Making the Most of Thanksgiving 2020
Thanksgiving may feel a bit different this year as we celebrate amidst a pandemic. However, since at least 1621, when the Pilgrims and Wampanoag came together to share a meal, this holiday has often been observed during difficult times. In fact, it was first recognized as a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, as the Civil War raged.
It seems we all need a moment to reflect, rest, and eat something delicious.
Sometimes the unexpected ways we celebrate in years like 2020 become some of the most meaningful. If you’re a fan of This is Us, you know that their worst Thanksgiving became one of the family’s best holiday memories — aka Pilgrim Rick.
Whether you celebrate alone or with loved ones, you can still enjoy giving thanks. And there’s no better time to make the most of your outdoor living spaces. Here are a few ideas for inspiration:
- Host a stress-free and safe outdoor gathering on your deck. Grill your favorite meats or vegetables. Cozy up around a patio heater or firepit. Social distance and keep the gathering small, according to Centers for Disease Control guidance.
- Connect online with family who cannot travel or who are at high risk for COVID-19. Coordinate a meal and drinks. Dress up — or down! Play games, sing karaoke, or even watch a movie together.
- Make a craft for yourself or to give in the upcoming holidays. Making something meaningful might lead to a new tradition like a gratitude garland where everyone writes what they’re thankful for. Pilgrim Hats made of packaged cookies, Reese’s mini peanut butter cups, icing, and colorful candies are easy to make and delicious to eat. Make cards for loved ones and neighbors to let them know how much you appreciate them. There’s no better place for glitter than out on the deck!
- Challenge yourself or guests with Thanksgiving trivia. Did you know the meal at the Pilgrims and Wampanoag celebration probably included swan and lobster? Or which Founding Father refused to observe Thanksgiving? Play for an extra slice of pumpkin or sweet potato pie!
- Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Kicking off the holiday season on Thanksgiving morning, the parade began in 1924. Check out this brief history of the event. If you have an outdoor entertainment system, wrap uptight, eat some yummy breakfast treats and watch all the performers, floats, and balloons march by.
- Create a family or friends scavenger hunt. Here are some ideas for making the hunt fun for kids.
- Make your outdoor living space festive. If you haven’t jumped ahead to decorate for December, be creative in your Thanksgiving décor. Use fall foliage and natural elements to enhance the beauty of your deck. Pay attention to details such as table settings and centerpieces that can brighten your space.
- Go for a walk as a family or on your own. Enjoy the crisp air and the pale November skies. Notice details like the perfect design of a pinecone or how the bare limbs of trees resemble lace. Take a nap in the hammock or swing on your deck.
- Play an outdoor game. Break out the cornhole boards and set them up on the deck, and compete for first-in-line for dinner.
- Enjoy a festive cocktail. If you have an outdoor bar, stock up on pumpkin spice and apple cider. Or bring out a tray of your favorites.
Though Thanksgiving may be different in 2020, it can still be memorable. Make the most of this day of gratitude and enjoy a little extra time on your deck.