7 Long-Distance Thanksgiving Celebration Ideas

The Celebrate Team

What gets in the way of you celebrating Thanksgiving with your family?

Time, distance, finances...a worldwide pandemic — there are lots of reasons why families can’t always come together physically to celebrate Thanksgiving.

However, that doesn’t mean that they still can’t celebrate Thanksgiving together. Technology is a wondrous thing and it gives us opportunities to reach across the miles in ways that were never possible before.

Are you and your family facing the prospect of not being able to gather for Thanksgiving this year? Check out these virtual Thanksgiving ideas to celebrate this amazing holiday together anyway!

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Long-Distance Thanksgiving Celebration Ideas

Last year, long-distance celebrations suddenly became all the rage. But, since it hasn’t been a traditional part of our culture, many families don’t necessarily know how to celebrate Thanksgiving virtually. 

We’re here to help! Read on to learn how to have a virtual Thanksgiving and make it special and fun!

Virtual Thanksgiving Group Video

This is one of our favorite Thanksgiving surprise ideas.

Picture this special moment for Grandma on Thanksgiving. As she’s sitting down for a small feast with Grandpa, her phone plays a quiet chime. Intrigued to see who is wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving, she opens it. 

Instead of a cute little GIF or a brief “Happy Thanksgiving!” message with a couple of emojis, a video opens up. Every one of their children and grandchildren appears, taking turns wishing Grandma and Grandpa a Happy Thanksgiving. Perhaps they share something special that is happening in their lives or a special message.

Grandpa and Grandma will be thrilled with such a thoughtful gift. Cue the waterworks!

The only trouble is...how do you put together something like that? Celebrate makes it super easy. Send an easy invite for everyone to make a short video. The software will help you collect and organize it, including adding pictures, music, and other special touches. 

Boom! No video editing or technical expertise required.


Digital Greeting Cards Can Be a Good Idea

Digital greeting cards are a fun way to personalize your Thanksgiving message. You can even set them up ahead of time to deliver on a certain date. That way, when you’re knee-deep in roasting turkey and mashing potatoes, you won’t have to worry about remembering to send your cards.

Pie Making Contest on Video Call

Delicious treats are a big part of what makes Thanksgiving special. But, let’s be honest, slaving away in the kitchen by yourself isn’t the most exciting way to spend your holiday. Most of the fun in baking happens because you’re sharing the experience with someone you love.

However, just because you won’t be in the same kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t bake together! 

Set up a video call and get baking together. You can catch up on what’s new with your far-away family members, argue about the best way to make pumpkin pie, and have a grand old time. 

Plus, when you’re done, you’ll have a delicious treat to enjoy. This is hands-down one of the most fun virtual Thanksgiving activities!

Celebrate Thanksgiving Virtually on a Video Call

The first things that come to mind when you think of Thanksgiving are turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. But the core of Thanksgiving is so much more.

While you might not be able to share the same platter of food on a video call, you can still share the most important part of Thanksgiving — being grateful.

Get your family together on a video call and give everyone the chance to talk about what they’re thankful for. It gives us all such a different perspective when we slow down and think about the things we appreciate. After all, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.

Digital Thanksgiving Family Cookbook

Many families have traditional recipes passed down through the generations that they bust out at Thanksgiving. Share them with one another by snapping pictures of your recipes and creating little videos showing each other how to make them. 

In fact, this is great when you’re looking for Thanksgiving video ideas. You can use Celebrate to put all the clips together and create a digital cookbook with all the tips, tricks, and advice that everyone shared.

Virtual Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

We love stay-at-home Thanksgiving ideas that can still bring families today the way a holiday should. Having dinner together is quintessential to celebrating Thanksgiving and it can still be done across the miles. 

One of our favorite fun ideas for Thanksgiving dinner is to coordinate your dinner times so you can all sit down together. You can even coordinate your menus and share recipes so that you’re enjoying the same meal. 

If you’ve ever wondered how to have a virtual Thanksgiving, this is it!

Thanksgiving Care Packages

One of our favorite ways to have a happy Thanksgiving while missing loved ones is to create Thanksgiving care packages. Box up some festive trinkets, spices, and maybe a sweet treat or two to ship to your family members.


This is a great Thanksgiving activity to do with kids and will help them connect with cousins and other family members they won’t get to see in person this year.

Meaningful Thanksgiving Quotes

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and appreciation. To help you reflect, here are some of our favorite long-distance Thanksgiving quotes, perfect for when you’re missing someone at Thanksgiving. 

Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. 

- Lionel Hampton

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. 

- Theodore Roosevelt

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. 

- John F. Kennedy

Thankful for Thanksgiving Ideas

So what are you thankful for this year? We hope some of these fun ideas for Thanksgiving dinner have given you some great inspiration for celebrating a wonderful Thanksgiving at home.

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