Learn how you can host your Christmas gathering outdoors.
2020 has been a year the year of new normal, and the holidays will also bring a new normal to celebrating Christmas. What’s our COVID hack for a great Christmas? Move it outdoors!
Hosting your Christmas outdoors with a limited guest list and lots of preparation can allow for you and your guests to have a sense of normalcy and socialization while staying safe.
Luckily for us, Charlotte, North Carolina rarely faces severe weather, and in any given Christmas holiday, the temperatures can range from the high 30’s to a warm low 70’s – there’s really no predicting what the temperature might be! With Tent Guys, you can plan your outdoor Christmas safely and bring on the Christmas magic with no problems at all!
New guidelines on indoors gatherings released in NC.
Governor Cooper announced on Tuesday, November 10th that indoor gatherings should be decreased from 25 people to 10 people, as NC remains in stage 3 of the COVID-19 reopening plan. Although these are only recommendations from the state, we advise our friends and family to proceed into the holidays with precaution. Gathering indoors with big numbers simply won’t be safe this year, and could put you at risk of hosting or attending a super spreader event. If you’re high risk and have any doubts about catching COVID-19, it may simply be the year to pass on the holidays.
For more information on how to safely host small gatherings for the holidays, the CDC has posted guidelines to take into consideration.
Consider the following when planning your holiday gathering:
- Location of the gathering: Geographically, consider the area in which you’re hosting the party or the area where attendees are coming from. If any of the attendees are coming in from a location with high-risk, indoor gatherings may not be the way to go. Small spaces may be prone to poor ventilation.
- Duration of the gathering: The longer a gathering lasts, the more prone your guests are at risk of being exposed to the virus. Being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for 15 minutes or greater vastly increases the chance of becoming sick.
- Number of people at the gathering: It probably goes without being said, but gatherings with more people are going to have an increased risk of virus spread. You should decide on the size of the gathering based on the ability for attendees from different households to safely social distance (6 feet apart), to wear masks, wash hands, and follow state and local guidelines. This is especially important if you have attendees that had to travel to the gathering (e.g. airports, buses, trains, gas stations), who could have been exposed to the virus and were not able to quarantine for 14 days prior to the event.
- Behavior during the gathering: Ensure that as the party planner you’re providing adequate space for social distancing, hand sanitizer stations, safe food and drink options, and encouraging hand washing and mask wearing. We have more ideas for how to integrate these into your party below.
Take advantage of warmer temperatures by hosting a breakfast or lunch on Christmas.
By hosting your Christmas celebration outdoors and during the day, you can enjoy the benefits of doing everything in a new way (i.e. cutting down on a complex menu, opting in for quick and easy breakfast foods or finger food snacks).
When it comes to event rentals, the pros of hosting brunch or lunch would be that you could save money on heating options by enjoying slightly warmer daytime temperatures, and not having to worry about lighting. Studies have also shown that exposure to UV light can kill the virus, so hosting outdoors while practicing social distancing and mask wearing can be a safe option for your celebration.
Host a romantic Christmas dinner under the stars.
Well, maybe not literally under the stars; realistically, it gets dark around 5pm these days, so you have room to be flexible! We know that many people have obligations to more than one Christmas celebration, so choosing the time and day aren’t always in our favor. Besides, there’s something so warm, magical, and intimate about Christmas Eve or Christmas night dinner. Renting a tent is the perfect balance of hosting outdoors to ensure you have lots of space for guests and ample airflow, while being protected from the elements.
Depending on the number of guests, you’ll want to make sure that the tent rental is large enough to accommodate the spread of tables at least 6 feet apart. If you rent 5’ round tables and a 15×15 tent, you’ll only be able to accommodate about two tables. Each round table can seat 6-8 guests. A 20×20 tent can cover about 4 four 5’ round tables. Our event specialists at Tent Guys will be happy to talk you through what tent set up would be most appropriate for your event.
If you’re worried about staying warm, consider adding sidewalls to your tent. While you will not want the entire tent to be enclosed, walling off two or three sides can capture heat, while still maintaining airflow. We have a number of options for sidewalls, like the 10Wx8H solid sidewalls or the 15Wx8H solid sidewalls. Either can be used with any tent frame, and come in white vinyl. Our event specialists can help you decide what sidewall will work best for your tent and event.
