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10 Ways to Reconnect This Thanksgiving

September 23, 2020 4 min read

table decorated in thanksgiving candles and leaves with the words "give thanks"

Audio Version

Ideas for an Unforgettable Thanksgiving with Family & Friends

2020 has been an interesting year, to say the least. It’s been filled with ups and downs, obstacles and challenges, and unfortunately, it has also kept some people from uniting with their families.

That’s why, as Thanksgiving approaches, we need to creatively think of ways to lift our spirits and bond with our loved ones, even if we can’t be near them physically. Who knows, you might discover a new out-of-the-box idea to help you cope and connect during a time that’s set up to be, let’s say, a lot less cozy than usual.

Find comfort in a few of these great ideas that embody self-love and familial bonding, even from miles away.

10 Ways to Reconnect with Family & Friends This Thanksgiving

Take a Road Trip

Take the opportunity to see your own backyard! Are you able to go apple picking or to a pumpkin patch somewhere nearby? If you can rent a cottage for the long weekend (assuming restrictions are flexible where you live), then you can take a few relaxing necessities with you to make it a cozy trip you won’t forget! Consider some delicious groceries, a travel hammock, a great book and some extra warm blankets. 

group of friends go for a hike in the woods behind the city

Go for a Hike

Bask in the beautiful, crisp autumn atmosphere and look to the great outdoors. If camping or a cottage trip is too much of a luxury, opt for a simple hike instead. Check out your closest national park or any trail that is easily accessible from where you live.

Toss the Tech

We highly recommend you do this, especially if you are with your family. We’ve been tech-dependent loads this year, so take a little break for a weekend, whether you’re on a family excursion or you’re simply staying at home. There’s plenty of things to do without tech like telling old stories and connecting with family memories. 

two little girls hanging in a backyard hammock

Hang Out in Your Backyard or Patio

 Change up the scenery! If you have a hammock, that’s the best place to curl up with a good book while enjoying the weather. Thanksgiving can sometimes be unseasonably warm or beautifully crisp, but it’s usually one of the last temperate days of the year. Take it for granted and kick back, whether you’re watching your family’s annual football game or just relaxing with a cocktail (or two) amidst conversation. And remember, there’s room for two or three in some hammocks

adult siblings cook in the kitchen together

Cook Together

Even family dinners can be potluck-style. Assign that each member of your family is in charge of a specific dish and team up together in the kitchen while you’re all making your contributions. If you’re having a virtual Thanksgiving dinner with a missing or socially-distanced member of your clan, let them join in on the fun from their kitchen with video chat. 

older family plays board games at the kitchen table

Play Games

Nothing brings a family together virtually or in real life more than games! Charades, Pictionary, card games like Rummy - the list goes on! 

outdoor sign with pumpking pie on it that says "give thanks, eat pie"

Practice Gratitude

Believe it or not, there’s a lot to be thankful for, even during the most confusing year we have all witnessed in a very long time. Write it out and share it with your loved ones, addressing it to specific members of your family. Ask them to do the same. You could pick names at random and have members of your family write a letter addressed to the person they picked, naming three qualities or reasons they are grateful for that person.

family talks around the dinner table

Ask Deep Questions

Holidays mean family time, and family time is a wonderful opportunity to get to know your clan on a deeper level. Ask questions you wouldn’t necessarily ask on a regular day. Whether it’s about family history, or even asking one of them to help you in something you don’t understand or aren’t skilled at, like handiwork at home. 

dog hanging in hammock indoors with sunglasses on

Create New Traditions (Or Revive Old Ones!)

If your family used to go to the beach every Thanksgiving but couldn’t this year, recreate it! Even if travel is difficult, you can still find a way to make things work, even if just for a couple of hours.

Maybe you can start a new theme:

“Thanksgiving on the Island” - adorn your yard with decorations, make tropical drinks and other types of Island-inspired fare, dress the part and get a hammock. This would be a huge show-stopper and a major attraction, especially for the kids and the overfed and longing to lounge.

Family sits by the couch and video calls through the phone

Video Chat with Your Friends and Family If You Can’t Be There

Even if you’re far away from home and feel as though you’re unable to fully join in on the fun, you can treat yourself to a few of these ideas and get on a video chat to share them with your loved ones. Whether you’re calling them from your hammock at your rented cottage or you’re cooking up a storm with them from the space and security of your own kitchen, there’s always a way to be near your friends and family while keeping your distance.  

large family cheers' at the dinner table over a grand feast

The Takeaway

Don’t give up on the idea of having a lovely Thanksgiving, no matter which of your plans have been compromised. Remember that with enough imagination and heart, you can stay connected and make the most out of any situation that’s less than ideal. Who knows, you might have a few new traditions on your hands!