No doubt that this year Friendsgiving will be uniquely different. Every year, I plan an amazing day with my girlfriends, husbands, and kids. It’s a day to enjoy different food and celebrate our friendship. And this year we’ll be doing it again but with some minor adjustments.
If you’re extremely nervous about contracting COVID, and thinking about even the smallest crowds fills you with anxiety, then skipping this year might not be such a bad idea. But if you’re open to small get-togethers, and are wondering how to do it safely, just know that you can continue your traditions even through this madness.
No Large Crowds
While planning, speak to the crew about staying out of crowded places for a while. If you’re hosting, send out a message to your friends reminding them to stay out of the bars or crowded places for the 2 weeks prior if at all possible. Some people are more comfortable than others being outdoors. If one of your friends has no fear and lives life on the edge, you have the right to make a last-minute decision to back out if you’re uncomfortable. Trust your instinct and go with what will keep your family safe.
Make it clear that if anyone feels sick, it’s best if they don’t come. This is a tricky time. Friends will understand if you are staying home to protect others. Be considerate of others’ feelings. Whether you’re extra careful or aren’t as afraid of the virus, respect each other’s views and focus on what’s best for you and your family.
Indoors or Outdoors
Thankfully, we live in South Florida and can enjoy outdoor events in the winter. If the weather cooperates, consider having your get-together outdoors to allow some fresh air. Set up a space in your yard, pull out all the mosquito repellent things, and pray for 0% humidity.
If having a party indoors, think about what will keep people from being on top of each other the whole night. Set up spaces in different areas of your home to encourage small groups to meet in different areas instead of everyone talking in one place.
Remember the kids if they’ll be coming along. Plan a space for the little ones to hang out to keep it from being too crowded in one area.
Buffet-Style or Plated?
We normally host a potluck, buffet-style Friendsgiving. But this year we’ll be considering serving plated meals. The only thing worse than someone accidentally double-dipping their fork in the broccoli salad is someone double-dipping during a pandemic. To avoid the anxiety from people wondering if they can eat something or not, just serve a plated dinner. And make sure every single dish has a serving spoon to avoid the dreaded double-dipping. It should be a fun event and having people freaking out over every little thing will really ruin your night.
If you have your meal buffet-style plan for it to be away from the table so people aren’t talking over the food. Keep the food in a separate room and have people grab their food before sitting down. If you’re using disposable cups and plates, take out a permanent marker for labeling your cups. This will avoid people from accidentally grabbing the wrong drink.
With a little attention to detail and a little more care, you can have a great Friendsgiving and holiday season despite the chaos. Follow guidelines and respect friends that still want to wear a mask. Enjoy your day with your friends and do what works for you.