Thanksgiving and the Holidays are right around the corner. Typically a time where we get together with family and friends, this truly can be the most magical and wonderful time of the year! This year however, things look different. With Covid-19 spreading across America and cases hitting record highs, we have all been asked to stay at home this Thanksgiving and celebrate virtually.
This is a huge change for most of us, and not exactly the way we wanted our Thanksgiving to look. That said, this does not mean this Thanksgiving has to be a total bust. There are some fun ways you can celebrate with your family and friends virtually, and still have a great time!
In fact, we’ve put together a list of the top ways we plan to celebrate virtually this year, and we think they could be fun for you and your virtual gatherings as well, so we thought we’d share!
1. Share your family recipes
This is a big one! Don’t miss out on all your Thanksgiving favorites, just because you aren’t able to go home! Ask your family members to share their recipes for all your favorite dishes and make your top 3 at home! If you want to get really hands on, you can even do a Skype, Zoom or FaceTime session while you cook so you have company while you create your Thanksgiving masterpieces!
2. Use your TV screen
Instead of Zooming (or Skype or however you choose to do your virtual gathering) on your laptop, phone or at your desk, use technology to connect to your TV instead! For example, you could Chrome Cast, which allows you to cast your screen to your TV. Then you just set up your webcam on the TV as well so you can be seen back as you’re talking to your family members. A larger screen in a more prevalent area can help to make you and your family feel like you are a little bit closer, and truly, every little bit helps!
3. Play virtual games
Our two favorites are Trivia and virtual Scavenger hunts!
How to play virtual Trivia:
Have someone put together a list of fun trivia questions; this person will be the one conducting the game (e.g. the Host)! These can be holiday related or just on topics you find entertaining. You could even do a trivia about different family members! Then, when you’re all online and ready, have the host go through the questions, with each participating member writing down the answers on their end. Once all the questions have been asked, the Host goes through each question again and relays the correct answers. Have everyone grade themselves and report their final score. Then toast the winner!
*Note, this is an honor system, so best for families that love good, honest, competition! Also note, if you’re feeling really fancy, you can put together a slide show presentation and share your screen instead of just reading the questions aloud!
How to do a virtual Scavenger Hunt:
Get everyone together in a group text and set a specific start time. When it’s time to start, the host sends out a word or phrase to the group text. Everyone in the group text should try to find that item and send back a picture of it. The host does this 20 times (or however many items your family decides on trying to find) over the course of an allotted period of time. Whoever sends back a qualifying image first, wins a point. The person with the most points at the end of the game wins!
A few rules to note:
- Pictures must be taken after the word is sent out – No scrolling back through photos to find something old in your photo album.
- Pictures must be taken yourself, not something you download from the internet or social media.
- Pictures shouldn’t need an explanation.
- You cannot use the same picture twice. For instance, you cant use a photo of a fireplace for both ‘Fireplace’ and ‘Pile of wood’.
- Pictures must be of the actual word/phrase - Not a photo in a book, in a movie or from your phone.
- Images do not have to be of actual real/alive things, just an item that is real and near you in real life. For example, if ‘Black cat’ were to be sent out, you could send back a picture of a real black cat on the street or a plush black cat toy, but not a picture of a black cat in a book.
- The person in charge has final say on the qualification or disqualification of all images!
4. Watch your favorite thanksgiving movie or football through a watch party
You can still watch the Thanksgiving football game and/or your favorite Thanksgiving movie (I love A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving personally!), by creating a watch party! There are lots of streaming apps these days that allow you to do joint virtual watch parties with you family and friends! Our top recommendations would be to set one up through Sling, House Party or Discord. This way you can see and talk to your family and friends, watch each others reactions and enjoy the same show/movie at the same time together. It is the next best thing to sitting on the couch together and watching it in person!
5. Get cozy
Last but not least, wear something cozy! This should still be a day about family, gratitude and delicious food! Put on your coziest cloths and snuggle up to enjoy the festivities. And if you need a little inspiration, we have included some of our top pics to wear for the virtual holidays this year!
Remember, this is a time to be grateful for what we have. Let your family and friends know how much you love them, take stock of all the good things you have going on in life and know that we are all in this together. Oh! And don’t forget to take a virtual family photo (Screen Shots work well for this!), to document this strange and oddly unforgettable Thanksgiving.