And just like that, Thanksgiving is around the corner. Inevitably, this year’s celebrations are shaping up to look, and feel, a lot different. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that there’s still thankfulness amidst dark times. In fact, maybe there’s more of it. Or in the very least, we can actively choose more of it. More gratitude for the things we previously took for granted: a nurturing home life, a well-stocked fridge, mental and physical wellbeing, etc. All of the extravagant or extraordinary fluff is exactly that — extra.
Realistically speaking, this holiday season won’t be anything extravagant. That said, it certainly has the capacity to be as special as you make it. And while it shouldn’t include an over-the-top, in-person Thanksgiving with all of your dearest friends, you can still celebrate with plenty of enthusiasm. Or wine. Bank those miles, put away your suitcase, and dust off your largest baking pan. In the spirit of being a good human, let’s end this year as safe, hygge, and memorable as possible — for everyone. To kick things off, I’ve put together an easy, simple structure for a virtual Thanksgiving dinner. Cheers to togetherness, in a 2020 kind of way.
Choose a platform
Zoom! Skype! Google Hangouts! FaceTime! The world wide web is your oyster.
Make an itinerary
It might look something like this (keep in mind various time zones):
4:30-5pm: charcuterie making
5pm: cocktail crafting
5:30-6:30pm: happy hour and hors d’oeuvres while playing trivia
7pm: dinner and dessert
Feel free to divvy up these responsibilities! For example, my sister loves making holiday-inspired cocktails, so she’ll be leading the charge during that time.
Craft a menu
To cater to various tastes and food preferences, it might be easiest to let everyone prep what they want. Traditional or more veg-heavy, it’s an opportunity for your guests to choose their own adventure. That said, if the itinerary includes making a pie, cocktails, or a charcuterie board, send out a grocery list ahead of time.
A few of my favorite sites with Thanksgiving spreads: The First Mess, Ambitious Kitchen, Jessica in the Kitchen, and Half Baked Harvest.
Optional: Cook together, virtually
Decide on a few recipes and get cooking. You can either cook at the same pace, or — if easier — just let the chefs do their thing (with Zoom on in the background). This can begin the day before Thanksgiving.
Here a few beautiful, sustainable items to add to your tablescape:
Recycled glass tea candle holders
…but make it casual. A knit sweater, pair of boyfriend jeans, cozy socks, and a pair of boots. And for that post-dinner lounge, Splendid has thermal joggers (on sale!).
Eat and Give Thanks
Prop your computer or phone at the end of the table, make a toast, and dig in. To keep conversation flowing, ask each person to share both what they’re currently thankful for as well as what they’re most looking forward to in the coming year.
Inspired by this piece, from The Cut. Featured image by @anniespratt.
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