Christmas is around the corner; how can we celebrate Christmas without giving up on our safety with Covid-19 vaccines almost ready to go?
The indoor party
If you've all tested negative and you don't use public transport to get to the party, then you should be safe to be indoors.
If you won't all be able to get tested? Well, there are solutions.
Firstly, keep your distance. This is easy enough when standing around chatting, but what about the dinner table when masks come off? You can try putting up something like plexiglass to section people off from each other. I imagine the DIY happy person will have a heyday coming up with solutions. Such as using clingwrap strung from one end of the table to the other to keep people safe.
Others will, no doubt, double the width and length of their tables to keep people two meters apart. And use festive face shields to protect themselves and their guest. How about a Rudolph themed one?
You can also have different families at different tables. That way, you are together, but still apart.
Be sure to wear protective gear when you cook and serve the food. For extra safety, everyone can bring their own food. That way they know no one else has contaminated it.
Or why not skip dinner altogether? Opt for a night of Christmas cocktails and mocktails.
Of course, have everyone sanitize when entering the house and throughout the night.
The cleanup party
If you have an indoor party, remember to clean up afterwards. Sanitize the house, the dishes and anything else that was touched by others.
To make things easier, it will help to limit the areas others are allowed to visit. However, remember that if you move from those areas to other rooms, you can still spread the virus, even if it's less likely.
The outdoor party
How about benches or chairs covered in (faux) sheepskin? Heating lamps, or firepits, to keep you warm? And big blankets to wrap around your body!
Of course, being outdoors doesn't aide much unless you keep your distance. The most significant risk for infection appears to be breathing in the air others breathe out. Therefore, one point five or two meters apart apply here as well.
You can arrange different tables for different parts of the family, as mentioned for the indoor party.
Don't want a party, but want to celebrate Christmas?
For some, the risk of attending a party is too significant. If so, arrange for walks instead. It's easier to keep the distance.
Walking from door to door handing out (sanitized gifts), or singing carols is another option.
Of course, there's also the potential of throwing an online party. Put everyone on a Zoom video call and eat your turkey together, yet apart. The gifts? Buy them online and have the postman deliver them! You can unwrap them together during the call.
Be clear on what you want
Before you start planning, be clear about what you want. What risks are you willing to take? How much work are you ready to put in to make a party safe?
Also, consider the feelings of friends and family. How isolated are they feeling? How many risks are they willing to take? And how much effort are they willing to put in?
While you might be happy to celebrate Christmas solo, consider that some people feel incredibly isolated right now. You don't have to compromise your safety to see them, but you can do something to reach out to them. For example, you might celebrate online or spend time in nature together.
Lastly, bear in mind that there are 365 days of the year. Yes, Christmas is a time we associate with coming together with loved ones. Still, there is always an opportunity for that. Now more than ever, people need to hear from friends and family. So pick up the phone and make your calls. Maybe the most significant gift you can give this year is simply being there.
Reach your conclusion
Decide on whether you want to celebrate online, outdoors, indoors, or spread the cheer in other ways. Then pick up the phone and start asking friends and relatives how they feel. Or do so before you reach your own conclusion.
Remember that people feel different about Covid-19. Let others have their opinions--Christmas is not a time for arguing. But also, beware that no one talks you into doing something you don't want to. Then it's better to respectfully celebrate Christmas apart.
Once you're all on the same page, come up with a game plan. Take action.
And remember, stay in touch with people before and after the celebrations too. Social distancing doesn't have to equal isolation. Instead, take the chance to truly get to know people, whether over the phone or while going for strolls.