for Thanksgiving this year, celebrating virtually this year.

MORE NEWS: Provincetown COVID Cluster Climbs To 430 Cases; 342 Are Massachusetts Residents

He said, “just this time of year, we’re used to getting together in a big group, but this time it’s easier to get together and do a Zoom call.”

Tiffany Chan