How to Celebrate Epic Thanksgiving 2020

Spread the love

Are you excited to celebrate Thanksgiving next week?

I know this year has been a rollercoaster ride for most of us because of the pandemic. But, Thanksgiving 2020 is not, and will never be cancelled. I want to assure you that to celebrate Thanksgiving is not really a must, but more of a self-realization or reflection on the people or things you are thankful for.

You don’t have to throw in or be invited to a fancy, huge Thanksgiving 2020 party. Most especially in these uncharted times. It’s always better to be safe and social distance. 

For me and my family, it’s a day to just celebrate how thankful we are for each other. There were times we attended Thanksgiving dinners from family and friends and there was a time that me, my husband, and my then toddler just stayed home, watched movies, and ate all day together in our pj’s.

This post contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. See my full disclaimer here.

What is Thanksgiving?

I never knew Thanksgiving until I met and married my husband. I never celebrated Thanksgiving before because we don’t have Thanksgiving Day in Asia. Why? 

This is because Thanksgiving is a National Holiday observed in the United States of America (USA).

Brief Thanksgiving Origin

This started way back when the English settlers came to Plymouth and live with the Native Americans. The Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to farm and harvest. And after their first harvest together, they had a three-day celebration that marked the start of Thanksgiving day. It was a joyous three-day feast where everyone ate, partied, and danced together.

From then on, after their harvest, both Pilgrims and Native Americans would schedule a feast for the whole community and that started the Thanksgiving tradition.

However, it’s not until President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Proclamation that Thanksgiving was regularly commemorated each year on the last Thursday of November. In 1939, however, the last Thursday in November fell on the last day of the month. There were a lot of amendments and back and forth among the congress, senate, and the public. So, later on, President Roosevelt signed the resolution on December 26, 1941, to establish the fourth Thursday in November as the Federal Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Turkey for Thanksgiving

But why turkey? Why do we need to serve turkey on Thanksgiving?

It is said that when the Pilgrims and Wampanaoag tribe had their first “Giving Thanks” feast, they served a wild fowl. But there was no actual document saying it was indeed, turkey.

However, as years passed and centuries unfolded, turkey has become the most popular choice to serve on Thanksgiving dinner. This started because (1) America has a huge farm production of turkey; (2) a single turkey is usually big enough for the whole family; (3) turkey has remained relatively affordable; and (4) turkey is not just an everyday meal and that played a special role on the feast table.

But aside from Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie have become staples on Thanksgiving dinner table.

thanksgiving 2020

Family Thanksgiving 2020

My family celebrates Thanksgiving, I’d say, just like any other average, regular families in the USA. We dine together, eat turkey together, and spend time with family and friends. 

It’s a full day of just eating, singing, dancing, and talking with each other. And me eating a full plate of Pecan pie!

We would prepare turkey (although I have never prepared it myself yet) for Thanksgiving dinner, lots of games for the kids, and overflowing drinks for the adults. It’s just a day-to-night table full of food and karaoke on full blast and kids playing with each other.

How to Celebrate Thanksgiving 2020?

The past years may have easier and repeated ideas and styles on how to celebrate Thanksgiving 2020. But with our current pandemic situation, we have some restrictions. And I always say this “It is better to be safe and healthy for the long run than eat around a lot of people (family/friends/guests) for one night.” Obviously, there will be a lot of comments or feedback about my statement but that is my personal opinion. I’d rather be just with my family and trusted friends than attend public parties and open clubs/bars (if they’re even open).

This Thanksgiving is a great chance to think outside the box. With all these things in mind, I’m sharing some ideas on how we can still celebrate Thanksgiving with our loved ones this 2020:

  1. Keep Thanksgiving 2020 celebration within the immediate family. This is such an easy way to celebrate and spend time with your loved ones. Prepare only for your family and if you want to invite your closest and trusted friends, keep it small. Small groups = less exposure and smaller chances of getting COVID-19.

However, for military families like ours, there are some instances that we have to adjust and celebrate it the way we see fit. Just like now, my husband is currently deployed, it’s just me and my daughter. So Thanksgiving 2020 is a lot different now. We will keep the celebration just me and her and our closest friends.

Hosting Essentials
  1. Dine Together Virtually. In these times where we do most things virtually like parents working from home and kids attending distance-learning at home, why not celebrate Thanksgiving virtually?

I know some who have spent their birthdays and wedding receptions virtually with their families and friends. So, I think, a Zoom call with your families (from other cities, states, or countries) or even friends will be a great idea.

Set-up your Thanksgiving 2020 dinner table with your menu and allot a space for your laptop or tablet or phone for the Zoom call. 

And after dinner, you can use virtual games to be an extension of game nights.

Game Night
  1. Order and Have Food Delivered. If you’re not the cooking type like myself, maximize Doordash or UberEats and order your favorite food. Thanksgiving 2020 doesn’t have to be always just about turkey.

Or if you want to cook meals yourself, order your ingredients online. With Amazon’s Pantry or Fresh to make sure you have everything you need.

Additional ideas would be to order and send food to your families and friends. Great concept if you prefer to eat the same food together.

  1. Start New Family Traditions. The yearly Thanksgiving traditions can be modified or changed if necessary. You don’t have to book a flight to go to your parents’ house or drive to be at your Aunt’s Thanksgiving dinner or hire caterers for your party. You can do it simple. Do something everyone enjoys and likes.

It can be as simple as watching a movie together or getting the backyard ready for family BBQ or family game night. Or if family members are into gaming, it’s a great idea to play together and maybe invite other family members to join.

5. Dress Up At Home. You don’t need to go out to dress up! This is such a great time to get glammed even if you’re just home. Get your kid/s to dress up too and take family photos. Here are some options for getting glammed:

Thanksgiving Outfits for Ladies
Thanksgiving Outfits for Men
Thanksgiving Outfits for Kids

6. Donate to Others. Some people are not as lucky as some when it comes to income, food, and health. So why not share your blessings with those in need? There are some organizations collecting donations for the less fortunate families. You can donate food (some has restrictions of only store-bought food), clothes, shoes, household items, and other.

How to Celebrate Thanksgiving When Your Partner is Deployed?

Thanksgiving 1

Like I mentioned above, my husband is currently deployed and he will not be celebrating Thanksgiving 2020 with us in person. But, it doesn’t mean he won’t experience our Family Thanksgiving. We want him to feel special and extend our Thanksgiving celebration to wherever his ship is at. 

Me and my daughter prepared and mailed him a Care Package for Thanksgiving. We made sure to include our family’s favorite snacks and Thanksgiving letters and little projects from our kid. Surely, it is not the same as when he’s here with us. But at least, in that simple way, we can make him feel at home. I have more care packages ideas here. Also available: Care Package Checklist for Your Service Member.

And occasions like this is one of the main reasons why having friends who understand and know what you’re going through is such a treasure. I’m fortunate to have amazing friends (not a lot, but hands-down the best).

“Wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of your life.”


Spirit of Thanksgiving 2020

Thanksgiving is really a day devoted to “Giving Thanks”. This is what it is all about. This day, let us set aside a time to just be and feel thankful, say your Thanksgiving prayers (if you want), and just tell and/or show your loved ones how thankful you are for them.

Spread the love

Leave a Comment