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9 Ideas for Celebrating a Pandemic Thanksgiving

9 Ideas for Celebrating Thanksgiving In 2020 🦃

This year’s Thanksgiving is going to look a lot different than any previous year – no matter where you stand on safety, which state you’re in, what type of risk factors your family has, the level of shut down in your area, etc. For us, we’re doing Thanksgiving with just my household, cooking a turkey, watching movies, eating too much since there will be no guests and no reason to share, lol. For more great tips, check out this info from Sara Skirboll at RetailMeNot, a leader in holiday shopping tips.

Throw a Thanksgiving Picnic or Backyard Bash

Okay, so if you live in one of the Northern U.S. states, this might be a harder sell, but if the weather is good to us this Thanksgiving, why not celebrate outside? The CDC has said that being outdoors reduces the risk of exposure to COVID-19, and plus, fall foliage makes a wonderful backdrop to your Thanksgiving celebration.

Move what might have been an evening Thanksgiving dinner to brunch or lunch, and you’ll get more hours of natural light (and more time to celebrate, of course).

If you have yard or deck space, host a small gathering outside with tables, chairs, blankets, warm drinks (use that slow cooker or Instant Pot!) and maybe even an outdoor heater or fire pit. If you’re having a larger gathering, instead of one big table, break up seating into smaller parties based on households to make mealtime safer. A local park or special outdoor spot also makes a great setting!

Eddie Bauer Cabin Plaid Throw Pillow and Blanket Set at Bed Bath & Beyond

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Crock-Pot 4 qt. Cook & Carry Slow Cooker at Bed Bath & Beyond

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Single Servings

Many of our Thanksgiving meals revolve around buffet-style servings that everyone digs into. But more hands on serving ware means more germs. (PSA: Remember to frequently wash your hands!) Instead, pick a designated person or “head chef” to serve up turkey and sides onto individual plates instead of everyone passing around that green bean casserole.


Have a Taste of Home

Can’t make it home for Thanksgiving? Order a piece of home instead. Many iconic restaurants from across the country ship nationwide, offering you a slice of nostalgia or a taste of your favorite meal even if you can’t travel this year. Some of our favorites? Junior’s Cheesecake in New York, Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana and Blue Owl Bakery in Missouri. Dig in!


Set Up Outdoor Entertainment

If watching the game is part of your Thanksgiving tradition, set up a projector outside to screen football or a favorite family movie.

For those looking for other activities, setting up a competition or tournament outside with games like bocce ballcroquetbadminton or corn hole (personalize your family name!) can be a fun way to safely get together while social distancing.

GoSports 90mm Backyard Bocce Set at Amazon

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Personalized Bean Toss at L.L. Bean

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Decorate Your House in Festive Flair

If the gathering just isn’t happening this year, you can still get festive by decorating your house to the max with gourdous fall accents. From fall foliage garlandsdried flowers and colorful maize to knit and plaid home decor, there are a plethora of ways to bring Thanksgiving to life inside your home.


Order Thanksgiving To Go

Many local restaurants and chains have started offering family-size meals to-go, and Thanksgiving is no exception! You’ll be supporting your local restaurants and community while saving time and the stress of preparing a traditional turkey meal at home. Check back soon for a list of restaurants serving Thanksgiving meals!


Get Creative With Family-Friendly Crafts and Activities

It’s tough being stuck inside, especially with young kids and everyone being under the same roof more often than usual. But there are plenty of ways for the whole family to stay entertained and happy over the holidays. While the adults are preparing the meal, keep the kiddos entertained with crafts, like a paper bag turkeyDIY handprint turkey hat or Thanksgiving wreath. Or create your own Thanksgiving-themed advent calendar with leaves or construction paper where each family member expresses what they’re grateful for leading up to the big day.


Your Friendly Neighborhood Delivery

For families or individuals celebrating Thanksgiving with only those in their households or alone, a great way to show thanks this year is by preparing your favorite recipes for family and neighbors—especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19—and delivering them in a contact-free way. So even if you can’t spend Thanksgiving with the grandparents, they’ll still be able to indulge in your famous pumpkin pie.

 

Big thanks again to Sara Skirboll from RetailMeNot for these great tips!

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