As winter approaches, our minds shift to the holiday season and how it will be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially since gathering with lots of family, indoors, and traveling (most likely) to another state is not in alignment with social distancing. The holidays will still happen, they just might not look exactly as they have in previous years. Here are a few ideas for still having a meaningful Thanksgiving while keeping everyone in the family safe.

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Truly Focus on Thankfulness

Giving thanks is what this entire holiday is about, right? Many families typically go around the dinner table to share what they’re thankful for. However, this isn’t a typical year.

Thankful Tree

Let’s get crafty! Using colored paper, cut out a huge tree to tape up on the wall. Throughout the day, everyone in the family can write on paper (shaped like leaves) something they’re thankful for. At the end of the day, you can take turns talking about the leaves you put on the family tree.

Scavenger Hunt

Get everybody up and moving about with a hunt to take pictures of things they’re grateful for. Use this list as a guide about what to look for. If the thing they’re grateful for isn’t something they can take a photo of, have them act it out in a picture.

Color on the Table

Change up the style of your dinner table with some paper and crayons. Use a large sheet of paper as your tablecloth and have everyone draw pictures of what they’re thankful for while you eat. Who doesn’t love to color while eating?

Change Up the Menu

Do You Really Like Turkey?

Now’s your chance to get rid of the typical Thanksgiving dishes you just don’t love with no traditional uncle to complain. Make whatever meal you and your family actually LOVE.

Make It Brunch

Who doesn’t love brunch? There’s nowhere to go, so everyone can stay in their PJs for the day and gather around waffles, fruit, and donuts—or whatever your brunch of choice is. It’ll pair perfectly with watching the modified Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Order It Locally

Find out what your favorite local restaurants are doing for the holiday. Is anyone crafting specials? Stimulate your local economy by supporting struggling businesses and take the pressure and work of cooking off of your plate.

Learn the Real History of the Holiday

We all know the happy-go-lucky story of the Pilgrims and Indigenous Americans breaking bread together isn’t the full story of the reason we celebrate Thanksgiving in America. But what is it actually? We’ve compiled a few resources to help you decide how to bring the full history of the holiday into focus for you and your family.

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Virtual Family Connections

We’re all tired of sitting on video calls trying to make the conversation interesting. Come prepared for your family chat with some fun and creative activities that all ages can participate in.

Send Thoughtful Mail

If you can’t be with family you love this year, take a little time ahead of the holiday to send them fun things to receive in the (not digital) mail.

Write Cards

Pretty straightforward—take an afternoon to have the kids write cards to all of their cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, whoever!

Share Your Treats

Do you make a cookie your aunt loves? Send her some! Not all food is easy to send by mail, but chances are you have a recipe that can be sealed in a plastic bag or container and shipped in a box.

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