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Mastering the Holidays

Tips for Hosting A Virtual Thanksgiving

October 26, 2020

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COVID-19 has changed many things about 2020, and one of those things is that the holidays are probably going to look different this year. For many people this year, Thanksgiving may not be gathering around the table with food and family but rather gathering around the phone.

Below you’ll find several tips to make a virtual Thanksgiving still enjoyable and meaningful even if you aren’t able to hug your family members and see them in person. While this year’s Thanksgiving may look a little different, that doesn’t mean that it has to be any less special.

Prepare the same food

One of the best parts about Thanksgiving is the opportunity to get to eat together with family members and friends that you haven’t seen in a while. There’s a good chance that your family has traditions of what you eat at Thanksgiving.

Carving turkey

Instead of throwing those by the wayside, share recipes with any family members you plan to FaceTime or Zoom for Thanksgiving. Then when you call, you’ll see one another eating the same food, and you’ll have that connection point.

If you tend to have more of a potluck style for Thanksgiving where every family member brings something different, try an easier menu this year that is only a couple items but ones that are crowd favorites. And don’t forget your typical hacks like using tinfoil to cover baking pans for easier clean-up.

Consider trying a meal kit

If you want to create a new tradition but don’t want to spend tons of time cooking, you and your family should consider trying a meal kit.

Family around dinner table

For delicious traditional entrées prepared with the finest ingredients, look no further than Harry & David’s Gourmet Thanksgiving Dinner and Meal Delivery this holiday. Whether you’re looking for turkey, ham, side dishes, or desserts, we’ve got something for everyone. The best part is you’ll know that you’re still having the same food as your relatives without all the hassle of preparing it. 

A meal kit or meal delivery may be especially useful if you don’t want to go into the grocery store but would prefer to have everything delivered to your front door. 

Deliver food to nearby family and friends

Delivering bag of groceries

If you have family and friends nearby or even neighbors who would appreciate some food, consider using your traditional family recipes and delivering the food in a contactless way. Then you’ll be eating the same food on Thanksgiving Day even if you aren’t in the same room.

Consider using pre-made portions and have just one person who has used hand sanitizer serve the guests.

If you really still want to see family outside of those who live in your household, the CDC recommends an outside gathering. This is your opportunity to find an amazing park and to enjoy the fall colors.

As a safety precaution, consider using pre-made portions and have just one person who has used hand sanitizer serve the guests. You may also want to use disposable utensils that you can throw away and camp tables because they are easier to clean.

Woman setting the table

Decorate the table 

Just because you don’t have family and friends coming over doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t decorate that house and the table. You could even put place settings for virtual family members even though they can’t be there in person.

Figure out how you’re going to arrange the table, especially if you’re planning to FaceTime or Zoom family members. Make sure that you have a large enough monitor so that whoever you call can see everyone on your end.

Do some activities together

Family eating Thanksgiving dinner

Finally, don’t forget to have some fun. Whether it’s having the kids in different houses color a coloring page of a turkey or watching the game at the same time, find points of connection. You might even consider having a competition about who has the best centerpiece or who did the best job decorating.

Any activity that you can do together virtually is a great idea. And don’t forget to catch up and talk. Since there’s no rush to get home for Black Friday shopping, you should have plenty of time to hear what’s been going on with your family and friends.

Always be grateful 

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember what Thanksgiving is all about anyway: family and gratitude. While you likely won’t see as many family members as you normally do, it’s okay because there will be opportunities that you’ll have with a virtual Thanksgiving that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Years down the road, you’ll be able to say, “Remember in 2020 when…”

Family around dinner table

Maybe you’ll get to catch up with more family members because you’ll be video calling. Maybe you’ll discover some new recipes to incorporate next year. Whatever the case, though, you will definitely make some good memories and years down the road, you’ll be able to say, “Remember in 2020 when…”

“We know times have changed, and things are different, so we want to help people feel some of that tradition at home during the holiday season,” said Phil Nguyen, chef at Open Concept Hospitality. “I love the idea that I will be eating Thanksgiving with a bigger family this year.”

Cultivating Gratitude and Staying Connected

Give thanks with a gift from the heart

Shop our Thanksgiving collection for flowers, arrangements, and gifts to show your loved ones how thankful you are to have them in your life!

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