Holidays & Occasions

8 Tips to Host an Epic Virtual Thanksgiving Dinner

Virtual Thanksgiving Celebration Tips

While some people think Thanksgiving is all about the grub, we know gathering with friends and family is what truly matters. After months apart from our loved ones, we’re all dreaming of hugs and familiar Thanksgiving traditions. But this year, it’s best to celebrate virtually to keep each other safe.

Just because you are gathering ‘round a virtual table, it doesn’t mean you can’t host an epic dinner! By taking the lead and inviting your friends and family, you’ll make this Thanksgiving a day everyone will look forward to. So send them thanksgiving flowers, pick out some fun activities, and get ready for an album full of fantastic screenshots.

With these eight tips, you’ll be well on your way to hosting a Thanksgiving everyone will cherish for years to come.

Pick a Stellar Platform

Family gathered around the table having a vide-conference during Thanksgiving

Since you’ll be visiting via screens, picking the perfect platform is essential to a successful celebration.

Zoom is a great option because it’s accessible, familiar, and easy to explain to those who aren’t tech-savvy. That means everyone from Grandma to your little cousin can join in on the fun.

Another Zoom perk? You can record your time together to look back on later (ideal for those times you wish you could be hangin’ with your friends and fam). We also recommend taking some screenshots as a reminder of this big day.

Send Out Invites

Thanksgivng tablescape with Pumpkin Patch Bouq as focal decor and centerpiece

Even though this is a virtual event, you should still send invites to pump up excitement about the big day. Plus, who knows what other gatherings your guests will be invited to.

While you can go the traditional route of sending a paper or virtual invitation, why not go a step above? Send your guests a pumpkin patch or harvest Bouq to brighten their tables and get them excited for the fun that dinner will bring.

By sending a Bouq, you can accomplish two goals at once: fantastic invites and lovely decor!

Get Cozy with Decor

Virtual Thanksgiving Decor. Tablescape with floral centerpiece, pinecones and candles.

Since everyone will be staying in their own homes this year, it’s extra important to create a warm and cozy environment. This isn’t just another day stuck in your house or apartment — it’s a time to celebrate! So set the table, grab some decorations, and get ready to enjoy the day.

Of course, we recommend choosing some gorgeous flowers for your table or a wreath for your door. If you didn’t send Bouqs to your guests yet, now is the time. 

Our Thanksgiving flowers include a mix of warm colors including yellow, orange, and red. Bright sunflowers will add some cheer to darker days, and striped lilies and tulips bring a touch of the gorgeous fall colors indoors.

As for other decorations, keep it simple. Natural elements including pinecones, fresh apples, and cute lil’ gourds fit in perfectly with a cozy theme. 

Another key element of decor is lighting. There’s nothing cozier than a fire, but not everyone is lucky enough to have a fireplace in their home. No worries! This is where candles come in.

Pick out some tall taper candles and mix in a few stout pillars for a dancing light show. We prefer unscented, as they let the meal’s aromas shine. But, you can always opt for an apple pie or autumn woods scent.

Swap Beverages

Virtual Thanksgiving Toast. Person holding a glass of wine and making a toast while on a video-call

If your guests want to send you a hostess gift, you probably won’t complain. But, we recommend getting everyone in on the gift-exchange action with a beverage swap.

On a normal Thanksgiving, guests show up to the host’s/hostess’s house with a bottle of wine or 6-pack. You uncork and uncap, pour glasses, and cheers to all you are thankful for. While there won’t be a true clinking of glasses this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t all share your favorite drinks.

To get everyone involved, use a virtual hat to have everyone select the name of another guest a few weeks before Thanksgiving. After everyone has a name, it’s time to send the receiver their beverage of choice!

While it is a little tricky to mail alcohol yourself, many local wine and spirits stores offer delivery. So pick out a bottle of malbec or jug of sparkling cider and send it to your lucky recipient. When it’s time for a toast, everyone will smile a bit brighter knowing their beverage was sent with care. Plus, we all know receiving a gift is more fun than buying the same thing for yourself.

Make Sure Everyone Has a Full Plate

Virtual Thanksgiving food. Plate with assortment of thanksgiving food

There’s no questioning that a full plate is an important part of a great Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t look forward to stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce?

While we would normally all share the same dishes, things will be a little different this year. But, that doesn’t mean your guests will go hungry.

