FARGO — It's been eight months since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the Midwest, and things are seeming worse than ever before.

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urging Americans to keep their Thanksgiving celebrations small — or to avoid gathering all together and find alternative plans — Turkey Day is looking different for many this year.

Video communication company Zoom took this news to heart and decided to help those who chose to heed the CDC's guidance out a little. The tech giant announced in a Tweet earlier this month it'd be lifting the 40-minute time limit for free meetings around the world beginning at 11 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 25, through 5 a.m. Friday, Nov. 27.

For those who are used to Thanksgivings with just their immediate families who live in the same area, nothing much will change. But for many Americans whose Thanksgiving plans include traveling — and with several states now restricting travel from North Dakota — Turkey Day should look a little less extended-family-like and a little more virtual.

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Fortunately, there are still ways to host a fun and successful Thanksgiving, even if you're only seeing your family through a screen instead of around the table. Check out just a few of these fun ideas below!

Games anyone?

Just because you're apart doesn't mean there can't be any friendly competition! Virtual game nights have been all the rage during 2020.

Online party games like Jackbox Games, Houseparty and Codenames can bring about fun and family time to help forget the miles that separate you. And classics like bingo, Pictionary, charades and more are easily doable through a screen, too.

All you need is a few willing participants, a game host and a few supplies (that can easily be emailed or found around the house) and you're well on your way to a wild night of laughs and fun. And best of all? You can just hang up the call if you start to lose — no more flipping the Monopoly board!

Say cheese!

Generally, Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year for families to come together to take the annual Christmas card photo. For the Vatnsdal family, whose children line up along the center of the state of Minnesota, Thanksgiving seems to be the first time of each year when all five are under one roof — a feat so rare it has to be documented.

Thanksgiving 2019 was the last family picture taken with the whole Vatnsdal clan under the same — well, not roof, but in the same town. (l-r: Emma, Gustav, Cory, Mary and Stella Vatnsdal) Jordan Leslie Photography / Special to InForum
Thanksgiving 2019 was the last family picture taken with the whole Vatnsdal clan under the same — well, not roof, but in the same town. (l-r: Emma, Gustav, Cory, Mary and Stella Vatnsdal) Jordan Leslie Photography / Special to InForum

This year, why not a virtual photoshoot? Gather everyone around the glowing light of their computer screen for a chat, and end the night with those famously photogenic words, "Say Cheese!"

Do I see the 2020 Vatnsdal Christmas card here?! The answer is no. Because we never send out Christmas cards. This is about as good as you're going to get from our family! So I guess it's Happy Holidays, readers! Stay safe and stay healthy! Emma Vatnsdal / InForum
Do I see the 2020 Vatnsdal Christmas card here?! The answer is no. Because we never send out Christmas cards. This is about as good as you're going to get from our family! So I guess it's Happy Holidays, readers! Stay safe and stay healthy! Emma Vatnsdal / InForum

Cooking competition

Granted, this one may be a bit difficult, given you can't actually taste the food. But no matter, there are still ways to enjoy cooking through a screen — Food Network is a thing isn't it?

For a fun challenge, grab a few buddies, toss on your chef hat, pull out your apron and use your thinking caps to create a tasty treat from a list of ingredients randomly generated by a Chopped Mystery Basket Generator.

Not feeling the competition? Simply jump on the Zoom call and enjoy one another's company while preparing the meal. Rehash old memories and ask for tips while putting the meal together to make it feel like you're right there in the kitchen with mom.

Give thanks

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for what you have and give thanks for everything you can. iStock / Special to InForum
Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for what you have and give thanks for everything you can. iStock / Special to InForum

The most important part of this whole holiday, or the reason for the season, you might say, is to give thanks for what you have while appreciating those you love.

Whether it's in person (safely, of course) or through a screen, Thanksgiving is a time to remember what's important in life — friends, family, work and health — especially in this time of uncertainty.