November 16, 2020

How to Host Family for the holidays—with a safety-first mindset, to keep everyone healthy!

By Carole Ruvalcaba & Valerie Kelly

If you’re reading this right now, that means the holiday season is already upon us! Things are undoubtedly looking very different this year. As we approach Thanksgiving, here are some quick tips to safely hosting/visiting family this year while ensuring a fun-filled time for all.  

Firstly, limit your family gatherings to those living in your household only. If hosting, consider an open-air environment that allows for plenty of social distancing such as a backyard, garage, etc. This also might be a great time of the year to try something completely new- a household trip on the road. Skiing, hiking, or other outdoor activities are some great options.

Here are some additional tips for a fun and seamless holiday:

Some ideas on how to politely respond to holiday party invites –

  • A simple ‘No thank you, we’ve got plans.’ (to the point, quick and swift end to the possibility of hosting).
  • ‘We are practicing a Covid safety first this year and we’ll be spending the holiday at home, with live-in family only. (It’s not you, it’s Covid times.)
  • ‘Maybe next year, we already have plans this year.’

If you can get out of hosting, you can still share your warm wishes with the rest of the family by…

  • Posting a picture of Thanksgiving dinner with your live-in family and tagging the rest of the family.
  • Sending a private text message to extended family, wishing them a great holiday.
  • Taking time to call or leave your loved ones a voicemail with a personal greeting.
  • Recording a 15-second video of your Thanksgiving message (include your live-in family) and send a video clip on Thanksgiving morning.
  • Sending e-gifts to the kids and grandkids.

 If you don’t have a choice and must host family

  • Limit the number of guests to only a few households.
  • Follow social distancing protocol as established by the CDC and local guidelines to your area.
  • Use long 8ft tables and separate chairs to 6 feet apart.
  • Wear masks at all times and remove them only when eating.

Weather permitting, host outdoors or in an open-air venue!

  • Open a tent, use outdoor heaters, and prepare pre-packed meals so folks can grab and sit. Enjoy eating together.
  • Set up the main course in the garage with the garage door open for maximum ventilation, set up tables and chairs in the driveway where the family can safely social distance, but still enjoy the holiday.
  • Encourage your guests to bundle up and wear hats to stay warm.
  • Meal-prep and package the dinner so that people can be ‘self-contained’ and take their leftovers with them… Bag-n-grab Turkey dinner, Bab-n’-grab turkey sandwich!