How To Host A Socially Distant Holiday Gathering

Thanksgiving decor with a Stay Safe chalkboard sign

After this year’s bouts of working from home, online schooling, mask wearing and socially distancing, the upcoming holidays have a renewed and special meaning and many of us are anxious to gather with family or friends.

With the pandemic affecting the way we go through our everyday lives, it’s also reshaping the way many of us with gather to celebrate and reflect all that we have to be thankful for.  Here are our top 10 tips for hosting a socially-distant holiday celebration.

Masks and hand sanitizer on a festive fall background

10 Tips to Safely Celebrate the Holidays

  1. Consider hosting as much outdoors as you can – if you’re in a climate where you can move entirely outdoors, it’s a great idea to do so. Being outside will make it much easier to maintain social distance when you are able to space out around the backyard, plus you won’t have to worry about poor ventilation. Choose festive blankets for the season or holiday, and use fire pits or outdoor heaters to keep the chill at bay.
  2. Open windows – if hosting outdoors isn’t an option, be sure to open as many windows as possible to increase airflow and ventilation and/or by putting your air conditioning or heat on continuous circulation.
  3. Spread out as much as possible – whether you are hosting indoors or out, it’s a great idea to either set up smaller tables for each family unit or try and have guests with an empty chair between them. Perhaps have more relaxed seating options around the house or yard this year, instead of the traditional formal seating associated with holiday gatherings.
  4. Put disinfecting stations around in obvious and convenient places – in the bathroom, near the food, at the door when guests first come in, etc. Be sure to have plenty of other items such as tissues, disinfecting wipes and even extra masks available so guests may help themselves.
  5. Have your bathroom stocked with plenty of single use hand towels for guests to use after washing their hands (don’t forget to put some hand sanitizer in there, too).
  6. Suggest that your guests bring their own beverages, to cut down on multiple people reaching for the same wine bottle.
  7. Instead of the traditional buffet or family style serving, have one dedicated person serve the food this year from a central point. You can have each person come up to be served individually, or have each family unit or table come up together, like you often see at wedding receptions.Serving individually prepared desserts
  8. Does Grandma have a family favorite pie that she brings every year? Why not offer miniature, individual pies this time around and reduce the need for multiple people touching the serving utensils.  Because let’s be honest, nobody ever eats the dessert at the same time, right?
  9. Have fun with it! If masks are going to be worn, why not make it fun with a contest – think ugly Christmas sweater, only mask style. You could also post corny holiday jokes or even holiday themed trivia around the area to keep your guests moving and air circulating.
  10. Give people permission to opt out – not everyone is comfortable with gatherings, even smaller ones. Don’t put the pressure on them to join the rest of the family. Even if they cancel the day before, or while dinner is in the oven – schedule a Zoom so they are still part of the fun.

Don’t forget to clean before – and after – the gathering.  We’re not just talking about getting those dust bunnies out of the way, we’re also talking about those high touch areas such as doorknobs, toilet handles, faucets, kitchen knobs and the like that need to be given extra attention.  Better yet, give your local Home Clean Heroes team a call at 844-439-4316 (HEY-HERO) and have us give your home a thorough cleaning with our EPA-approved disinfectant.  For an extra layer of protection, add our Force Field Disinfecting Mist to apply an electro-statically charged hospital grade disinfectant to cover even those hard to reach surfaces in your home.

Still looking for more ideas?  Visit our Host Like A Hero board on Pinterest for ideas you can use for any gathering, all year long!