When it comes to food, it’s a good idea to gauge your crowd. Are they foodies that see Thanksgiving as an excuse to cook an elaborate meal? Or do they love dropping in at someone’s house and loading up their plates?

If your friends and fam enjoy cooking, everyone can make their own dishes. That way Aunt Sue can enjoy her marshmallow sweet potatoes and your BFF can try out that recipe for oyster stuffing she’s been eyeing. Even if you’re all eating different meals, you can still sit down and enjoy your dinners together.

For those that aren’t confident in the kitchen (or just need a break from cooking), consider opting for catering. Even if you and your guests live in different areas, you can search for a local restaurant cooking up Thanksgiving favorites. Call them up and schedule a delivery to your guests’ doorsteps for an easy meal.

One of the best things about a virtual Thanksgiving? You can combine the two! Your brothers can cook their turkey just the way they like, and you can order a Thanksgiving plate for your grandmother. That way, everyone can enjoy a meal they appreciate.

Plant Interactive Activities

Plan Interactive Virtual Thanksgiving Activities. Woman raising hands and smiling at a laptop.

While eating and chatting with your loved ones is reason enough to smile, amp up the fun with some seasonal activities. There won’t be any backyard football of turkey trots this year, but you can fill their voids with some games.

Parade Scavenger Hunt

Yes, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will still happen this year, with a few changes in tow. While there won’t be as many marching bands or a large, live crowd, you can still tune in to watch this Thanksgiving tradition on your TV.

To make viewing a little more fun, turn it into a scavenger hunt. Give everyone a list of things to look for, mark off found items, and tally on the results at the end of the parade. Stumped what to add to the list? Think characters like Snoopy and Pikachu, objects such as stars and cars, and harder to spot items including cell phones and lace up sneakers.

Charades

You’re never too old for a good game of charades. Plus, a little movement is always welcome after a Thanksgiving dinner!

To get started, put some holiday words in a virtual hat. Think things like pumpkin pie, football, hayride, and leftovers. Have a guest choose a word from the hat and act it out while everyone else tries to guess.

Board Games

If you’re used to pulling out the Monopoly board or a deck of cards after dinner, you don’t have to completely give up this tradition.

With Zoom’s whiteboard sharing feature, it’s easy to play a game of Pictionary. Guests can take turns sharing their whiteboard while their teammates guess their drawing. 

Another favorite, Scattergories, is easy to play online. Simply pick some categories, draw a random letter, and invite your guests to the game. All that’s left to do is get your brains working to come up with a word for each category.

Give Thanks

Mother and daughter giving thanks during virtual thanksgiving video-call

While giving thanks may seem corny, we highly recommend counting your blessings. Of course this will make you realize all the good things you have in your life, but did you know it can also make you happier?

Research shows that practicing gratitude can improve your emotions, boost your health, and help you deal with stress. So why wouldn’t we give thanks?

An easy way to show your gratitude is to go around and have each guest say what they are thankful for. Since some people are a little shy about doing so, kick things off as the host. You can even say what you appreciate about each guest!

Plan Your Next Big Party

Holiday decor on a wood backdrop

Once your virtual Thanksgiving dinner is over, you’ll be counting down the days to your next big celebration. Fortunately the winter months are filled with reasons to host a party.

If you need some encouragement to get started with planning Christmas merriment, add some joy to your house with a mini Christmas tree. Its small branches and fresh scent will cheer you on as you get ready to host another killer party.

FAQs

What is a virtual Thanksgiving celebration?

A virtual Thanksgiving celebration involves gathering with friends and family online rather than in person. Guests remain at home, yet everyone can still spend the holiday together. A virtual celebration can still involve Thanksgiving favorites including turkey, football, and pie.

How to host a virtual Thanksgiving?

Hosting a virtual Thanksgiving celebration is as easy as picking a virtual platform and inviting guests. For more detailed information, check out our article above.

What are some good virtual Thanksgiving ideas?

Great ideas for a virtual celebration include decorating your (and your guests’) spaces with flowers and gourds. You’ll also want to plan for dinner, whether that means arranging catering for your guests or ensuring each household has a meal planned. And don’t forget adding in activities like games and a parade scavenger hunt.

What are some good virtual Thanksgiving activities?

Along with classic conversation, it’s a good idea to add in some games like charades, online board games, or a scavenger hunt. You can also show your gratitude by saying what you are thankful for.

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