7 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving at Apartment Communities During a Pandemic

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving in 2020 won't look like previous years. But you can still host celebrations!

Jessica Fiur, Managing Editor

Jessica Fiur, Managing Editor

Thanksgiving is going to be a little…different…this year. 

With COVID raging, many officials are asking people to keep their celebrations small, or to not have in-person gatherings at all in order to slow the spread of the virus and keep people safe.

And, fair enough, of course. We should all do our part. But it’s still a bummer.

But there are still ways to have events at your apartment. What better way to cheer people up who can’t see their families, while also building community spirit? (Plus, you might even have a better turnout this year if people aren’t traveling.)

Here are some ideas for safe, fun Thanksgiving events at your apartment community.

Have a food truck extravaganza. The best part of Thanksgiving is, of course, having a day off from work. But the second best part is the food. Arrange for local food trucks to park at your community, load up on heat lamps, and allow your residents to try different foods while being able to stay safely apart.

Host a food drive. It’s classic. It’s easy. It helps people in need. There are basically no downsides.

Put together gift bags for essential workers. This could be a nice way to give back. Buy individually wrapped snacks such as granola bars, hand sanitizer, and anything else you can think of, as well as gift bags. Have residents help you put them together, and then someone from the community can deliver it to a local hospital, or other place where people are working for all of us.

Create a social media pie baking contest. Post a classic or new-school Thanksgiving recipe on your social media pages, such as pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie or chocolate cream pie. Just not pecan pie because (channeling Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Recreation here) pecan pie is the worst(It’s just way too sweet. There. I said it. Fight me.) Anyway, then you challenge your residents to cook the recipe and post pictures. You can judge the winners based on likes or on your own whimsy, and award a prize to the winner.

This is my puppy Jax. Wouldn’t you like to see THAT FACE in a parade? Image credit: Jessica Fiur

Organize a socially distant pet parade. Pets are adorable, and people love showing them off. I didn’t know this until I recently got a puppy, and now I concur. Just make sure all animals are kept on a leash or carried so that no one escapes. You can even have someone on the property management team making cute commentary like they’re at the National Dog Show.

Have a mask-decorating party. This one could be great for the kids. Buy a bunch of plain white masks (cloth ones, or even the disposable ones), and put out markers, crayons, glitter, etc. You can have families sign up for different times so the tables don’t get too crowded, and everyone can stay distanced. If you have to wear a mask now, it might as well be fabulous.

Set up a community “Friendsgiving.” No, not like the usual “friendsgiving,” where people host a potluck with their friends (which you can also do at your community during normal times). Have a streaming party with your residents where you all watch the “Friends” Thanksgiving episodes on your own devices. You’ve got “The One with the Football,” “The One Where Underdog Gets Away,” “The One with the Rumor” (or as it is more commonly called, “The One Where Brad Pitt is Handsome on Friends”)…what more could renters want during these trying times?

How else can you celebrate Thanksgiving at your community this year? Post your comments on our Facebook page or send a tweet to @MHNOnline or @jfiur

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