Thanksgiving during a pandemic will be a strange, once-in-a-lifetime (fingers crossed) experience. For people who cherish the tradition of a houseful of family around a fully extended table (with a kids table stuck on the end), a socially-distanced Thanksgiving will be difficult. Although, for everyone’s health and safety, you may have to keep your distance; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be apart. Try some of these ways to connect with family at a distance this Thanksgiving.
Host a Teleparty
Send an email to all the adults who would be around your Thanksgiving table in a normal year, and confirm they have a Netflix account. If so, ask them to install the Teleparty app. The app runs on laptops or desktops using Chrome or Opera browsers. Teleparty synchs everyone’s viewing experience and sets up a chat room where you can share comments and reactions to a movie together. Set a time that will fall before or after everyone’s mealtime. Choose a family-friendly movie or program and get the party started!
Send a Crafts Package
Even though the little cousins can’t get together, they could make crafts together. Send a package of crafts materials and instructions in advance and set a time when the kiddos could meet over Zoom or another video chat application to work on their crafts and show the result. Include construction paper, school glue, cardboard, ink pads, pipe cleaners, or whatever supplies your selected Thanksgiving craft requires. Give parents a heads up if they’ll need extra potatoes or apples to make stamps, or to keep a stapler loaded and ready to attach cutouts to make a thankful bulletin board or bind a thankful book.
It used to be everyone contributed their favorite or their specialty dish for the communal meal. This year, organize a recipe round-robin: each person shares the recipe in advance for the dish they would’ve brought with one other person in your family circle, and so on, until each recipe has been assigned. Set a time when the family will meet online via video chat application to show off the results.
Enjoy the Peace and Quiet
It just may be that 2020 is the Thanksgiving year you’ve been waiting for—cooking for just the people who live in your house. Connect with family at a distance this Thanksgiving by arranging a time to call and chat, or send a greeting card to family in faraway places. Tell them how much you’ll miss them. Then share a quieter, more restful Thanksgiving with your spouse and kids. Relax and read a book or listen to music while the bird is in the oven. Get out the good china, create a bountiful centerpiece, and share a special, smaller family dinner. You’ll find that even in this strange and difficult year, there are still many things to inspire gratitude.