Celebrating Thanksgiving this year will definitely be different than what we are used to. We usually have our larger extended family over for a big turkey dinner, but given the current pandemic situation, we’re looking for different ways to celebrate gratitude this year. Here are some ideas that we’re going to try, and would love to see you share as well.
Coordinate A Treat
Just because we can’t dine together at Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you can’t capture the same feeling of a shared meal. Set up a Zoom date with your loved ones, and coordinate making the same dessert (or full meal if you’re feeling ambitious). There’s something special about all enjoying the same family recipe apple crisp together, even if it is virtually. If your loved ones live close by, you could even bake it up for them and leave it on their doorstep with an “I’m grateful for you” card.
Start a Gratitude Jar
We have a jar on the bookshelf in our family room, with a notepad and pen already inside. The kids are invited to write something they are thankful for, whenever the inspiration hits. It can be everything from “I am thankful for the cookie I just ate” to “I am thankful I have a family.” Thanksgiving seems like a wonderful time to kick start this tradition, but you can start any time with any container you have at home. One of my favourite parts of this jar is looking back at their old gratitude notes from previous years, and seeing how they’ve grown.
Create a Gratitude Mural
Maybe you have some extra brown kraft paper lying around from all those online shopping packages (not that I’ve done that much online shopping . . . don’t judge). Take that kraft paper, and recycle it into an eco-friendly gratitude craft that the kids will love. Tape it to the wall securely at kids height, and ask them to draw pictures of what they’re grateful for. The whole family can get into the spirit of gratitude and creativity, and you’ll be left with a fun graffiti style gratitude mural.
Create Gratitude Conversation Cards
- What part of school/work are you grateful for?
- Who is one person in our extended family that you are grateful for?
- What was your favourite memory from this summer?
- What is your favourite memory from the fall so far?
- What is one thing that you’re looking forward to about fall?
- What are you grateful for about our home?
Have each person at your table pick a card, and share their answer, and then trade cards.
Do a Zoom Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
This might be my favourite idea if your group has lots of kids - it will keep them engaged on a virtual Thanksgiving celebration and can be lots of fun. Organize a virtual indoor scavenger hunt by sending out these gratitude scavenger hunt clues just before the Zoom call. You’ll set a time to start and then have everyone scramble to find the items they’re grateful for within the allotted time. You can all come back together after time’s up and share what you found!
I hope this gives you some ideas to celebrate Thanksgiving creatively & safely, while still maintaining the spirit of gratitude with your loved ones!