Christmas is just around the corner and tradition dictates that we get together with the family and some close friends. But how to throw a Christmas party during the COVID crisis?
Yes, everyone still is looking forward to this time of the year – from the cold December weather, putting the Christmas tree, to office parties and holiday shopping.
But with no end in sight for the pandemic, it looks like throwing a Christmas party requires some adjustments. Whether you’re an event organizer or someone tasked to plan your office or family’s holiday event, there’s still a way to come up with a fun and memorable gathering. You’re in a tight spot, but it doesn’t mean there’s no Christmas party in 2020.
The job of throwing a Christmas party this year is doubly challenging, but it’s your time to show your creativity. But before we talk about the intangibles, there’s a handful of crucial reminders in line with COVID-19.
Keep Safety Protocols in Mind
Work closely with the venue management and staff to ensure that you’re following the guidelines and safety protocols. In this new normal, expect additional layers of health-related checks, i.e., wearing of masks, sanitizer stations, and health scans. It’s your job to enlighten your guests about the safety precautions in place.
Now enough of the pandemic, let’s talk about the fun part.
Open Air Parties
You’ll turn heads and raise some eyebrows if you set up an open-air Christmas party in December, but it actually makes sense. Warm-up your guests by installing firepits and portable heaters. An outdoor party is something new for most of your guests; that alone gives you plus points for creativity.
An open-air party addresses pandemic concerns in some way as there’s enough space for people to practice social distancing. Everyone will feel a tad more comfortable and secure with a breath of fresh air while still enjoying the company of their friends, coworkers, or family.
Food and Beverages
Christmas season is about giving, so be generous when figuring out your menu. You don’t have to stick to good old buffets; instead, consider happy meals in the form of charcuteries, seafood platters, antipasto, and creative meal boards. If you’re on a tight budget, pre-packaged winter food is an excellent option. There are luxury versions of these winter foods that offer restaurant standards of quality.
If possible, don’t use food serving handles that all the guests are forced to use on multiple occasions. Since the virus is spread through physical contact, you must provide hand sanitizing wipes along with the silverware. However, don’t substitute the napkins with the wipes – both should be present. Instead of self-serving beverages, hire additional service staff to serve the guests’ food and drinks.
At this point, you’ve figured out the venue (indoor or outdoor) and made the necessary catering arrangements. But you’re not done yet. What good is a Christmas event without games? Whether it’s an office party or a gathering of family and friends, you must come up with a concrete plan on how to bring out the fun. Well, games are a tradition on Christmas, and the sillier they are, the better. See to it that the games are wholesome if you have kids at the party.
Movie Night – When you’ve got lots of kids to please, nothing beats a Christmas movie night with them. You can do it at home and get a bit fancy with a dinner theatre concept. Since you’re with family, there’s little concern about COVID-19, plus you’re not subjected to mandatory safety protocols. Don’t forget to stick to Christmas classics when choosing the flicks, i.e., Fred Claus and Home Alone.
Pajama Party – Organize a pyjama party with a Christmas theme – it’s one way to break out of the tradition of workplace holiday events that are awkwardly formal. Your guests (coworkers and bosses) don’t need to fancy up on their outfits, plus you can be tacky with your menu. Instead of extravagant dishes, go for casual snacks, finger food, and casual drinks. This one’s an excellent idea if everyone is bringing their kids along.
Décor/Ornament Trade – Incorporate the tradition of decorating in your Christmas party by organizing a décor or ornament swap. This is an excellent idea for a small group of friends, where every guest brings a defined number of decors and ornaments within a specified budget. It’s a fun addition to a traditional holiday event. The swap usually happens after enjoying the food.
Costume Party – Costume parties aren’t exclusive for Halloween. You’d want to throw a Christmas costume party and think of a hundred themes. It can be a character from a Christmas movie or traditional icons and symbols of the holiday season. Someone could even dress up like a Christmas tree!
The holiday season is the time for celebration. Families are brought together, while people are work take a much-deserved break. But with the uncertainty brought by the pandemic, you’re compelled to think of other ways to commemorate Christmas. So, instead of the usual office party or big family dinner, why not do volunteer work? It might not sound fun and exciting to most people, but you have to hear this out.
Identify a non-profit organization or a group of people who need help in these trying times. Instead of spending all your money for a grandiose Christmas party, you can allocate half of it by bringing gifts or any form of volunteer work. It doesn’t only fulfill the essence of Christmas; it also adds a social impact to your Christmas celebration.
As the party organizer, you get the chance to do something different from what you’ve grown accustomed to all these years. What better time to throw a unique Christmas event than in this challenging year?