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Thanksgiving is high on our list of favorite holidays. Is it because of the food? Absolutely. Is there another time of year when no one cares if you go back for seconds, thirds or fourths? Then there are the leftovers, which is sort of like a Thanksgiving remix. And yes, time with family and friends is our other top reason for loving this holiday.

This year we all may be celebrating it differently, but we can still find ways to make the day fun and filled with delicious food. Use these 8 tips to help you host a Thanksgiving to remember.

hosting in person

1. decide how many people you’ll invite

Talk it over first with your spouse, partner or family. Follow state or local guidelines for gatherings. Look at current coronavirus levels in your community to decide if you need to limit attendees. Remind invited guests to stay home if they’ve been exposed in the last 14 days or are showing symptoms.1

2. take it outside if you can

This may allow you to invite more people, but again, follow state or local guidelines for gatherings. If the forecast is bad or the weather doesn’t cooperate on Thanksgiving day, use a well-ventilated space versus a crowded or fully enclosed indoor space. You can increase ventilation by opening windows and doors if it’s feasible based on the weather.1

3. serve a smaller menu or make it a potluck

Make a list of the dishes you normally serve and ask invited guests to rank them. Use the rankings to pick which dishes you’ll serve this year. You could also offer to make the turkey or main entree and ask guests to sign up to bring side dishes, desserts or drinks. Trust us, the fewer dishes you have to make means less stress on you.

4. protect yourself and others

If you think it’s needed, send a short list of the safety measures you want everyone to follow. These could include social distancing, using hand sanitizer and wearing masks (except when eating, of course). Provide supplies or encourage attendees to bring their own to help you and others stay healthy.1 It’s a good idea to have extra supplies on hand, just in case.

If you decide to play it super safe and celebrate virtually, you can still enjoy many of your favorite things about Thanksgiving. You can also invite as many people as you want without having to worry about having to social distance or if there will be enough food. Bonus: you won’t have to travel, plus you can secretly mute your annoying brother-in-law if he starts talking politics.

hosting virtually

5. choose how you’ll connect

Whether you’ll use your phone or laptop, figure out where it should be placed to give the best view of the festivities. Also plan how you and your family will sit so people in other places can see you better. Do a test run in advance to work out any kinks.

6. coordinate menus

Pick one to two side dishes or desserts that everyone will serve at their place. You can also make a list of everyone’s favorites and send them to invitees to rank, then choose the top choices in each category. Note: This might mean you have to share granny’s secret cornbread dressing recipe, but it’s for a good cause.

7. decorate your space

Even if you don’t normally decorate your home for Thanksgiving, why not go all out this year?

You can ask everyone to follow a common theme or let them choose their own. You could also have a contest for best decorations and let the kids be judges.

8. keep traditions alive

Do you normally watch sports or holiday movies together? Some streaming services and social media platforms have options for watch parties. If you like playing games, try to find online versions or look for new ones to try this year.



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