Of course, a few days after I spent some quality time updating my article on 10 Ways To Find Cheap Thanksgiving Flights, the CDC comes out with its recommendation that Americans celebrate the holidays with a virtual Thanksgiving this year.

Like everyone, I always looked forward to Thanksgiving when I was growing up. Not only did I get to eat mounds of turkey and lasagna (I’m half Italian), and play football with relatives, but I had two days off from school. When I was in college in California, I used to fly home to Connecticut or Florida to spend it with my parents.

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Once I started traveling for a living I used to avoid traveling on peak Thanksgiving days so if I did go somewhere by plane, it was either a couple of days before or after. Sometimes I would even travel on the Friday after Thanksgiving since it was so cheap and the flights were empty.

When I married a Canadian, I got to have Thanksgiving twice (just what my belly needed, I know!) since the Canucks celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. But once Natalie and I had kids, we stopped making the trek to our hometowns and began creating our own traditions, which often meant family would fly to us (we have much better weather so it wasn’t a difficult sell!)

Now that were in the midst of a global pandemic, the CDC is recommending that Americans have virtual Thanksgivings. That sucks, I know. But it’s the prudent thing to do … and just think of all the money we’ll all save and the political fights we’ll avoid.

According to the CDC’s website, “Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.”

They’ve outlined the risks as follows:

Lower risk activities

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday
  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home

Moderate risk activities

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
  • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Attending a small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place

Higher risk activities
Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
  • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race
  • Attending crowded parades
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household

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Missing Thanksgiving with loved ones is going to be hard for a lot of people. But there are ways to make your virtual Thanksgiving fun. Need some inspiration? Check out these 15 ideas for hosting a virtual Thanksgiving. From hosting a Zoom cooking class to watching a socially distanced movie via Netflix Party, I think we can all find some creative ways to make the best of a bad situation. Plus, if you’re on Pinterest, my wife has created a Thanksgiving board full of recipes, décor ideas and yes, virtual Thanksgiving tips. You can follow me on Pinterest here and check out our Thanksgiving Pinterest board here.

So, what are you going to do? Get on a plane, take a road trip, go see friends or family or celebrate with just the immediate people in your household? Comment below! One thing is for sure, Zoom and FaceTime calls are going to be off the charts on Turkey Day.

3 Comments On "How to Have a Fun Virtual Thanksgiving"
  1. Jim|

    Thanks for these tips, John. I was going to fly up to NY and have dinner with my sister and brother-in-law, but this year, it’s not worth the risk, so I’m staying in Atlanta, and we’ll get together with a Zoom call during Thanksgiving dinner.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Glad you liked them! Hope you have a happy one

  2. JinuJolly|

    Kerala’s main tour spots are less populated compared to main cities of Kerala , main destinations include Munnar , Thekkady, kumarakom, Alleppey and Kovalam . These areas are not that much thickly populated and you can move freely . Make our moments
    Holidays has assigned Munnar tour packages in such a way that resorts and sightseeing places are selected in itinerary where it is located away from one another and our cab drivers are trained to handle guest and has specially told not to take our guest to crowded areas . If we go into other tour destinations around the world it is overrun by tourist and is thickly populated.

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