Ideas for a Safe Holiday Gathering

by Jan Kennemer 12/12/2021

For those with family and friends at close distance, holiday gatherings are much simpler. Without the need to travel, you can save time, money and avoid the risk of exposure to contagious germs and illnesses. However, even keeping a small, local gathering can be safer with some simple logistics. Here are some ideas for how to plan and host a safe and responsible holiday dinner gathering.

Try a Cafeteria-Style Buffet

Many people use the buffet approach for serving guests at food-focused holiday gatherings. However, the traditional buffet setup requires multiple people using the same utensils over and over, possibly passing germs from one guest to the next. One way to mitigate this health issue while still enjoying the convenience of the buffet is to have a designated server portion out the food on each plate. This person can remain on the other side of the table and serve food as each guest goes down the line. This means only one person is touching the serving utensils, making it far easier to keep germs in check.

Pre-Portion Each Plate

Another convenient and health-conscious method of serving food is to serve portions onto each plate in advance. Each guest will only need to choose a plate and find a seat—no serving utensils or buffet tables involved. As the host, you can portion out the food yourself or have a designated helper do it for you. Regardless, it’s a good idea to have one person handle all the serving at once. Have plates available for anybody with dietary restrictions or preferences set aside, as well.

Use Disposable Dishes & Utensils

Using disposable plates, bowls and utensils means no washing dishes at the end of the party. It also means less potential for passing around contaminants. To keep the mess under control, make sure trash or recycling receptacles are conveniently located so guests can throw things away as soon as they’re finished. To reduce waste, opt for compostable utensils and dishes. These will break down much more easily and help the environment while also keeping your guests safe and healthy.

Take It Outside

Weather permitting, consider taking your holiday gathering outdoors. The increased airflow of a patio or backyard gathering means your guests don’t have to breathe the same air for the entire event. It usually means more opportunity for social distancing, especially if you forgo the formal dining setup. For chilly climates, you can always get portable heating lamps or fireplaces to keep the guests cozy and safe.

These are just a few simple ways to make sure your holiday gathering is safe and fun. Now you can bring friends and family together responsibly and healthily by making some easy changes.

About the Author

Jan Kennemer

Jan will show you how you can live close to Washington, DC – by public transit and/or highway – and still enjoy all the many amenities and friendliness of a quiet community. Jan is a life-long resident of Arlington, Va. So, she is very familiar with northern Virginia …Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria and close-in Fairfax. She knows where to find those little out-of the-way places where you will still get excellent value and a home that meets your needs. As a Realtor® for over 20 years, Jan has developed a customized system for marketing and selling properties which includes the latest technologies combined with tried and true practices. She has received special training in working with first time buyers, repeat buyers and seniors. She is a certified VHDA trainer and is certified as a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES©). Jan is also a certified e-Pro. She gets results you want – the best price in the shortest time. Jan is dedicated to helping clients satisfy their needs and wants while providing them with a strong investment for the future. She is readily available to provide explanations and information. She won’t push you into making an uncomfortable choice. Jan helps you to fully understand the transaction, so that you can always make an informed decision based on facts and figures.