Entertaining: Dipping my toes back in
It's happening. It's actually happening! The buds are blooming on trees, people are getting vaccinated and we are slowly crawling out of a year-long global pandemic that turned everything upside down.
Like many of you, I have a core "quaranteam" that I see regularly. While those bonds have strengthned with an unbreakable "war buddies" intensity, most of my other relationships have been tethered by social media and attempted Zoom happy hours, which are sterile at best.
I'm not talking a crowded house party - "rubbing elbows" suggests cramped get-togethers. In order to say healthy and avoid that ubiquitous online shaming, keep it small. Keep it outside. For even if your loved ones have been vaccinated, there are risks. Between the time it takes for the antibodies to be in full effect and the various new strains floating around, outdoors is ideal. Take advantage of this beautiful and fleeting season!
Picnics are an old-fashioned way of slowing down time. Everyone can bring a big blanket so there's more space between friends. Whether you invited them over for a meal or it's a pot luck situation, have a place in the center where people can take turns serving themselves. Bring a little music, some portable cocktails and you will be treating your loved ones to a much-needed respite from their winter isolation.
Sit some chairs arounnd a fire and host a bonfire! Build a decadent s'mores station, where people can each have their own stick and a plethora of options. Other candy bars that work with graham crackers are Three Musketeers, Snickers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Make a batch of spiked cider and spend a night catching up under the stars.
Twinkling dinner party
This won't just be any dinner party. This will have a wow factor - something we all need. I want you to pull out all of the Christmas lights. Whether you go for an all-white starry theme or a psychadelic color theme, I want you to hang lights from the branches, the pergola, the basketball hoop, whatever you have outside. Place your outdoor table directly beneath it and let it glow.
To be extra safe, you can space the chairs further apart. This of course means less people around the table, but that's the idea. Smaller groups make people feel more comfortable right now, and it will give you a chance to have a more intimate dinner, nurturing the relationship.
COVID put a whole new meaning to winter hibernation, and I will relish the way a harsh winter can make springtime that much more sweet. Share your entertaining ideas with us - we're excited to see how everyone is getting back out there!