Creativity is the key to this year’s best Thanksgiving celebrations. Even if we’re gathering from a distance, we can still feel the warm embrace of the season and the people we love. Zoom, FaceTime and Google Meet might not be perfect – but just relax, have fun and focus on what’s important.
You have enough to worry about this year, so let’s cross Thanksgiving planning off your list. Follow this easy week-by-week guide to help you get your virtual celebration off to a smooth start and see it through to the big day when you can all come together—even when you’re apart.
4 Weeks Before Thanksgiving
- Decide how many virtual get-togethers you want to organize, then start thinking menus. Dinner with family? Easy meal with friends? Happy hour? Brunch?
- Decide which technology you want to use. Make sure you understand the app and confirm it will support the size of your group.
- What’s the dress code: formal, casual?
- Draw up your guest lists.
- Send out Paperless Post invites (below) for your gatherings – be sure to include all details and Zoom or Google Meet info.
3 Weeks Before Thanksgiving
- Decide how you want to run things. For example, is everybody making the same dish?
- Simplify your own feast or send food gifts to family and friends. We have everything from turkey and sides to pies and other desserts. Order now for Thanksgiving delivery.
- Organize your activities. Give guests a supply list or send them whatever supplies they’ll need.
- Create a friends and/or family photo slideshow you can share on your screen during your event.
2 Weeks Before Thanksgiving
- Send guidelines for the technology you’re using and make sure that everyone knows how to use it.
- People with less experience using the chosen app will appreciate basic tips or a link to a tutorial.
- Send out a link to Zoom backgrounds. If you’re not sure how to manage Zoom, check out our tutorial here.
1 Week Before Thanksgiving
- Set up your login, send out links, passwords—and reconfirm basic tech instructions.
- Do a quick practice run on your chosen app to be sure older folks won’t have problems on the big day.
- Send guests fun ideas for holiday activities – here are a few of our favorites.
- Print our Thanksgiving Workbook (below), which includes everything from menu planning and table setting for you to coloring pages and brain teasers for your kids.
The Day Before Thanksgiving
- Set up your Zoom spot. Make sure you’ve got all your backgrounds, table settings and other Insta-worthy details ready to go.
- The big day is finally here! Make the most of your celebration by staying relaxed, having fun and remembering what’s most important – sharing Thanksgiving with family and friends. For more inspiration, visit our Thanksgiving Headquarters and don’t miss our round-up of fun activities.