Now That Thanksgiving 2020 Is Cancelled, 7 Ways to Virtually Celebrate According to Family Historians Polled by ScanMyPhotos.com

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100 family historians say Thanksgiving 2020 is cancelled and share how to virtually celebrate

ScanMyPhotos.com

100 family historians say Thanksgiving 2020 is cancelled and share how to virtually celebrate from afar

Family historians across the country, preparing for the inevitable cancellation of Thanksgiving this year, share seven ways to surround yourself with cherished activities to celebrate from afar to keep keep families together virtually.

The ScanMyPhotos.com poll of 100 family historians paints a grim picture this Fall, as Americans will radically change their behavior in light of the pandemic. While some will bend the rules, most families are predicted to stay at home, creating “virtual Thanksgiving” gatherings -- but how?

"It’s likely that families and friends will prepare special activities for online participation, including online viewing parties, gaming, and eating together while apart. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that distant relatives will have equal footing with more local ones," said Mitch Goldstone, CEO at ScanMyPhotos.com.

Learn what even those who aren’t tech-savvy can do to prepare for this upcoming season of togetherness, even when it will be spent apart. ScanMyPhotos.com is connected with families across the nation as their digital photo archivist service. The regular engagements with people who had their decades-past pictures scanned are the best group to ask what plans they have for the holidays.

The regular engagements with people who had their decades-past pictures scanned are the best group to ask what plans they have for the holidays.

As Americans swelter in the summer heat with masks on, thoughts of Fall aren’t far away. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving as we know it has been cancelled -- but that may be a good thing. ScanMyPhotos polled 100 family historians for their perspective, and found that Americans are most likely to resort to virtual Thanksgiving gatherings. This could actually benefit more distant relatives, as they would be able to connect just like everyone else.

This human connection is difficult to blend. For example, it’s common for friends and family to connect during the Thanksgiving holiday, but there’s usually the awkward moment where someone uses Skype, FaceTime, Google Meet, or Zoom to connect while the rest of the family attempts to crowd around a phone.

This year, since more people will be stuck at home, the playing field is even. Everyone will be awkward. But it will allow relatives who might not usually be able to attend in person to attend the party. It could also provide welcome relief to elderly relatives in nursing homes.

If there’s another silver lining it’s that the entertainment possibilities will be posted online in real time. Saturday Night Live made the best of a quarantined season, as has the film industry with movies like Mulan going straight to online distribution in lieu of theatrical runs. It’s possible an army of YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram stars will be born in the isolation of this year’s Thanksgiving. Although the existing stars will no doubt capitalize on the moment as well, especially in lieu of this year’s live tour plans.

Because traditional Thanksgiving parties are canceled, there are ways to gather online for holiday reunions virtually. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time filled with family and joy. Often it is the only time during the year when the entire family gathers together.

7 Ways to Surround Yourself with Cherished Moments to Celebrate Thanksgiving From Afar

1) Visit Virtually, Online: Send invitations to your friends and the entire family to gather at a specific time during Thanksgiving for a virtual video call celebration while everyone is safe at home. “Zoom” live-action during your turkey dinner. Share stories. Watch and listen to the collective conversations to celebrate with your siblings, parents, distant relatives, and friends. Technology will unite and connect without ever leaving home. Make sure everyone understands how and when to log in.

2) Share Decades-Past Snapshots: Gather and digitize your old-school photos snapshots to reminisce and narrate the stories behind past Thanksgiving dinners and share the stories behind the memories when you cannot be together in person.

3) Select a Game For Everyone To Play: Jackbox is a gaming service that allows you to Facetime with your friends while playing virtual games.

4) Virtual Memory Wheel: Connects and gets everyone to engage. Become part of the story, while socially distancing. Have everyone select ten of their all-time most memorable pictures from past Thanksgivings and family gatherings. Share all the pictures online, and narrates the story behind the photos.

5) Smile, It is Family Photo Time: Take a family photo, complete with all virtual guests. Use a collage photo app to assemble each picture into a family keepsake and order photo gifts for everyone.

6) Guess Who? Cards: Have everyone submit two anonymous memes or message cards describing something excellent and unusual that happened to them in 2020. Add a third card with an aspiration for something they had hoped to do in 2020 but were unable to do. And one more identifying the best book, favorite TV show, movie, song, or event they enjoyed during the past 12 months. Then have everyone guess who wrote each Guess Who?

7) Prepare Before. Send a gift and traditional dessert before Thanksgiving. Mail matching bouquets and a favorite family dessert to all your guests to enjoy together during your interactive Zoom party.

Major retailers already announced they would close on Thanksgiving. Many others are doing without the traditional day after “Black Friday” sales as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Parades are not the only canceled tradition. Large Thanksgiving dinners are out too.

For those seeking an opt-out to escape family drama, the excuse why you cannot visit in person during Thanksgiving has already been made. No explanation is needed. Multi-generational families, separated by distance and time apart, can instead all gather together online.

Because traditional Thanksgiving parties are canceled, there are ways to gather online for holiday reunions virtually. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time filled with family and joy. Often it is the only time during the year when the entire family gathers together.

Background: ScanMyPhotos.com is a nationwide photo digitization service headquartered in Irvine, CA, and has preserved 600 million pictures.

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Mitch Goldstone
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