Thanksgiving Families can still enjoy the holidays with a virtual celebration.
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Even if the whole extended family can’t gather around a festive holiday table, there’s a way for all to come together with an online celebration.

With the news that small indoor gatherings are increasing the spread of the novel coronavirus across the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says a lower risk activity is having a small dinner with only people who live in the household. (Those thinking of taking a COVID-19 test need to remember no lab test for coronavirus is 100% accurate.)

In fact, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said his kids won’t be coming home for Thanksgiving this year for fear of possibly spreading the disease.

So having a virtual dinner with family and friends is the way to celebrate Thanksgiving in 2020! 

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That is what Gisela Dorta, a Cuban American stay-at-home wife and mother from Miami is doing this year. 

“I will have dinner with the people who live in my household, but I will have a Zoom session with family members and friends that I won’t be able to see in person,” says Dorta. “I’ll place my laptop near the dining table, where we can see each other, and they will do the same. We’ll still be able to share in the laughter and the camaraderie!”

But it turns out that sitting around a virtual table is not all you can do to make this celebration special. 

Yes, You Can Cook Together!

Before the big event, teach your cousin how to bake the perfect apple pie online, and have her share her famous recipe for candied yams. By sharing recipes and preparing dishes simultaneously, you’ll recapture some of the feeling of togetherness from Thanksgivings past.

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Amuse the Kids

The children may not be able to play in-person games this year, but they can still have “virtual” fun. If your kids have not experienced Scholastic’s First Thanksgiving Virtual Tour, this is a good time to have them enjoy the virtual field trip and discover what life was like for colonists and First Nations in the 1600s.

Let Your Talents Shine

After the meal, an online talent show for kids and grownups can get the whole family in the right celebratory mood. Have each member prepare a short showcase of their secret or not so secret talent: singing, dancing, juggling, “moonwalking”, performing magic tricks, or reciting poetry. Have especially talented pets? Don’t forget to include their antics; they’re sure to bring on the laughs.

It’s Time to Play!

A fun way to bring everyone together during a virtual celebration is a virtual interactive game like Bingo, Most Likely To, Trivia Night or Charades. 

Share the Family History

Surprise your virtual Thanksgiving guests with family insights from Ancestry.com. You can also ask your eldest relatives to share memories and stories of their lives and family members. You can also ask each household to provide favorite family photos, past and recent, to include everyone in the fun.

Enjoy a Virtual Parade!

Get the snacks ready, and enjoy all the color and the fun of New York’s iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade from the comfort of home. 

Most importantly, don’t forget to give thanks, because being able to share with family and friends, even if virtually, is always a blessing worth counting.