How to Have a Socially-Distanced Holiday Gathering

Whatever your version of a traditional holiday celebration, it might look a little different this year. 2020 has put our get-togethers on pause, but that won’t keep families and friends from connecting over a meal. Take a look at these creative ideas for hosting holidays without the risk. So while coming together and sitting closely around a beautifully decorated table might be out of the question, below we wrote out ways to still feel connected even through a socially-distanced holiday gathering.  

Host Virtually

If at all possible, the safest way to connect and spend time with one another is through hopping on a Zoom video chat (or your favorite video conferencing platform) with friends and family members. But a virtual celebration doesn’t have to be kept digital! Send out a stylish invitation to your guests. Not only will the invitation ask for guests to RSVP, but to also share a recipe that everyone attending could make. (As the host, you can compile all recipes and send them through an email.) The idea behind this is to create a collective meal that can be enjoyed together in spirit.

You can also start the evening off by doing a few icebreakers! It could be a fun and funny activity for everyone involved! Just a reminder – it’s okay to set time limits to the virtual celebration!

Invite Your Guests Carefully

If you intend on hosting guests in person, make sure to follow health experts’ guidelines. Because Thanksgiving in particular is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year, it’s best to keep those who need to travel at bay. For indoor celebrations, this may include limiting your guests to those who live in the same community or limiting your total guest count to 10 people or less. By inviting less people over, you’re able to spread them out more appropriately.

Keep it Outdoors

One of the best ways to celebrate the holidays with others is by keeping it outdoors. Due to the colder weather, it may be a bit challenging in some areas across the country. However, who doesn’t love a tent, heat lamps, and blankets?! The thought of wrapping oneself in a blanket surrounded by hot food and those you love make it all worthwhile. 

Make Dinner Together, Virtually

While Thanksgiving dinners are usually prepared ahead of time and are the focal point of the holiday gathering, with few or no guests coming over, turn the meal prep into the main event by hosting an on-screen cook-along. Send out the recipe(s) ahead of time so that everyone can prepare the ingredients in anticipation of cooking together. (That can mean purchasing cookbooks for those you planned on hosting!) In addition, be mindful of your guests’ skill-level and choose dishes and desserts accordingly. Limit the number of dishes and work involved, otherwise, it can be daunting. Even if a cooking demo is not your thing, consider cooking your own dishes together on a video call and chatting through the tradition of those dishes! 

No matter how you decide to celebrate, it will feel a bit out of the ordinary. However, we hope that you find connected to those you intend on hosting and share in giving thanks this holiday season.