With COVID cases still on the rise, the holidays may look a little different this year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with your family and friends in meaningful ways. If you do plan to have in-person gatherings, the CDC has put out some guidelines on what safety measures to take. If you decide to forgo the in-person gathering, there are plenty of great ideas for virtual holiday parties.
CDC Guidelines for Celebrating the Holidays
It’s best to limit your in-person celebrations to the people in your household, but if you choose to have larger gatherings, the CDC has put out these guidelines.
- Host outdoor activities if possible. (This would be a great time to make use of that fire pit!) If being outdoors is not possible, you should avoid crowded, poorly ventilated or fully enclosed spaces. You can increase ventilation by opening windows and doors if possible based on the weather.
- Host gatherings with only people from your local area.
- Limit how many people you invite.
- Provide information to your guests about steps you will take to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Provide or encourage guests to bring things such as masks, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and tissues.
- If you are planning on having guests from outside of your household, consider asking them to avoid contact with people they don’t live with for 14 days before your gathering.
- For more information, see the CDC’s tips for hosting gatherings.
If you plan on attending a holiday gathering, the advice is pretty much the same. Check with your host to see what guidelines they have in place to keep everyone safe. Bring masks, hand sanitizer and tissues, and consider not gathering with people outside of your household 14 days before the event. For more information, see the CDC’s Considerations for Events and Gatherings.
Ideas for Virtual Celebrations
Virtual holiday parties can be held over video conferencing programs, such as Zoom, Webex or Google Meet. There are tons of ideas for fun virtual celebrations. Here are some from TeamBuilding you might want to consider.
- Virtual holiday bingo – Bingo is fun any time of the year, but this special holiday bingo is great for virtual Christmas parties. With a quick Google search, you’ll have a wide variety of bingo game options free to print.
- Try a TeamBuilding event – These events hosted by TeamBuilding include options such as a Winter Cocktail Party, where guests learn to make holiday drinks; Ski Chalet, with hot chocolate kits mailed to home, games and more; or their creative Virtual Gingerbread Wars where TeamBuilding will send each of your participants a gingerbread kit that includes cookies, icing and candies. Once the event starts, there will be holiday trivia and gingerbread self-portraits.
- Share a meal – With Facetime and other video chat technology these days, you can share your holiday meal with virtually anyone you want. Find a stand for your phone or tablet and coordinate meal times. You can continue traditions such as going around the table and sharing what everyone is thankful for.
- Virtual secret Santa – No Christmas party is complete without secret Santa gifts. To do this virtually, you can use the gift exchange generator, mail your gift and then have everyone open their gift during the event.
- Holiday Costume Dress-Up – You can hold a virtual costume contest with things such as Santa hats, elf costumes, reindeer antlers or green Grinch hair, or you could have an ugly Christmas sweater contest.
- Make a holiday playlist – Every party needs music. First, create a holiday playlist on a service such as Spotify, and then have each of your guests add a song to the list. During the event, play the list and try to guess who added each song.
- Virtual holiday photo booth – During this event, you can gather your friends or family on the call and take a screenshot. Use props like Santa hats, reindeer antlers, red and green boas or garland, colored lights, angel wings, presents, or hats, mittens, and scarves. Once you get the shot, you can turn your photo into a virtual card and send it to all your guests.
The holidays may be different this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to enjoy them with our loved ones. Stay positive, and be hopeful for a better New Year! Have fun and stay safe!
Looking for real estate services in Gainesville, Haymarket or Bristow? Contact your local real estate expert Belinda Jacobson-Loehle of Jacobson Realty and Home Staging In Gainesville, Virginia today. Also be sure to sign up now for a FREE copy of my eBook, “The Real Estate Key – What You Need to Know!”
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