Winter is officially here and as the coronavirus stretches on and continues to impact our daily lives and with the holidays among us, many are thinking of ways to have fun and entertain. I have been connecting with friends, family and colleague virtually through many apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet since the pandemic began and with Ontario embarking on a province wide lockdown, that for sure will be the way I will continue to connect and entertain over the holiday season.
When entertaining guests, a party has three main elements – food, decor and fun! Today I’m sharing some tips for virtual entertaining over the winter holiday break!
Send out invites!
When planning a party, I typically send out invites. Although you’re virtual, still send an e-invite out and make it a theme! For the holidays maybe it’s an ugly sweater theme, or it’s wearing a specific colour to the party. Having a theme adds a nice element and if you’re like me, living in loungewear, this gives you a reason to dress up!
I’m still big on decorating and if you want step up your virtual party a notch, bring the party to your guests and create centrepieces, or a even a banner that your guests can display in their background for the party! You can find many ways to DIY the decor for your theme or simply buy pre-made ones and drop them off to your guests in advance of your party but be sure to do it safely and maintain social distancing!
When hosting an in person party, as host you would would provide food for your guests. With several restaurants featuring food delivery services or curbside pick up, order out and either have the meals delivered to your guests or have them pick it up! This is a great way to support small businesses that are struggling during the pandemic.
Have an activity!
Parties are super fun when there’s some form of an activity. A super fun activity during the holidays is to make cocktails! I’ve featured come cocktails on my instagram page and love the Salted Caramel Apple Martini I made using Iceberg Vodka! Make build your own cocktail kits at home and bag or box the item up in a fun way that matches your theme for your guests! You can then drop them off along with your decor and enjoy making them during your party!
Your Salted Caramel Apple Martini Kit can include larger items like a bottle of Iceberg Vodka (also makes a great hosting gift ?), a martini glass which you can find at a grocery or dollar store, a mini bottle of Irish Cream and an apple. You can then put the following items in small snack bags or containers: Hard caramel candies, Kosher salt flakes, and Peanuts. The recipe also calls for cinnamon which might be hard to package but most folks will have that on hand and you can tell your guests in your invite to bring that to the party! Other supplies your guests will need to have for the party and should have on hand include:
- A knife and cutting board for chopping
- A plate for rimming the glass
- A measuring cup or jigger
- A cup for infusing the vodka
- A meat mallet
When it’s party time, you lead the way in making the cocktails and feel free to share the instructions to your guests from my post here by sharing on your screen! You can also email them to your guests leading up to your party date!
There’s a step where the caramel candies need to dissolve in the vodka, play some virtual games while this is happening and then make your martinis after to celebrate the winner and getting together!
So as you can see even if you’re socially distancing and spending more time at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, with a little planning and creativity, you can still find some wonderful ways to enjoy the holiday season and connect with friends and family in a safe way! Happy Holidays!!