Virtual Thanksgiving: How to Make It Special This Year

Like the rest of 2020, Thanksgiving might look a little different this year.

 
Many of us may choose to forego cross-country travel and large family gatherings in favor of pod celebrations or virtual Thanksgiving get-togethers. But there’s never been a more appropriate time to reflect on gratitude and thankfulness.

And just because you’re swapping family gatherings for Zoom screens doesn’t mean the holiday has to be any less special—in fact, just the opposite. Here’s how to make your virtual Thanksgiving the best one yet. Who knows, you just might find yourself continuing these new traditions year after year.

Set the Table Together

We believe that every good party starts with a thoughtfully-set table. So why not make that a (virtual) activity on its own? Share ideas with loved ones on Pinterest, then Zoom or FaceTime while laying out table settings—whether it’s one or ten. There’s never been a better occasion to go all out.

Start with the linens, then layer in statement placemats and add extra pops with napkin rings, coasters, or colorful glassware before getting creative with a centerpiece (some ideas on that next…).

Make It Personal

If your loved ones can’t be sitting at your table during virtual Thanksgiving, try topping it with things that remind you of them. It doesn’t just have to be family china, either. Set an aunt’s favorite flower as your centerpiece; incorporate mementos like small framed photos or heirlooms across the table to bring thoughts of family and friends to dinner.

Think outside the box: seashells, jewelry boxes, or decorative objects can all become table decor when paired with chic tabletop accessories. Try sterling silver framed photos beside these moonlight placemats and sparkle napkin rings for an elegant winter white look, or go colorful alongside eclectic accessories.

Give New Meaning to “Shared Plates”

While physically sharing might be a no-no right now, social media sharing certainly isn’t. There’s no better time than virtual Thanksgiving to show off your tablescape to the world beyond your dining room. And while we’d always argue that a solo meal is still worthy of a well-set table, if you’re dining alone, let this be another reason to get your table picture perfect

Swap Recipes

While cooking together is on hold, collaborate on dinner with a recipe swap before the holiday. Share your favorite with family and friends, and then incorporate theirs into your own spread—think of it as a new take on potluck style.

Find Gratitude

Finally, with a world in the midst of turbulent change, it’s never been a better time to stop and reflect on what’s good. If you’re with a group (physically or virtually!) have everyone share what they’re grateful for, and turn it into a list you can reflect on all year round.