Six Thanksgiving Traditions that Are Safe, Fun, and Family-Friendly
Posted on November 20 2020
There will be no crowds of onlookers oohing and ahhing along 34th Street, no harried shoppers digging through midnight sales at department stores, and no turkey trotters getting in last-minute calorie burns on Thanksgiving morning.
But there will still be a Thanksgiving feast this year, and we would bet it’s going to be a good one.
COVID-19 has made many of our usual holiday traditions too risky and simply out of the question. For some of us, we’ll have to spend the holidays at home for the first time ever.
In the truest sense and spirit of the season though, we will adapt and be grateful for what we can do: spend time together as the guidelines allow and take the opportunity to form new, exciting traditions.
Whether your extended family is passing plates over a table together or gathering around a Zoom, we all have much to be thankful for. To help you make the most out of the most wonderful time of the year, we’ve put together a list of quarantine and family-friendly Thanksgiving traditions to start (or continue) during 2020.
Make A Gratitude List
It’s been a year full of change and uncertainty, but the holidays are all about forgetting the negatives and focusing on the positives. Bear with us on this idea, but we recommend having everyone at your dinner table fill out a gratitude list. Trust us—it doesn’t have to be cheesy! You can do it in a casual, silly way that makes sense for even your most sarcastic child. What dessert are you grateful for today? What memory made you laugh the hardest in 2020? What are you grateful to *not* have to do today?
Print out lists of prompts and have everyone fill out a sheet and share their answers over appetizers or dessert. Someone says they’re grateful not to be eating Uncle George’s tuna fish casserole this year? There you go—you’ve found your silver lining.
Do A Recipe Swap
Maybe you won’t miss a certain relative’s concoction, but sometimes the thing we look forward to most on Thanksgiving is knowing we’ll see one aunt or another—and their secret-recipe stuffing.
If you can’t share plates this year, why not share the love and use the distance as an opportunity to pull together a family cookbook. Ask the people you usually share your home with on Thanksgiving to swap recipes over email, then compile them into a Google Doc or online scrapbook that you can consult and appreciate for years to come.
You can add family folklore and photos to each of the recipes, and even leave reviews on other people’s famous (or infamous) dishes. Just try to keep it nice, or you’ll know why you ended up with coal the following month.
Plan A Virtual Cookie Decorating Call
Even in the best of years, there are still some beloved family members and friends who simply live too far away to make the trip back for the holidays. But now that the world has gone virtual, it’s easier than ever to carve out time to “see” these people and start a new tradition with them.
Organize your kids wherever you are, make (or order—no judgement) a few trays of plain sugar cookies, and have a virtual decorating session together on Zoom. Catch up, take turns showing off your creations, and share the sweetness that comes from spending time with one another.
If you’d rather just stick to the pies this time of year, you can apply the same idea to having a virtual watch party with loved ones from afar. You can use Zoom or another computer app or plug-in to cue up the parade, the big game, or a classic holiday movie to watch as a group.
Play Games Over Zoom
There are almost endless possibilities for games you can play over Zoom. You can stick to playing old-fashioned charades and holiday-themed bingo (here’s a website to let you make free bingo cards for your party), or you can get creative and create and play your own Family Jeopardy with facts and clues about all of the relatives on the call.
Don’t think your kids will sit still though trivia? There’s always “Simon Says,” or you can get a bit more active with an in-house scavenger hunt.
Take A Zoom Family Photo
If you have a family that’s too big to fit a camera frame, this year is a great opportunity to nail the shot on Zoom. Don’t have a holiday card yet? Have everyone wear the same festive color, color-coordinate by families, or go for a wacky theme to take a photo you’ll cherish for years to come. You can spell out a message by having each family hold up a sign in their frame, or you could even create a special holiday video message by using the screen recording function on your laptop.
Watch The Parade
Most of the parade is being filmed ahead of time and trucks will be pulling the big balloons, but the bands will still march on. Take advantage of the time you’ll save by not getting ready to go out visiting or prepping the house for guests by having a late morning watching the parade as a family.Give your kids a reason to cheer, and skip the fancy outfits this year by instead opting for cozy, new pajamas. Our holiday pajamas sets will help you bring in the spirit of the season, and we even have something extra special for mom now. All of the robes and pajamas in our Mommy + Mini Collections are made with our special Peruvian Pima Cotton. The longer fiber length gives off a slight luxe luster to add some fanciness while also making it more durable. They’re machine washable and able to be tumble dried on low, too—so don’t worry if you spill the sweet potatoes.