Together In Spirit

How to Honor a Virtual Thanksgiving

By: Julia Childs
Together In Spirit

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” —Desmund Tutu

We’ll remember a lot about this year. It was the year we anxiously baked banana bread and became obsessed with fluffy coffee. We learned how to read eyes better than ever and finally adopted a full thirty seconds of handwashing. But, what we may remember most is this upcoming holiday season. 

Due to the ongoing pandemic and spikes in cases across the country, many are opting to spend holidays at home. Thanksgiving is usually a day we spend together, eating until our heart’s fullest content while we catch up on family gossip. This year is looking to unfold a bit differently, with virtual table settings for folks across the country our screen time reports will be taken to an entirely new level. Worry not; there are ways to finesse the situation and make lemonade out of these sour lemons. Keep reading for a guide to honoring a virtual Thanksgiving.

Decide Who You’ll Be Breaking Bread With

There’s some freedom in this year’s holiday. If you’ve been itching to break out of age-old traditions or craft a new ritual, here’s your chance. Maybe a Friendsgiving is more your speed or perhaps you’re eager to see your siblings. Decide who you’d like to spend the day with and what time. You can even spend the day with multiple people — maybe your in-laws get a FaceTime call for an early dinner while your closest friends reserve the Zoom room for a nightcap. Whichever you choose, be sure to make your decision before the day-of and send out calendar invites to your loved ones.

Cultivate Your Dream Menu

Missing your mom’s pumpkin pie? Ask for the recipe and try your hand at perfecting the Thanksgiving classic. Can’t be bothered with cooking? Call up your favorite restaurant and ask what their specials are — some restaurants offer Thanksgiving kits that package all the fixings with a handy instruction note. There’s nothing wrong with opting for ordering in, either. Sometimes simplicity is key. Whatever you do, don’t forget the libations. Have an afternoon cocktail party. Hop on Zoom, pick a cocktail recipe of your choice, and cheers to another 2020 milestone conquered.

Finesse Your Expectations

Ugh, yes. Expectations must be managed this year. We’d be lying if we said there isn’t a large likelihood you may feel especially lonely this year. Some of you may be experiencing screentime fatigue like never before. We get it, nothing about this year has been easy, and coming to terms with a distant holiday can feel incredibly hard. Plan some time outside. Fresh air and some vitamin D (if you’re lucky enough to catch some rays during November) can lift the spirits immensely. Add in some light exercise for the endorphin boost, and you’re already set up for a relaxing day of newness with a whole lot of love. 

Keep It Light

In the same vein of managing expectations, lessen the load for this holiday, and avoid heavy conversations. Hot button topics like politics are better left for another day. At this point, it is safe to assume everyone is doing their best, and intense debate won’t help matters. If you’re spending the day solo, double up on the comforting activities. Maybe it is a day where you binge watch Sex and the City with your favorite Thai takeout. Ain’t no shame in that, just do whatever feels best for you.

When In Doubt, Go Inwards

No plans and no interest in stuffing your face with turkey? No problem. Consider making this Thanksgiving a solo retreat. You can wake up early to watch the sunrise, go for a hike, then round out your day with some breathwork. Add in a long soak in the tub, and you’re nearly teleported to a holistic retreat. There’s nothing wrong with taking time out for you.

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