Thanksgiving 2020 is shaping up to be quite different than past years. It is kind of the theme of 2020, isn’t it? Different. Lots of rough patches sprinkled with rays of good. The Thanksgiving holiday, and the remembrance of all we have to be grateful for, is sure to be one of those rays of good.

This year we are all celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday in the midst of a pandemic and thus many are not traveling. Even many of those with local family and friends are forgoing large gatherings due to social distancing recommendations. 

So, where does that leave us? Is Thanksgiving destined to be a lackluster holiday?

Surely not. Because we have the capacity to make it full and good and very much memorable. It will be different, that is a fact, but it can still be special.

Our family has been brainstorming what we can do to mark this year well. We want to ensure that Thanksgiving 2020 is special despite our commitment to social distance. Here are some things we plan to implement …

Mail Thankful Leaves

To spread the Thanksgiving cheer we are planning to mail thankful leaves to family and friends. Just little leaf-shaped notes that say, “We are thankful for you because ________”. You can cut out your own leaves or order a pack from Amazon.

Kick Off with a Neighborhood Turkey Trot

You don’t have to officially register or join the crowds to get a little Thanksgiving exercise. Pop outside with just your immediate family for a timed race. Winner gets to dish up first at dinner and skip clean-up!

Modify our Traditional Meal

With a much smaller gathering I made the call to forgo our regular tradition of a full-size turkey and ham. I can’t handle that much prep and the gobs of leftovers! This year, we are picking up a rotisserie chicken. Simple, delicious, and kind of turkey-esque.

Snack All Day Long

With a less robust main meal I actually have a brunch, appetizer, and drink menu lined up for Thanksgiving Day. Bring on the pumpkin cinnamon rolls, apple cider mimosas, roasted veggie frittata, cranberry brie flatbread, and pumpkin spice white russians. Granted, I’m slightly worried that I won’t be able to live these extras down … that will make future years quite busy!

Eat by candlelight

As an ode to the first Thanksgiving we are going to give a candlelight meal a go! 

Thankful Guessing Game

I have tasked each family member with typing up a list of ten things they are thankful for specific to this year. They’ll print and cut their thankful notes into strips and place them in a basket. During dinner we will pass the basket, draw a strip, and aim to guess who contributed it. Points will be awarded for correct guesses and once again the winner will have the option of waiving clean-up duty! Can you tell no one in my family likes doing dishes 

Host a Virtual Pie Meet-up

Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without extended family. So, after each of our individual meals we are meeting up online … with pie! It won’t be a long Zoom call, but it will definitely be a memorable one.

Watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Everyone loves a good classic. During the holidays we usually watch a series of some kind but this year we are going to give the good ol’ Peanuts a try. Normally available on cable, this year the Charlie Brown holiday specials are exclusively streaming on Apple TV+. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will air for free November 25-27th. You can get a sneak peek a week earlier if you subscribe to Apple TV+.

Shop Online

Normally my daughter and I hit the stores on Black Friday … or even late Thanksgiving night! It’s fun to grab a coffee, stroll, and check off our Christmas shopping lists. This year we will be cozied up in front of the fire shopping the deals available online. I am banking on there being some really good ones!

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About Gretchen Bossio

Gretchen Bossio is a homeschooling mom of four from the Pacific Northwest. Writing has always been one of her favorite pastimes so she takes great joy in moonlighting as a freelance writer covering topics such as parenting, wellness, education, fashion, and travel.

View all posts by Gretchen Bossio

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