How Can You Make Your Virtual Thanksgiving Successful?

successful virtual thanksgiving zoom holiday

With COVID-19 cases rising, many people are choosing to opt for a “virtual Thanksgiving” this year instead of visiting friends and family in person. A virtual Thanksgiving can absolutely be an effective way to circumvent COVID-19 issues, but it’s fairly unprecedented, which means you might not know how to do it. Here are five ways you can make your virtual Thanksgiving celebration work more effectively. 

1. Understand The Differences 

Don’t try to pretend like a virtual Thanksgiving will be exactly the same as a Thanksgiving in person. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same for it to still be an enjoyable experience — you can have a different Thanksgiving experience and still get all the joy you typically would out of your Thanksgiving travels. However, if you’re able to accept that things will be different, you’re much more likely to be happy with the experience. 

2. Organize Your Virtual Greetings Beforehand 

Before you call everyone on Thanksgiving, make sure you reach out to arrange those greetings. Sure, you probably won’t annoy anyone too much by calling them in the late afternoon, but it’s always better to set things up beforehand anyway. Text, email, or message the people you’d typically spend Thanksgiving with and make sure they’ll be available when you can call. 

3. Choose Appropriately Between Phone And Video Calls 

Video calls are what most people will choose for Thanksgiving calls because it feels more like you’re really there with the people you love the most. However, video calls aren’t going to be the best option for everyone. Especially when it comes to older relatives or relatives who don’t have quite as much tech knowledge, you might want to consider plain old phone calls. 

4. Change Your Black Friday Choices As Well 

Do you often go Black Friday shopping with the friends and family members that you would typically spend Thanksgiving with? Consider changing up how you do Black Friday this year also. You might want to call one of your closest “shopping friends” on Black Friday and browse through your favorite stores’ websites together. It might feel a bit different but avoiding the Black Friday crowds may be a good idea during COVID-19. 

5. Figure Out What Worked And What Didn’t 

You might want to choose to make this a sort of a jumpstart into virtual Thanksgiving in the future. You might not decide to do virtual Thanksgiving every year, as the COVID-19 crisis will hopefully mostly die down by next Thanksgiving, but the process of traveling for Thanksgiving is expensive and complicated. A virtual Thanksgiving can give you the same family-oriented experience while also allowing you to stay at your own home during the holiday season. 


Virtual Thanksgiving is a safer alternative to traditional Thanksgiving this year, and if it goes well, you might even want to consider it for other years where you just don’t want to go out for the holiday. Remember that if you want to make virtual Thanksgiving successful, you need to make sure that you’re utilizing reliable technology that will work the first time. If you’re not worrying about tech issues, you’ll be more likely to sit back and enjoy Thanksgiving just like you would if you were there in person.

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