The holidays are almost here, and we’re looking forward to celebrating this most festive and cheery time with family and friends. Perhaps last holiday season, you were not able to gather with loved ones, but this year we are finding new and creative ways to celebrate the holidays with those we love while still being safe and smart.
Many people plan all their social gatherings outdoors these days for the spaciousness and airiness, which is a great way to enjoy special time with those you love. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you should be deterred from planning an outdoor holiday party this year. Unless it’s seriously cold and there’s a raging blizzard, chances are you can find a way to work with the winter to plan and enjoy a fun and safe outdoor holiday party this holiday season. Here are five ways that you can make your outdoor holiday party fun and safe for everyone.
Grab your winter jackets and snow boots and get ready to dress for the weather. Even though you and everyone attending your party should plan to dress appropriately for the cold, a great way to add a little warmth and cheer that everyone is certain to enjoy is by building and lighting a fire. If you have the space, resources, and tools to make a fire at your outdoor party, this is a great option for adding fun, warmth, and a safe place to gather for you and your party guests. If you don’t have a fire pit, you can also use standalone fire pit structures. Make sure the area is safe, and your tools are in good condition before building a fire. If you can’t build a fire, an outdoor heater isn’t as fun, but it definitely can offer the same level of warmth and cheer.
If you’re setting up tables and chairs outdoors, you will want to ensure they are sufficiently spaced so that everyone joining your party will feel safe and comfortable. Just because we’re outside doesn’t mean we can’t decorate! Grab your Christmas table runners and Christmas decorative table centerpieces to still make the space look and feel festive for the holiday season. You can even arrange tables and chairs, so households are sitting together at their designated table. Depending on what kind of party you’re hosting, you may want to arrange food, snacks, and beverages on different tables for different households so there is less opportunity for sharing serving plates and touching food and drink items across households. Set everything up in advance so people can focus on being festive and having fun and not be concerned about safety.
It’s normal at outdoor parties for the host to present guests with blankets, sweaters, or other layers to keep them warm at the temperatures drop. While we all want to make our guests as happy and comfortable as possible to help them have a great time, some people may feel uncomfortable if sharing outerwear or blankets. Instead, make it a bit of a joke or play on words on your invite: “BYOB! Bring your own… blankets!” Guests will then be prepared with their own extra outerwear or throw blankets if they get cold throughout the course of the party. You can also always add a playful postscript at the bottom: “PS: you can bring your own booze, too ;).”
Games can make a party feel all the more festive. Though in previous years we may have found ourselves playing cards around a fire, this year we can take advantage of the great outdoors as a way to enjoy some festive fun and games. Charades is one of the most classic party games that is fun and easy to play outdoors. Players don’t need to be close together to enjoy this game, and it’s definitely a fun way to keep your guests laughing and engaged. If you have snow, you can channel your inner child and arrange a fun snowball fight or snowman-making competition. Just let your guests know ahead of time that they will want to bring along warm gloves and snow gear so they can be prepared and stay warm.
It’s the holidays, after all, and everyone likes to celebrate with some holiday gifts. Greet your guests with special holiday-inspired smart gift personalized tote bags. Inside you can also include some hygiene items such as a personal bottle of hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, vitamin-C tablets for their drinks, and even a holiday-themed mask if you want to really bring a festive vibe to your gift baggies. This is a playful way to integrate some health-conscious measures into your party bags while still making them feel fun. You can also include other special holiday-inspired gift items such as Christmas cookies, candy canes, or gingerbread men. If you would love to give your guests holiday presents, then wrap those up and include them in the personalized gift baggie for them to open at your party or later on Christmas or Hanukkah,
Don’t let the weather get you down. Enjoy the festivities this year by making your outdoor holiday party a fun and safe experience for everyone.