Creative ways to enjoy your socially-distanced Thanksgiving with those who matter most...


‘Tis the season of joy, excitement, family, friends, food, and so much more. This year has been a backward roller-coaster ride but the holiday season is still upon us. Maybe you’d planned to travel and things didn’t quite break your way. Perhaps you’re being cautious and calling off unnecessary gatherings. Maybe some family members have decided to celebrate at a safe distance.

No matter your struggle or obstacle, it’s probably right to assume that this Thanksgiving will be a little different for most of us. However, all is not lost. Despite the hurdles ahead of us all, we’ve come up with some fun alternatives and activities for celebrating your Thanksgiving with the people you can’t live without.

If you’re willing to get a little creative, then you’ll love this list of quarantine Thanksgiving ideas for 2020.


Give the Gift of A Personal Touch

Greeting Cards

Who says greeting cards should be reserved for Christmas and vacations? In fact, this small and simple token of appreciation could go a long way for sparking a bit of joy in someone’s life--particularly if they live alone or are unable to visit home for the holidays.

Take the time to make a list of people you know, who may need some holiday-cheer this Thanksgiving. From there, you can go to almost any retailer, in-person or online, for a pack of greeting cards that commemorate the occasion. Websites like Paperblast even let you customize purchases with photos and designs of your own.

It’s a fun, easy, and memorable way to spread the love and cheaper than most Thanksgiving dinners.


Family Gift-Basket

Why not add a bit of fun to someone’s Thanksgiving day with a small token of appreciation from the whole family? Particularly if you have younger children--looking to get their hands on some arts & crafts--a family gift-basket gets everyone in on the fun by giving them the opportunity to share Thanksgiving in their own personal way.

Whether it’s a family-photo collage, small trinkets, fun games, or even just a few handwritten letters, there’s no limit to how creative you can get and it’s sure to put a smile on any face. For extra points, give your gift-basket some flair with confetti, artwork, bow-ties, and whatever else you can imagine.


Thanksgiving Care Packages

A surprise gift in the mail could make this Thanksgiving extra special for anyone going through a tough time this season. Simply fill up a box with the recipients favorite treats, Thanksgiving-themed accessories, and gifts that pair well with the coming winter. 

Some items could include gloves, hats, blankets, and even gift cards to their favorite stores. Spoil them with a personal note and think of their excitement when the package arrives. For extra fun, you can even add greeting cards and trinkets to the box for a plus-sized holiday extravaganza!

It’s a small gesture that could go a very long way.


Potluck Pass

When all is said and done, there’s nothing that defines Thanksgiving more than sharing the meal with our closest friends and family. If you happen to live near your usual circle of Thanksgiving attendees, and you’re willing to put in some extra effort, we’ve got a fun activity that brings everyone in on the action.

Simply arrange with your friends and family to each cook an additional dish. This could be pie, cookies, side-dishes, or even a whole turkey. Upon receipt, the recipient will deliver their own dish to the next person in line. For a personal touch, add a holiday card, note, or other greeting along with the dish.

At the end of the day, you can all convene to discuss the potluck dishes and vote on who had the most creative pass-along. It’s a great way to spend the day and stay connected. Just be sure to wear a mask. 


Interactive Activities 

Group Calls & Video Chats

If this pandemic has taught us anything about our society, it’s how much we need each other. Though, in the old days, most people had to rely on the stresses of travel or unpredictability of snail mail to stay connected, we now have the internet and can stay in touch with almost anyone at the click of a button. Why not take advantage of this technology and schedule a group call with everyone you love most? 

Understandably, Thanksgiving has a reputation for semi-chaotic family ramblings and Zoom isn’t much better. However, you can always circumvent these issues with an organized back-and-forth where you all take turns sharing funny-stories, interesting family-history, and general experiences.

 Moderate if you must, but expect things to go surprisingly well once everyone gets the hang of the exchange. It can also be a great way to learn a bit more about one another whilst sharing the meal in a socially-distanced way. Alternatively, you can always call them one-by-one.


Social Media Groups

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but nothing beats the actual exchange. If video or group calls prove a bit too much to handle, you can always set up private meetings and chat rooms via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc) and invite your whole Thanksgiving crew.

In addition to real-time responses, likes, comments, photos, and videos, you can spend Thanksgiving with loved ones at your own pace while making memories all at once from around the globe. Share how you’re doing, what you’re cooking, silly games you’re playing, or even just photos of your fuzzy buddy in holiday attire. It may not be the real thing, but it’s darn close.

Family Watch-Party

It’s never too late to start a new family tradition. If there’s any one at the top of your list, it should be the ever-popular watch-party. Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, have all recently added this feature to their services and have seen usership explode. Check out this article for some great ideas of what to watch.

Add some of your favorite titles to the watch-list and take turns playing the hits. For even more excitement, you can keep up with the family commentary via group chat on your preferred social media or through text messages. This can be particularly entertaining if you’ve got a handful of jokers in your group and some wine on hand.


Though family gatherings will be a bit more challenging this year, there’s still a ton of ways to enjoy the holiday and creative alternatives to staying connected with the ones we love. Whether you’re tech-savvy or a more traditional holiday planner, these neat and festive Thanksgiving ideas should add just about everything you need to create memories you’ll all share for a lifetime.

So, try not to fret if this holiday season gets a little bumpy. The most important things remain the same and we can get through everything else, as long as we still have each other.


-- GBH

November 06, 2020

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.