Festive PPE – Over the past 7 months we’ve seen major developments in mask fashion (never thought I would say those words!) and now is the time to take advantage! Find some masks with cute holiday images and hand them out as favors or stocking stuffers. There are tons of great options online from Etsy to Old Navy. Along the same lines as the holiday masks, you can spice up the hand sanitizer game with seasonal scents.
Social Distance in Style – Make your guests comfortable by setting up smaller tables to maintain distance between cohorts. Add that festive flair by giving each table its own theme. Throwing a Christmas party? Decorate each table according to Christmas Movie Classics, or Christmas Songs, or whatever strikes your fancy. Same rules apply to any other holiday you may be celebrating!
Single Everyone Out – At a typical holiday gathering it’s all about the family style meal and passing around big bowls of mashed potatoes and platters of carved turkeys. But this year we have to keep in mind not sharing utensils and safe food service. So, why not focus on the individual? Instead of a big carved turkey, make a delicious (and cute) Cornish Game Hen for each of your guests. Opt for baked potatoes with all the fixings instead of mashed potatoes (I know it seems like blasphemy but it’s just as delicious, I promise). Replace that family style comfort with a focus on creating a unique dish to celebrate the individual.
Take it a step further with dessert and put those pumpkin spice cupcakes (or petite treat of your choice) in individual boxes with a little bow as a sweet gift for your guests.
Go Virtual – It’s definitely been the year for virtual connections for everyone, so why would the holidays be any different. Most people are not planning on making those holiday trips home this year but that doesn’t mean you can’t be together. One of my favorite holiday traditions is Tamale Day with my family. On a normal year, we would all gather together at Grandma’s house and each of us would be assigned a task in creating dozens upon dozens of tamales for the family to enjoy. I’m not ready to give up my tradition and you shouldn’t give up yours! It might take a couple of weeks of planning, but schedule a virtual cooking experience with those loved ones and create those dishes together while you’re separate. Or, better yet, start a new tradition! Whether is a seasonal cocktail, appetizer, or a whole meal, create something together and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Cater to Your Guests – This one may seem obvious, but have your meal catered. We’ve all been home trying out new recipes, pickling, and baking bread for the first time for the last several months so now is the time to take a break! Hire a professional to create a safe and delicious spread for your friends and family to enjoy. From appetizers to full meals, a caterer can create that warm inviting atmosphere without you having to lift a finger. Go ahead, treat yo self!
It’s been a tough year for social gatherings but don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by all the restrictions. My dad is fond of saying “where there is a will, there is a way” and it has never been more relevant than during this year of craziness. Let your creative juices flow this holiday season and don’t forget to enjoy yourself!