Games you can play across the miles for Thanksgiving

Would you rather make a gobbling noise every time you sneeze or cry gravy tears?

That question seems about right for 2020.

It’s one of several in the Family Dinner Project’s Would You Rather … Thanksgiving Edition game, designed as a fun way for families to connect during a holiday that may feel a little different than usual.

The Family Dinner Project developed a Thanksgiving Virtual Care Package to help you share meaningful traditions and conversation with your loved ones, even if you’re miles apart. The care package contains:

  • Recipe card templates. Write your favorite Thanksgiving recipes on the front; on the back, share why the food is important to your Thanksgiving meal. Mail or email your recipe cards to family members to let them know they’re on your mind.
  • Printable placemats with Thanksgiving-themed conversation starters like “Tell me a favorite story about our family.”
  • Dinner games like Would You Rather … Thanksgiving Edition and 20 Questions about family memories.
  • Gratefulness Grab Bag, where you write down things you’re grateful for (silly or serious) on slips of paper, throw the slips into a bowl, and take turns reading them aloud.

You can play these games around the table in person or as you “share” a meal with loved ones over zoom or FaceTime. If connecting online over dinner is difficult, you could schedule a call earlier in the day or do a few of the activities while unwinding over dessert.

What else can help boost your mood during your Thanksgiving if you’re not able to be with family members?
Leah Kalk, director of Boise State’s RADAR Center, a clearinghouse on substance use prevention and treatment information, offers a few ideas:

  • Choose a single recipe that each separated household can make so you can still “experience” that part of the meal together.
  • Have each family that’s usually together on Thanksgiving separately make a “time capsule” of thoughts and traditions they hope to share next Thanksgiving, giving you something to look forward to.
  • Acknowledge and honor the loss and sadness you may feel. If you’re able, you could channel some of these feelings into serving your community during the holiday season.


We hope you have a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving!