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Together Again (with Caution…) Holiday Parties in 2021

How are families, friends, and colleagues hosting holiday parties in 2021? Families and friends can feel a bit better about gathering over the holidays this year. While the CDC has listed safety guidelines and experts like Dr. Fauci still caution us to avoid crowding indoors, we can celebrate with a little more peace of mind.

However, the pandemic is not over yet and it’s wise to keep that in mind when planning events with family, friends, and colleagues.

Will your holiday party be large or small? Is quality preferable to quantity? Or will you go big when you go home?

Smaller gatherings are relatively simple — it’s a lot easier to make important decisions about where to host and what kind of party it will be. There is also less hassle in getting everyone on board with pandemic protocols and guidelines. Also, whether booking a table at a fine restaurant, or making an especially decadent Thanksgiving meal at home, it’s far easier to get fancy with fewer guests. With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder the Brits appear to be opting for luxurious holiday outings this year.

Bigger gatherings can be challenging – particularly if the party brings people who are not vaccinated close to other guests whose weak immune systems are vulnerable to infection.

Here are a few appealing ways to let loose and have fun this holiday season and still be reasonably responsible in our post-vaccine but not yet post-pandemic world! 

How to Handle Large Parties:

  • Gather outdoors – If it’s difficult to mandate proof of vaccine, then it’s best practice to keep it outside. For those with weakened immune systems they should wear masks at all times, even if vaccinated. There are many outdoor ways to celebrate. If it’s a daytime party in a region with warm winters, host a barbeque at the beach or the park (bring those windbreakers if it’s chilly!) In cooler climates, reserve an outdoor patio area at a restaurant with heat lamps — just be sure to book well in advance to guarantee the space.
  • Venture out to take a tour of the neighborhood lights – This can be done either by foot or by car. This allows the family to take part in an event together but doesn’t put anyone in a vulnerable condition at risk, by spending too much time crowded inside.
  • Keep it virtual – By now many of us have adapted to online chats and can find creative ways to celebrate with family and workmates. Time it so that everyone can toast together, for example. Or make a plan in advance to have each household share a holiday anecdote.

So, it’s possible to go big and go home this year or keep it swanky and small, if you keep these guidelines in mind.