November arrived like someone who shows up to your house early and you’re just not quite ready. Chilly days and holiday advertisements remind us that the year is nearly over.
As we’ve navigated through birthdays, graduations, weddings and holidays we have learned to be creative to remain close to the ones we love while maintaining physical distance. Thanksgiving should be no different and while every family will decide how to celebrate safely we’ve come up with a few tips and tricks on how to host virtually if you choose to stay put but still make the most of it.
Choose Your Online Program
If working from home has something you’ve gotten used to you’re probably well aware of the video chat options available — most with free services. Check out these options to see which will suit your needs. Remember, your guests will also have to sign up in some cases so find one that’s easy to use. And, as always, use your best judgement. Any online app can be hacked and experience data breaches so beware of the risks. Three common apps:
Zoom offers a free version but keep in mind the free version limits you to 40 minutes for 3 or more people.
Google Hangouts is free and the service is built into a Gmail account. The free service limits you to 10 people for video calls.
House Party is a face-to-face social networking app that allows up to eight people to video chat at once.
Set up The Room and Entertainment
Someone has to take the lead and it might as well be you, right? Here are some tips for setting the scene of this virtual shindig.
- Give people a costume theme or let them come up with their own. Some suggestions for Thanksgiving themes include: Pilgrims, Food, or Animals.
- Encourage everyone to decorate their wall space behind the camera. Get creative and if you really want to make it fun, offer prizes for the best dressed room. We happen to know a great place to get some supplies.
- Find some games. Here are some great options from Good Housekeeping that are available via Zoom.
Don’t Forget About the Food
Assigning food is unnecessary when hosting a virtual party so keep it simple but encourage people to make it fun on their end. A recipe swap could be a great way to incorporate some fun and of course encourage a virtual toast (alcohol or not) at some point in the evening.
Gathering with large groups of party people in person is still an unsafe way to celebrate this November but creating a great virtual event like this will keep the festivities rolling and the connections strong.
We hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!