By Amy Thompson & Mike Jaggard
There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.Eric Sevareid
Christmas seems to be coming early this year, its stirring in the air, hovering around the corner and we are SO EXCITED that we have nearly made it to December 2020.
It has been an unexpected year.
A trying year.
A year to decide if we are mere carbon or if the pressure will reshape us to diamonds.
So let’s take the pressure of the year and celebrate that we live. Embracing (hypothetically) our friends, family, work colleagues & community with the knowledge fresh in our minds of just how important they are to us.
This year’s Christmas celebrations will be slightly different from those in the past as we cannot ignore that there is still restrictions in play and we must be mindful to ensure the health & wellbeing of our community while celebrating.
So here are our tricks and hacks for planning a 2020 Christmas celebration in COVID world.
Number 1: Check the restrictions
I know that this has been reiterated ad-nauseum for the past year, but don’t let this repetition be what prevents you from planning wisely.
When making your plans have your best plan in play with the most current restrictions in mind. The resources we rely on the most for Queensland are located at: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au
Typically for Christmas we recommend that you plan at minimum 4 to 6 weeks out from the date of your event.
Once your date is set send out your invitations and wait. Don’t torture yourself by checking the restrictions every day leading up to the event. Let it sit, between your planning and the event date chances are restrictions will have changed multiple times.
The week before your party check the restrictions.
From there you will have 7 days leading up to your event to tweak plans & move to your Plan B if necessary.
Number 2: Have a Plan B
This secondary plan is what you can go to if the restrictions (or weather) force a change of plans. Good events always have had a plan B ready. In the past this has been mostly for Wet Weather events, now it can be expanded to work for changes in COVID restrictions.
For your Plan B, always have a second venue available. This can be a public park, a private covered area (think large carport or outdoor area) or a local pub.
Also consider, if the restrictions end up being incredibly tight you can convert your catering into food hampers that can be delivered to your attendees individually by your caterer to their homes.
Then have a Zoom house party!
Number 3: Don’t self cater
As tempting as it is to self-cater, this year isn’t the year for it. With COVID concerns lurking on the edges of everyone’s minds you really need to have your food prepared in a kitchen that is sanitized to the highest level, prepared by professionals who send a good portion of their days washing their hands and who can transport it to you in food safe conditions.
A great option is to have all your food individually packaged and delivered. This way you do not need service on site, and all of your guests can received their own individual food pack. It also grants you the flexibly to work with venue changes as the food won’t need to be changed, just the delivery location.
Number 4: Open air venues
We live in a gorgeous sunny state (Queensland for you out-of-state readers) and as such have some fantastic open air venues. Some of them are even FREE!
A great, healthy option for your party is to host it outdoors. You then have more than enough area for social distancing, people can move freely around and you can enjoy our sunshine.
Next week we will be posting a venue list for our beautiful city of Toowoomba that includes some great open air venues.
Our favourite of these venues is the Newtown Rose Gardens!
Number 5: Hand washing facilities & sanitizing
No matter the location of your party, you simply must ensure that there is some option for people to wash or sanitize their hands. If you are going to feed them or give them a drink, I consider this not only a courtesy but a ‘duty of care’ health requirement.
Hand santizer is easily available, just make sure you take some to your venue or get the venue to supply some for you.
If you are in a park with limited handwashing facilities, simply buy a large water dispenser, take hand soap & paper towel. Set it up in an easily accessible area.
Handy hint: You can get a pre-filled 10 Litre water dispenser with tap from Coles for $4 – https://shop.coles.com.au/a/clifford-gardens/product/coles-water-spring-natural.
Number 6: Keep it simple
The simpler your event is this year, the easier it will be for you to flex and change as needed based on our rapidly changing environment. Focus on your venue, food & spending time with the people you care about.
Everything else, can take care of itself!
In all this we wish you happy planning!
If you have any questions about planning, food or catering logistics, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We love questions and are happy to help. Yes, we do have a gorgeous Christmas menu and would love you to order from us, our help though is not conditional on you ordering.
Have a wonderful Christmas season!
The Head Monkey & The Grumpy Monkey
(aka Amy & Mike)