Thanksgiving From A Distance: How to Celebrate During COVID

Isi Szuhaj, Contributor

As we all know, 2020 has felt similar to a fever dream and Thanksgiving is no exception. This holiday is usually one spent with family and many travel to see relatives, but COVID-19 is keeping people from pursuing their usual traditions. Cecily Hayes ’21 expresses, “I am actually quite anxious about this Thanksgiving because it will be the first time in years that we will not be spending it with my extended family. I typically treasure the holiday, because it is one of the only times I get to connect with my Grandparents and cousins.”

While some are still safely visiting family, many of us will be staying home for the holiday. For those who only get to see their extended family on Thanksgiving, this is disappointing, but technology proves a new opportunity to see celebrate virtually.

Although not an original idea, Zoom is an extremely helpful tool to chat with multiple parties while staying safe. People can spice up the call with customized family-friendly games like trivia or Bingo. One can get creative with customizable bingo cards on Etsy or on My Free Bingo Cards. Another fan-favorite is customizable jeopardy.

For other families who love competition and food, hosting your own cooking or baking competition is a unique and creative way to spend the holiday. If you aspire to be on Top Chef or The Great British Bake Off, this could be your time to shine. Grab your timers, start the zoom, and get to cooking.

If your family has an annual tradition of watching a certain movie or wants to start one, Netflix Party or a shared Zoom screen is another great idea.

For others, more physical games may be more your speed. Georgia Bunkers, a member of the senior class, claims she will be “playing a game of football with [her] family friends [who are in her social bubble], as per tradition.”

There are many people, however, who do not want to deviate from the traditions of the pre-COVID holiday, so virtual dinner is always a possibility. Breakout rooms offer the opportunity to have individual conversations with relatives and the share screen function can offer a perfect trip down memory lane with a slideshow of family photos.

No matter what your plans are this holiday season, stay connected with your friends and family, while still staying safe and responsible.