Thanksgiving will be different this year, but don’t let that discourage you or your family from celebrating and feeling close to each other. Visiting the grandparents or meeting at a large family table may not be possible, but you can still enjoy the festivities, food and sharing of gratitude for each other.
Celebrating virtually is the safest way to keep yourself healthy and it offers a unique intimacy to visit each family in their own home. These suggestions can help you plan and enjoy a Thanksgiving you will never forget.
Create a shared experience of meal preparation. Does your family make a menu, do you each have jobs to do in preparation for the meal? Talking about these tasks before Thanksgiving dinner helps you work together to create the traditions that make the holiday special.
Set up a time you will host your Thanksgiving. If zooming over dinner is stressful, consider connecting over pumpkin pie and desserts after the meal.
Have your family’s traditional routines planned. When each family participates with setting up the tradition everyone feels more connected. Families feel connected when they are actively participating. Someone leads the blessing, provides the playlist for music, sets the table, etc. All the details are what make a house a home. These also provide a familiar connection when families join each other virtually.
Closing ceremonies can include family entertainment. Having guests share their personal current events provides humor and conversation. Let the children show grandma and grandpa their latest TikTok dance, or joke and sharing family news of future get-togethers help families feel loved and connected.
Begin a new tradition of a gratitude bowl. Invite everyone to write down one thing they are grateful for each day and place them in a bowl. Then at the next family get-together share your bowl with others. It’s a wonderful way to change your mindset from fears and worries to focusing on what you’re most thankful for.
At the end of the day talk to your children about gratitude and why it’s so important to count your blessings and share with your family. Virtual gatherings will never replace the real thing, but this year to stay safe and healthy. We can try new things that help us express our love and gratitude, which is the reason for Thanksgiving.