How to Do Thanksgiving in 2020

November 26, 2020

Mark L. Friedman, MD, FACEP, FACP

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? For most of us, friends and family are at the top of the list — which is why this year we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving differently, to protect our loved ones.

Why We Should Avoid Travel

COVID-19 cases are drastically rising across the United States, and CDC guidelines urge us to celebrate Thanksgiving virtually or with people we live with. 

While this may not be the holiday celebration you’re used to, it’s the best way to reduce your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 or the flu. And with a little creativity, you can still enjoy the day with others!



Socially Distant Thanksgiving Ideas

  • Holiday food delivery. Who couldn’t use a dessert dish to raise their holiday spirits? Drop off handmade treats to your family and friends on Thanksgiving. A box of cookies or a slice of pie will brighten their day! 
  • Virtual dining. If you have a laptop, tablet or smartphone, join a group call with the extended family! Use an HDMI cable to connect your device to your TV screen to see everyone on the big screen. Or use  screen-sharing apps like Zoom, Facetime or Skype
  • Support local businesses and order in. Cooking isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. Small businesses have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic this year, so consider supporting local restaurants by ordering your amazing holiday meal from one of them.  
  • Donate your dishes. If you typically host Thanksgiving, you might be used to making lots of food. Consider purchasing ingredients to donate to your local food bank.
  • Make it a competition. A little healthy competition could be just what you need to fuel excitement this Thanksgiving! With everyone cooking in their own kitchens, have a contest for best presentation, or have a Thanksgiving-themed scavenger hunt. Just hop on a video call and let the competition begin! 
  • Play games online. Online gaming isn’t just for kids. There are a lot of family-friendly games everyone can participate in from their own homes. 
    • Kahoot - Set up a Kahoot trivia game with fun facts about everyone to learn more about each other! 
    • MadLibs is fun for all ages - A variety of similar games can be found online, such as here. Take turns contributing words, then view the result on a screen share. Or invite everyone to contribute a passage of their own to use in the game.
    • HouseParty - video chat as you play games like Heads Up!, Trivia, charades  and more! 
    • Let the music play! - Coordinate a performance, or have impromptu sing-alongs.

Note: If you do decide to get together with people who do not live with you this Thanksgiving, be sure to follow government and CDC guidelines.



Feeling sick? Get care from home!

Feeling under the weather is never fun — especially during the holiday. If your employer or school provides you with First Stop Health telemedicine, our doctors are here for you 24/7.

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Questions about COVID-19? Visit our Coronavirus Resource Center

Originally published Nov 26, 2020 3:24:49 PM.