From Friday, December 18th, Michéal, Leo and Eamon are allowing three households to mix for a social/family gathering. However, the three leaders are asking us to reduce in-person contacts, which means not to hug, kiss or shake the hands of your nearest and dearest. And eh, there’ll be no sitting on Santa’s lap, nor will there be any rockin’ around the Christmas tree.
But hey, there’s no place like home for the holidays, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing this year: sitting at home, dining a deux and, in general, having a scaled-down quarantine Christmas. And why? Well, as the weather outside is frightful, I personally don’t want to be in a house full of vulnerable family members, freezing our bits off because, in a bid to reduce a possible Covid transmission, we’ve got to throw open the windows and doors!
However, if you’re set on inviting your own family/friends for Christmas Dinner this year, we’ve put together a few guidelines you might like to follow.
Guests and guidelines
Make up your guest list, and in order to ensure you’re sticking to the guidelines, check it twice: We suggest you devise a health and safety plan and share it with your invited guests this week in order to make sure they’re in the loop regarding what’s expected of them. Make a point of the safety measures you plan to put in place, (and ask if they’ve got any suggestions to add). Let them know how many people are invited, and remind them of the social distancing guidelines you’d like them to follow/respect, etc.
Table-wear and crockery
Use this micro-Christmas gathering to make a bespoke interior design statement. As the recommendations state that ‘cutlery, glassware and crockery shouldn’t be shared and single-use items should be used when possible,’ we suggest that this weekend, you could source yourself some festive fancies by way of matching disposable table cloths, plates, knives and forks. Okay, it’s a tad too casual for my liking, but on the plus side, there’ll be no arguments regarding the washing up, and once your guests have consumed their festive feast, everyone can sit back, relax and enjoy a nice digestif!
Winterise your garden
If you’re planning to host Christmas outdoors, contact your local DIY store now to order/hire plenty of heaters. In addition, buy lots of hot water bottles, throws and blankets to make sure everyone feels warm and snug. Perhaps it’d be a good idea to stock up on flasks for serving hot chocolate or Irish whiskeys. Even if you’re not taking the party outside, (and sticking to the indoor dining room), the message from our government is to throw open those windows and doors. So you, as the host(ess) will need to ensure your guests are warm and comfortable – especially vulnerable ones.
It has been advised by our government that ‘face masks should be worn when cooking and serving food’. We suggest you get to the shops now and pick up some novelty Christmas-themed face coverings for everyone. Tip: In order to make sure your guests are comfortable, get the masks with the adjustable ear loops and the built-in nose bridge for spectacle wearers.