By Elena Allison
If you live in a high risk state (which as of this month is almost all of them), we are hoping your Thanksgiving plans this year are a little different than usual. Many of us are splitting family gatherings into smaller groups, staying in with roommates to celebrate ‘Friendsgiving’, or simply ordering takeout and getting together virtually. Whatever your plans are this season, one thing that does not have to change is the joy that comes from celebrating family, friendships, and blessings. Today, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite, most meaningful Thanksgiving traditions, and shared some ideas for how to make these pandemic proof! Although many of us are grieving the loss of life, jobs, and plans this year, these fun ideas are sure to bring some cheer to everyone involved and create some lasting, memorable moments.
1. Add a New Recipe to your Thanksgiving Menu!
This year, try adding a new recipe to your annual Thanksgiving menu! It can be something more traditional for Thanksgiving that you usually don’t prepare, or it could be something completely unusual for your family! Making something new or challenging can be a great way to keep your family intrigued and involved in the holidays. If your plans are virtual, or your family is splitting up, consider making it a bit of a contest! Have the pickiest eaters in the family decide who the winner in each group is. Maybe everyone can chip in a little bit in advance to get the winner a gift card, or some new Rafi Nova masks and accessories!
2. Start Playing Family Trivia
This idea is inspired by my roommate and her parents, who over the quarantine reconnected with their extended family in the U.K. to play a weekly game of Trivia! Now every Saturday afternoon I usually hear some impassioned discussion in British accents coming from our living room. This one is fun for the whole family. Take turns making the questions for different rounds so every generation has a chance to be represented. You might learn a little bit about anything from the newest TikTok star to the biggest 80’s pop hits.
3. Make a Thanksgiving Pinata
Believe it or not, this one is fun for both kids and adults. Set up a space for some mess, and get ready to get crafty! We love this set of instructions from FaveCrafts.com. You could either make this on Thanksgiving Day to break it open on Black Friday, or prepare the pinata a few days in advance to have it ready for your get together!
4. Take a Hike
If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm climate right now, why not get out and enjoy it! Pick a park or trail you haven’t been to before (we personally love this website from the U.S. national park service), pack a bag, and go! Make sure you check park hours and any holiday closures, and don’t forget to bring a water bottle, a charged phone, and a clean mask!
5. Head to a Pumpkin Patch/ Apple Picking Spot
If you haven’t been apple picking yet this season, now’s the time! Lots of orchards have opened with social distancing measures in place to keep everyone safe. Check with your local farm to find out what holiday hours look like and what restrictions are in place.
6. Take a Zoom Family Photo
Everyone look at your webcam… and say cheese! If you’re feeling like you want to forget about this year, you’re definitely not alone. But when our posterity asks what we did to stay connected and create happy memories, why not show them! Gather everyone around the computer screen, smile, and take a screenshot! Make sure not to leave this year out of the family photo albums, even if it looks a little different.
7. Organize a Scavenger Hunt
This one is especially fun if your Thanksgiving holiday is virtual or if your family is split into groups this year. This scavenger hunt pack from DatingDivas.com is sure to have your entire family running around the house looking for items! Is there a better way to make more room for Thanksgiving leftovers?
8. Watch the Parade on TV!
If you were planning on heading to Times Square for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year.. don’t! Although there is still a parade happening this year, one that you can watch online here on Twitter and YouTube, there will be no in person spectators in an effort to enforce social distancing. Additionally, this year’s parade won’t be marching through the traditional Manhattan route, and will be featuring less people. What better excuse is there to curl up on the couch with some hot cocoa or cider, and spend time at home with family and friends!
9. Help Those in Need
We love this article from Delish that outlines some of the many ways you can donate your time, money, or resources on Thanksgiving this year! What better way is there to give thanks than by giving back. This year in particular, there are many individuals and organizations in need of support. If you don’t feel like leaving the house this year, you and your family can spend some time writing cards to prisoners, military or seniors! This easy and simple task is sure to spread some joy among all those involved, without unnecessarily spreading germs.
Which one of these was your favorite? How is your family or friend group going to celebrate Thanksgiving this year? What are you most grateful for right now? Let us know in the comments, or send us a DM on Instagram @rafinova_go!