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A Guide to Socially Distanced Holidays
Events & Weddings

A Guide to Socially Distanced Holidays

Celebrating in 2021 is all about creating new traditions. For safe parties this year, check out this guide to socially distanced holidays.

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5 min read

December 21, 2021

The pandemic ushered in a revised version of traditional celebrations. Birthday parties became Zoom hangouts, and family festivities became socially distanced holidays in order to reduce the risk of spreading the novel COVID-19 virus. As difficult as it is being away from our friends and family, we must keep our loved ones safe—and that doesn’t mean we have to spend the holidays alone.

Celebrating the December holiday season while social distancing is completely possible. Although a virtual celebration might not sound as exciting as the real deal, it’s our duty to look out for our health and try our best to get into the holiday spirit for a better upcoming year. With new traditions to add to the festive season, here’s how you can experience the joys of your favorite holidays this month.

How To Celebrate The Holiday Season While Social Distancing

Can't physically meet with the fam this year? Worry not, just host an online Christmas party to feel the love and holiday spirit.

Host A Virtual Holiday Party

Since we’re spending more time together online, hosting virtual parties is becoming the new norm. There are some upsides to hosting a virtual holiday party, too; it isn't like organizing an office meeting or a formal gathering. Everyone is on time, nobody has to drive there, and everybody can easily put up California-inspired holiday decorations as their awesome background. 

Planning a virtual party to celebrate the holiday season isn’t difficult. All you have to do is use your imagination and get your guests to be as excited as you are. You also have to make sure everyone has a strong internet connection to avoid any technical issues. Then, the fun part begins.

There are numerous online games to choose from to play with your friends: themed bingo, holiday battlefield, virtual photo booth, Silent Night charades...your options are practically endless. Get everyone to dress up for the virtual dinner party, or better yet, encourage your guests to wear holiday costumes. If your guests are used to potluck-style dinner parties (like the ones you do on Friendsgiving), exchange recipes beforehand so everyone can indulge in making the traditional recipes and virtually show off their creations.

Nobody should feel isolated during the holiday season, which is why it’s important for everyone to continue staying in touch with their loved ones. For the ones who miss listening to holiday music, prepare a themed playlist and share it with your virtual party guests; anyone can add their song choices.

Celebrating socially distanced holidays shouldn’t be complicated; embrace the seasonal spirit and reconnect (literally) with your loved ones over a virtual dinner table. 

'Tis the season to be jolly. Celebrate the December holiday season while safely social distancing or gathering virtually with your friends.

Hold a Socially Distanced Holiday Dinner 

If a virtual dinner party isn’t your cup of tea, you can always host a socially distanced holiday dinner with your immediate family members. To ensure everyone is in a safe environment, send the CDC social-distancing guidelines to guests before the function so everyone is aware of how the dinner will be held. There are a few things to take into consideration when planning your Christmas dinner.

1. Consider hosting the event outdoors if you have a backyard.

2. If an outdoor dinner isn’t possible, avoid inviting many people and increase the ventilation in the space by opening the doors and windows. 

3. Let your guests know beforehand the number of people attending the dinner, and kindly ask them to wear masks and avoid contact with people outside of their households for 14 days before the gathering.

4. When greeting the attendees, minimize gestures that promote close contact—don’t shake hands, bump elbows, or give hugs to maintain the social distancing rules. A wave or a verbal greeting will suffice.  

May you never be too grown up to search the skies on Christmas Eve, even if you're social distancing.

5. Provide your guests with supplies to stay sanitized and healthy while simultaneously encouraging them to bring their own. It’s always better to have extra masks lying around, too. Make sure nobody shares or swaps masks with others.

6. Arrange the seating in a way where everyone is at least six feet apart from another person. 

7. Consider purchasing single-use paper cups and plates for extra caution.

8. Don’t allow too many people to come into the kitchen area or anywhere else where the food is being prepared. 

9. Have one person serve guests to avoid having multiple people touching serving utensils.

10. Avoid having buffet-style potlucks, salad bars, drink stations, or any other self-serve option. Grab-and-go meal options are the safest when having a socially distanced celebration

If you aren’t convinced that you and/or your guests will comply with the rules, it’s best to resort to a virtual gathering to avoid any health risks.

Today's to-do list: snuggle up by the tree with a mug of hot cocoa and nail this holiday game night.

Virtual Games to Play to Celebrate This Holiday

Hosting or participating in a virtual game night is a unique and fun way to get into the holiday spirit. The best thing is that you won’t be doing anything that does not comply with CDC’s social distancing guidelines. Here are a few of the lowest-effort-highest-fun virtual games you can play with friends and family.

Charades

Which game needs minimal action and practically no props? Why it’s charades! Everyone knows how to play it and everyone secretly (or not-so-secretly) loves it. Divide your online crew into two teams and use the charades idea generator to come up with words and phrases—all that’s left is to mute yourself and act it out.

Pictionary

Got drawing skills and want to show them off for virtual game night? Get everyone to play Pictionary and see if your guests agree about your artistic potential. This game can be played in two ways— you can use actual paper to draw on or opt for the online version.

Engaging your family and friends in a little casual competition will get everyone's adrenaline pumping and keep the post-holiday doldrums away.

Scrabble

If you’re one to always argue over which words to use when playing Scrabble, fret not—the online version tells you all your options without going back and forth to check. Instead of insisting that ‘YOLO’ qualifies as a Scrabble word, think harder about the options which will score you more points. Get your friends and family together for the virtual take on this iconic game and show off your vocab skills.

Scavenger Hunt 

Nothing’s better than celebrating the holiday season with a good, old-fashioned scavenger hunt. While a few of your friends might be skeptical at first, prove them wrong by planning the ultimate virtual game night; the only thing is, you have to decide on the theme and how long it will take to complete. Write out the clues for your family members to find and send them the instructions. Finders keepers— and winners!

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