Ideas for Thanksgiving During Quarantine
If the words “fun” and “quarantine” don’t seem to go together this season, we have some ideas to help infuse your 2020 Thanksgiving with a mood of gratitude as you gather to celebrate with family.
We pulled from suggestions offered by Town and Country Magazine, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping and a forward-thinking children’s hospital to help you celebrate both with your bubble of beloveds and virtually — with distanced (way beyond socially!) family and friends.
Shared Experiences – TV to Turkey
If watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in your jammies is something you always do, the parade will be broadcast as usual on NBC stations – the show must go on! While the parade’s structure has been modified (it will be TV-only to limit crowds), you can get cozy on the couch and tune in – in different cities — knowing you’re all watching the same time-honored tradition.
And while it may or may not be part of your regular Thanksgiving Day viewing schedule, the National Dog Show is guaranteed to bring a smile to your faces, too. Who can feel anything but joy watching man’s best friends cavorting for the crowds to win the title of Best in Show? This year’s pups’ parade will air right after the Macy’s parade on local NBC channels, also. Or, you can watch online via Hulu or YouTube TV’s paid subscription services.
Schedule calls with family members to help brainstorm the holiday menu now, ahead of Thursday — and make a shopping list. Ask for a loved one’s favorite recipe, and video chat while you and your family test it out.
For those people who can’t be part of your dinner table crowd, Connecticut Children’s Hospital suggests you drop off Thanksgiving care packages. If you can’t join in around a table to divvy up a pumpkin pie, you and your children or partner could bake pumpkin muffins to drop off on doorsteps, or coordinate the simultaneous creation of matching centerpieces – like apple candle holders or a pumpkin menu (courtesy The Merry Thought)– for everyone to display on their holiday tables.
Regular Menu or Year for Change?
Eating outside makes it easier to social distance and you can grill your turkey (either whole or in pieces) on the barbecue grill. How Sweet Eats’ has a great recipe and how-to suggestions – along with baking some sides on the grill to go with it. If these mouth-watering photos from Traeger Grills are any indication, the Thyme-Infused Mashed Potatoes and Baked Winter Squash Au Gratin would be perfect accompaniments.
This might be the year to scale down the menu and perhaps grill a turkey breast, or a few Cornish Hens, even a Tur-ducken – (Whole Foods might still have them). The Wirecutter blog has a guide to the best turkey fryer you can buy — if that outdoor option appeals to you. And when the temperature dips, if you didn’t snag an outdoor heat lamp before they sold out, you can at least have enough throws, afghans and blankets on hand to cover up.
Slow cookers are great for a number of Thanksgiving sides, including potato gratin and corn spoon bread from Real Simple. And to go with the more casual, outdoor vibe, serve up some great Thanksgiving salads that you can make ahead and put out for self-serve on the big day.
While You Wait to Eat
Need something to do while the turkey cooks? Here are a few recipes for seasonal drinks to whip up – or try your hand(s) at an arts and crafts project from Good Housekeeping. Making something as simple as a handprint turkey will keep the kids occupied. Not to mention, it’ll be a cute keepsake of 2020 Thanksgiving memories. Or choose from among these 42 additional, easy Thanksgiving crafts for kids – from the apple-stamping pumpkin craft from Made to Be a Momma, to bedazzled gourds from Aunt Peaches.
Get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air with a game of corn hole or a themed scavenger hunt. If the weather doesn’t cooperate there are plenty of indoor games you can play, like Thanksgiving Family Feud or giving the Memory Pie a spin to reveal a slice of life prompt for the spinner to recall a treasured memory. Or try one of 28 more from Country Living.
Thanksgiving resolutions can be part of your virtual get-together, or just a quiet conversation with your family to close out the day. What would your child like to learn, try, or do more of by NEXT Thanksgiving? This is a nice way to remind us all that we all have a lot to look forward to on the other side of the pandemic.
Grateful for Community in Crystal Valley
While we may be confined to home and hearth for the holiday season, we’re grateful to be sheltering in the brand new homes in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley. It’s still an amazing time to buy a new home set in natural surroundings in the fast-growing Castle Rock community — from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities and D.R. Horton. You can virtually visit these homes – via a variety of video chat apps – or set up a private tour. Choose from ranch or two-story models — priced from the $300s.