Thanksgiving meals will look different this year with the concerns of Covid still very much in the air. With more government lockdowns threatening extended family gatherings, we decided to lay out the tools to host a virtual holiday meal just in case you’re not able to be with your loved ones in person. Here are a few ideas on how to pull off a virtual holiday meal with aplomb:
It may seem silly but so many of us have lost the gift of sending an invitation. Whether it is handwritten or virtual, sending an official invitation for your virtual holiday meal brings a smile to everyone who may have really needed that extra smile unexpectedly. I personally lean toward handwritten invitations to enjoy receiving a special letter in the mail but with so many platforms available to create and send invitations, virtual invites can also share your creativity, joy and excitement that went into the invitation.
Share with them!
Just because you are not enjoying a meal together does not mean you cannot enjoy a meal together in a new way. Offer a recipe exchange where each of you prepares one of the other person’s meal items. Especially if one or more of you has a food allergy or intolerance, this is a positive way to “step into” the other person’s kitchen to share a day in the life of their cooking experiences. Be sure to offer suggestions on some of your favorite allergy-friendly products to expand their kitchen staples. This also offers the ability to keep everyone safe and cross-contamination free since each of you is using your own kitchen remotely.
Order for them
What is better than sharing recipes and a meal? Hearing a knock at the door only to find a surprise package of the food items (either special order or home-baked by you) and other necessitates that you may need to create a recipe without stepping foot outside of your home. The ability to enjoy the holiday festivities through delivery regardless of weather conditions, your capability to shop or even the level of your laziness can be taken care of with a small amount of effort. The extra thought that is put into sending this to your virtual guests is also sure to bring them a smile.
Set a place for your guests at your table and bring the capability of having them “sit” at dinner with you. Although you may not be able to hug hello, the connection of having a conversation at the table will boost the mood of everyone enjoying a meal together. With the ease of multiple virtual apps available, hosting a dinner is just a click or swipe away. Keep in mind that some of your guests may not be as technologically literate as others and send them a surprise gift that allows them to join with very little difficulty.
Keep it outside
If you live in a warm enough climate and the weather cooperates, consider an outdoor gathering with guests socially distanced. Bring out blankets, heaters and bundle up. It’ll make for a very authentic Thanksgiving experience. Think about it–nobody will fall asleep from overheating. And while you’re planning your Holiday Meal, here are a few tips to eating healthy during the holidays.
With these simple steps, the holidays can be an amazing, safe gathering of your loved ones. As we all continue to feel as if we are growing apart, let’s take the time to make sure we grow together instead. So the next time someone asks “Will I see you for the holidays?” answer with a proud “Yes!” and let your heart begin to integrate past holidays with new holidays full of togetherness. Being invited into someone’s home is more than just a place to go; it’s a place that lives inside of all of our hearts to share with others.
Tracy Bush – Nutrimom ®
*Photo permission from AllergyDragon