Ways to celebrate Thanksgiving virtuallyMichelle McQuade | November 23, 2020
Thanksgiving is a time for homecomings, merry making, and sharing a special dinner with everyone in our immediate and extended families. This year, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic restricting travel and get-togethers, celebrating Thanksgiving may just have to be done differently.
If you can’t join your loved ones physically for the holiday, don’t fret. Thanks to meeting apps like Zoom, Google Meet, and others, you can still gather everyone around for a virtual celebration, and make the occasion just as fun and memorable as it has always been.
Consider these ideas on how you can make your digital Thanksgiving celebration safe and unforgettable.
Prepare meals together
You may not be able to gather physically at the kitchen in the old family home, but through conferencing apps, you can still share recipes, give each other tips, and prepare your Thanksgiving feasts while chatting like you’re only feet apart. It’s also a good idea to let the kids participate in the meal preparation to make them feel connected to their extended family even when they’re physically separated.
Have a shared Thanksgiving experience
Doing the same activities at the same time can evoke togetherness. For example, you can all bake the same kind of pie and eat them at the same, or have the same playlist in the background. Perhaps, you can have a Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade viewing party or a Netflix party where you can chat while watching the same movie or show.
Plan an activity that everyone can join remotely
A little friendly competition among families can brighten up everyone’s mood. Before Thanksgiving, agree on a virtual game you can all take part in during the celebration. Classic games like Monopoly, Risk, and Clue have online versions that you can download and play together. Or, each family can get the same board game like the family edition of What’s Your Meme, Trivial Pursuit, and Family Feud, and have a Zoom game going. Or, perhaps, match skills and creativity with a “Best Centerpiece” or “Best Turkey Carver” competition to get everyone busy and revved up for the occasion.
Give thanks together
Thanksgiving is all about remembering our blessings. On your group chat, have all family members, including the kids, talk about the things they’re grateful for. Plan for this ahead of time, so everyone gets the chance to think about what to include in their list.
Have a digital Thanksgiving dinner together
You don’t have to be in the same room to have Thanksgiving dinner together. Thanks to Zoom and other conferencing apps, you can enjoy a feast with everyone present, even if only digitally. You can go through the same rituals that you do every year as a family, such as saying a pre-meal prayer led by one person, giving a short Thanksgiving speech, carving the turkey, and so on. You can share stories over dinner, just as you would when you’re gathered together in one table.
Have a virtual Thanksgiving program
Family gatherings are a great chance to show off everyone’s talent, and a virtual Thanksgiving celebration is no exception. Plan an after-dinner Thanksgiving program where family members can perform for their virtual audience. You can play musical instruments, sing, dance, or even tell a story for the kids.
Celebrating Thanksgiving this year may have to be done the safe and healthy way, but it doesn’t have to be any less meaningful.
If you’re looking for activities for the family in Chagrin Falls and Cleveland before and after Thanksgiving, visit our blog for ideas.