As the holiday season approaches, the question on everyone’s minds is most likely how we are going to make the most of these socially distanced holidays? No matter your personal thoughts on the pandemic, things are definitely different this year. You could be ready to move forward as usual, but maybe you have friends and family who are still practicing strict COVID-19 precautions. The opposite may also be true, where you are still staying low key, but your family doesn’t understand and wants you to host Thanksgiving dinner.
While we may have to adjust our expectations and plans, we can absolutely enjoy the upcoming festivities, as long as everyone shows some compassion, understanding, and empathy.
Keep It Small
While huge holiday shindigs can really be part of the season, this year might be the time to reduce the numbers just a bit. Of course, we want to invite everyone we love, to spend time with all our favorites, but 2020 might be the year to rein it in, for the sake of more socially distanced holidays.
Take It Outside
Yes, it can still be hot out during the holiday season in Florida, but hosting your holiday gathering outside makes things exponentially easier. Guests have more room to spread out and distance themselves. It’s not foolproof, but it can do a lot to give people some peace of mind. Assuring your friends and family that they will be out in the fresh air with plenty of freedom of movement may just be the way to get family and friends together with minimal worry. Check out these gorgeous ideas to elevate your al fresco tablescape and decor!
Take Preventative Measures
While most people do travel with their own supplies, go the extra mile to have masks, wipes, and soap and sanitizer on hand. Stock your bathroom with disposable towels for handwashing, and take the time to wipe down the restroom and door handles as people come in and out. Sure, it’s a few extra steps to add to hosting duties, but in the interest of keeping things as sanitary as possible, it’s a small concession to make in the name of socially-distanced holidays.
Openly Communicate Your Plans
Don’t leave your guests in the dark, especially those who might be more reticent about getting together. Be honest about the size of your guest list, how and where you will be serving food and drinks, and if masks and social distancing will be encouraged at your event. Will some people choose to opt-out? Unfortunately, yes, but they will appreciate your candor and everyone will be glad to have all the information that goes into making the informed decision that’s best for them.
Don’t Take It Personally
If you have guests who decline your invitation, please don’t take it personally. And guests, please don’t hesitate to politely send regrets if you aren’t comfortable attending a holiday social gathering for whatever reason. Additionally, please don’t take offense if you aren’t invited to your “usual” holiday events. Everyone has a different level of comfort and a different situation, and everyone is operating under different sets of rules this year. This year, of all years, we should strive to give the gift of understanding, while people work to navigate their new normals. It’s disappointing to miss out on those you love, on both sides of the equation, but 2020 is a different kind of year, and here’s hoping 2021 brings better circumstances for us all.
No matter what happens in the upcoming months, all we can do is our very best. That may look different for everyone, so take deep breaths, and keep it simple. Will you be participating in socially-distanced holidays this year?