Tips For Thanksgiving Gatherings & Social Distancing In An Apartment

Thanksgiving 2020

Fall and thanksgiving decor on a table with corn stalks and orange and white pumpkins

Thanksgiving is always fun…but it always has its challenges, too. How much food to make? Who will be coming? Is there enough room? But this year, Covid-19 is thrown into the mix as well. While some families are choosing to stay home and social distance, others are still planning on small get-togethers for the holiday. No matter which way you celebrate, having Thanksgiving should be well planned for a smooth evening. Try these helpful tips to make this year fun, memorable and easy!

A Small Gathering

grandmother placing food on table at Thanksgiving

1. Make A Limited Guest List

If you are having a small gathering of loved ones over, a guest list is crucial. Limit it to only immediate family and/or close friends who may not have somewhere else to celebrate. It may be tempting to invite the cousins and all the guys over for the game, but this isn’t the year for it. Keep it small and keep it fun!

2. Rearranging Furniture Is A-Okay

Your living space may typically be spacious, but anywhere can begin to feel crowded on Thanksgiving. Understanding how to best adapt your space to the needs of the holiday is key. Don’t be afraid to move furniture around to make room for the fold-out table and chairs if need be. Moving the La-Z-Boy to the far side of the room may also give you the space you need to set up the feast buffet.

3. Keep The Courses Small

With fewer guests you’ll need less food. Think about which recipes you can cut in half and which ones you can cut out from the menu entirely. When choosing a turkey, be sure to choose one on the smaller side, or maybe even try your hand at a different main course! This won’t make the day seem any less special. Rather, it will make the holiday seem just right. With less food, there will be less waste, but everyone will be just as full as they are every other year.

4. Ask Your Guest To Pitch In

Although you might have edited the menu, your oven and counter only have so much space. Ask your guests to each bring a small dish to the celebration —most people will be more than happy to contribute. Just make sure you coordinate with your guests so you don’t wind up with 5 pumpkin pies! This will save you time, effort and space in the kitchen, and yet it will also bring everyone together as a team this year.

5. Use Simple Decorations

It’s always fun decorating for the holidays, but keep in mind sometimes : less is more. With guests, food and excessive decorations everywhere, it can seem like clutter instead of festive fun. Choose small but tasteful fall décor like, little gourds, pumpkins and a few faux leaves. One hear, another there, and your apartment will be tastefully festive!

6. Use (Eco-Friendly) Disposables

Thanksgiving can make quite a mess. Make it easy and on yourself and use disposable plates, cutlery and cups for an easy cleanup. However, we do ask that you choose to avoid plastics and use eco-friendly options for your disposables. We are thankful for the beautiful beaches Florida is home to and we believe that it’s important to make sure that they remain so.

You can get a complete set of eco-friendly dinnerware, cutlery, cups and straws for your Thanksgiving feast here.

Celebrating While Social Distancing

4 people in a frame taking a photo at thanksgiving

1. Video Call Dinner Party

Just because you’ll be social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t spend the evening with your loved ones. You’ve seen the Zoom dates that work successfully, so try arranging a Zoom Thanksgiving Dinner! All those dining from home can safely share a meal while laughing with those who matter most.

2. Keep The Courses Small

Just like with the small gathering, you can still have a classic Thanksgiving while social distancing. The trick is just to keep the menu small and the portion sizes appropriate. Prepare a dinner, not a feast. But don’t forget to treat yourself to some dessert!

3. Drive-By Potluck

There have been drive by birthday parades, so why not take it to the next level on Thanksgiving? Some recipes are indeed classics, but aren’t easily made smaller. For example, a casserole needs to be made in a certain pan, but if you don’t have a smaller version of the pan, then the whole recipe must be made.

To avoid a ton of excess food, those social distancing can still share the holiday spirit and their dishes with a “drive-by” potluck. It works like this: friends and family each make a recipe, then divide the final product and safely drop it off at each other’s homes (a note on top of the sealed container is a nice touch, too!). This way, everyone can heat up and enjoy their aunt’s famous cauliflower or their dad’s knock-your-socks-off stuffing without any contact. You get all the love of the holiday and little to no mess in your Garden Apartment.

4. Craft Decorations

If you’re social distancing for Thanksgiving, one way to make it special is to decorate your rental apartment with handmade crafts. Children will especially love doing this! In fact, you can find a list here of several Easy & Fun Fall Crafts For Kids Social Distancing.

5. Plan Some Fun!

Without spending the day with others, it might seem like there’s something missing. Avoid this by planning some festive fun. This will be especially helpful if you have kids.

You might plan something like this:

  • Make a great creative breakfast
  • Watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade
  • Watch the football game
  • Make a list of what you’re thankful for
  • After dinner you can have your child write a letter to Santa (so it gets to the North Pole in time)
  • Put on a classic movie, like March of the Wooden Soldiers

Thanksgiving will always be special because the people and the sentiment and this year will be no different. No matter how you celebrate in your home, you are part of the Garden Community family. We are thankful for you and hope you have a safe and happy holiday!

Are you thinking of moving into a rental apartment with more space? Garden Communities has you covered! From Thanksgiving to game day, our apartments have all the space you’ve been looking for!