Virtual Thanksgiving Ideas: Ways to Celebrate 2020 Holidays Safely

A lot has changed in 2020. We might be celebrating Thanksgiving and other holidays differently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But there are ways we can gather virtually for Thanksgiving Day with our loved ones.

As everyone is adjusting to the changing seasons (and changing pandemic-related conditions), many people have been wondering if this year’s end-of-the-year holidays will be different. A CBS News article stated that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended virtual Thanksgiving gatherings to decrease the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Some may find this development downright disappointing, but others might prefer staying in the comfort of their homes.

Considering that some of us may be already experiencing quarantine fatigue, there are some creative ideas that we can use to make Thanksgiving 2020 memorable. Some virtual gathering ideas to add a little bit of spark to your holiday celebrations include

Creating online Thanksgiving invitations for family and friends

If you think Thanksgiving 2020 will be less fun, consider creating awesome-looking online invitations for family and friends. There are free online tools to create professional-looking invitations, such as Canva and Easil. The applications have preset cards you can customize by changing fonts, graphics, and other elements according to your taste.

To make your invitations more personal, you can add your name or the names of family members to your card as well as other information about your virtual online party. Make sure to add the time and time zone when your virtual video call will start to ensure that everyone will take the call at the right time.

Planning a Thanksgiving design and inviting people to participate

How do you make your Thanksgiving picture one of the best ones yet? Plan a Thanksgiving design theme that will serve as a backdrop for all your participants. For example, if you decide that your design theme colors are brown and orange, ask all your members to use brown and orange backgrounds or design elements when they take the virtual call.

If this is not possible, you can ask participants to wear shirts or hats in those colors to express your unity, even when you’re physically apart.

Many online video call applications have screenshot settings that allow participants to take a photo of multiple screens. You can use this Thanksgiving photo as a keepsake to remember the holiday and the unprecedented events of 2020.

Taking moments to share the things for which you are thankful

Thanksgiving is all about sharing the things you are grateful for in the past year. Most of us agree that 2020 has been a challenging year, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t be thankful for the good things in our lives.

Take a few moments during your virtual call to take turns sharing your gratitude for your family, health, and any new opportunities. Your friends and family can share their struggles and triumphs with their physical health, recovery from substance abuse, or other mental health conditions.

Sharing personal achievements and blessings can help you inspire each other. Even something as simple as thanking each other for gathering online can be a heartfelt moment for you and your loved ones.

Sharing a common recipe

Although celebrating virtually means that you aren’t physically there with each other, you can make your presence felt by your cooking. One way to do this is by having each participant or family share a recipe as you create your own menu for Thanksgiving. 

You can type out the instructions and share them with your loved ones. Try to make the ingredient list and preparation instructions as simple as possible so people can produce items close to your original recipe. That way, your family and friends can prepare the dish similarly to how you prepare it.

Some examples of relatively simple Thanksgiving recipes you can share are:

If you have a crowd-pleasing or heirloom recipe, it’s a great idea to share it. You can tell the story of how you created or found this ingenious dish or how others passed it down to you.

Thanksgiving 2020: Virtual Yet Memorable

This year’s holidays may mean that more families and loved ones will be celebrating apart, but that doesn’t mean that their activities will be less enjoyable or memorable. With these tips in mind, you can create a virtual Thanksgiving celebration that’s fun and meaningful yet safe for everyone.

Sources – CDC recommends virtual Thanksgiving to lessen the risk of COVID-19 spreading – Quarantine fatigue: Why some of us have stopped being vigilant and how to overcome it – Design Anything – Addiction Treatment Options – Sweet Potato Casserole – Easy Peasy Biscuits – How to Smoke Turkey on a Pellet Grill

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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