3 Safe, Practical Ways To Celebrate Your First Pandemic Thanksgiving
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3 Safe, Practical Ways To Celebrate Your First Pandemic Thanksgiving

Count your blessings (and your guests) this Thanksgiving.

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3 Safe, Practical Ways To Celebrate Your First Pandemic Thanksgiving

If you're like me, you probably have no idea what your Thanksgiving plans are going to look like this year. Half of my friends and family are serious when it comes to COVID-19. They're making sure to follow CDC guidelines thoroughly. The other half of my family and friends do not care enough to wear their masks.

COVID-19 doesn't have to cancel Thanksgiving like it has with other plans. Here are some safe ways to spend your Thanksgiving safely.

Play it safe by hosting a virtual get-together.

Although I am sure that many of you are tired of hearing this choice lately, it is the safest one. Best of all, you can have hundreds of people join your call! This means that you can invite more people than you could safely have in your home.

You can make the call fun by having each individual make the same meal! If everyone uses different recipes, they can share different opinions on each item that they cooked. If everyone uses the same recipe, everyone will feel connected through the food they eat!

You can also plan some fun games. Bingo is an easy one. The host can send a pdf for everyone to download. The host can call the numbers and wait for the fun to start. The host can also do a fall trivia game. If you are looking for a more virtual game, you can play Pictionary using a digital whiteboard and a word generator. The host can even have everyone dress up in the same theme, like pirates, and have a costume contest. Although Halloween is over, nothing is better than dressing up and showing off your costume.

Host a Thanksgiving picnic in the backyard.

This is a fun way to breathe in the fresh fall air and enjoy time with friends and family outside. Being outside and social distancing is safer than being inside during this time.

To ensure safety during the picnic, have every family bring personal blankets or chairs and put them in a socially distant position. When it comes to food, make sure all utensils are clean. If a single person is serving food, have every person come one at a time to receive food, and make sure the server is wearing precautions like a mask and gloves. Even consider handing out individually wrapped desserts to reduce risk. A better choice would be for everyone to bring their own food to eat. This will not only reduce the risk of catching COVID-19, but also helps reduce food waste.

Some fun games you can play that are socially distant include charades, a scavenger hunt, or even sports like soccer and tennis. All these games can easily be adjusted to ensure safety. For example, during a scavenger hunt, a person can take a picture of themselves next to the item they found, rather than grabbing the item. Whoever finds all the items wins.

Have a classic dinner party.

Most people prefer this choice because of its ease and the fact that it maintains tradition. However, this is the riskiest option. This does not mean you have to completely take this choice off your list. There are still ways to have a gathering in-person together.

First, consider not inviting all your usual guests and instead having a few close friends and family members. I would encourage hosting less than ten people. If you know certain people are at risk in your home, consider asking your guests to take a COVID-19 test beforehand. Remember the risk that you are taking when you are inviting people into your home. Consider how much space you have, and let your guest list reflect this.

When serving food for yourself or to others, always remember to be safe and use clean unused utensils. Make sure that everything you are doing is to be preventative and safe.


Thanksgiving does not have to skip this year. There are plenty of alternatives that can help you to be together with your family and friends safely. Make sure that you are considerate of your health and other people's health. Stay safe and have fun this holiday season!

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