Stay warm outside of the tent with our propane fueled patio heaters. Patio heaters are perfect for heating small areas, and depending on your number of guests, you may want to order enough that would allow people to social distance outside of the tent.
See our patio heaters here.
The Generator 2200 Watt Quiet and a 100 ft extension cord will guarantee that the party keeps going, and you won’t even notice or be bothered by the noise – this generator runs efficiently at a hardly perceptible 50 decibels. For outdoor events, generators are essential for ensuring a stable power source that keeps key equipment running.
Be sure to tell your event planner at Tent Guys:
– Estimate on long the event is, or rather, how long you want backup power
– What types of items will the power from the generator be supporting (e.g. music, lights, refrigeration, etc.), and the wattage for those items.
Be strategic with tables, and consider assigned seating.
We offer a variety of table sizes in both round and rectangular shapes. Our 5’ round tables may offer the best spacing for social distancing. Place tables six feet apart to follow distancing guidelines, which also keeps pathways spacious if someone needs to walk between tables.
While assigned seating may sound a bit strange for a holiday celebration, it may be the easiest way to ensure that family and friend units from the same household or quarantine circles remain together and limit the spread of the virus. When the food is ready or delivered, consider calling one table up at a time to pick up their food, or designate one person to serve food wearing gloves and a mask.
Brighten up your outdoor Christmas with linens and lights!
An outdoor Christmas celebration doesn’t have to be dull by any means! Get festive with bright and cheery red and green linens, and drape market lighting along the tent perimeter, or use planter boxes to string lights across the yard. If you want a little extra sparkle and a warmer ambiance, hang our twinkle lights around the tent for a truly magical evening.
Have fun with your menu this year!
Listen, between the fussy eaters, traditionalists grandparents who insist on roasting a large turkey, or competitive aunts bringing their fruitcakes to the table, maybe it’s the year to shake up the menu. Simplifying the menu means you get to spend more time doing what you love; spending quality time with family and friends, especially if this Christmas may be the first time all year you’re getting to see friends and family.
So live it up by finally getting Chinese takeout or supporting your favorite local family restaurant by ordering ahead of the holiday. Individually packaged takeout food and plastic wrapped utensils will avoid high-traffic sharing among guests, and cut down on dishes and after-party cleanup efforts on the host.
Christmas is the season of giving, so don’t forget about neighbors, friends, and family who are at higher risk and may be unable to attend even small gatherings. Prepare plates disposable plates wearing gloves and a mask, and deliver them in a way that limits contact with high-risk individuals, such as leaving it on the front porch for pick up.
Don’t forget essential accessories that keep your holiday running smoothly.
Seriously, there is nothing worse than your kitchen trashcan and recycling bin overflowing from a few discards, having to assign someone to carry bags out to the bin each hour, and your guests either using trash bags on the ground or leaving trash on the tables.
Avoid overflow waste by renting 35 gallon trash cans! You won’t want people entering your home more than necessary (i.e. to use the bathroom and wash their hands), and having designated trash cans outside will ensure that guests have access to clean up after themselves and no one will have to worry about excessive trash pick-up.
A heavy duty liner is included. Trash removal is not included.
Chair covers and sashes chair covers and sashes can bring together your Christmas style and color palette effortlessly. , chair covers take a basic folding chair to an elegant dining experience. Our chair covers come in white, ivory, and black. Chair covers are especially great for metal chairs that might become cold to the touch outside!
Whether you’re a fan of a farmhouse Christmas in black and white plaid, traditional red, green, and gold décor, or love flocked Christmas decorations, a sash tied around your chair or chair cover is sure to complete your Christmas décor. We offer 45 colors to choose from, some matte and others satin striped if you like a little more shine. Some of our favorite holiday color picks include:
In previous years, you might have used a guest bedroom to toss all the guests’ coats into, but this year as you’re limiting the number of guests entering the house, an outdoor coat rack can be the perfect solution to let make your guests feel right at home in your backyard! Our coat racks hold up to 300 pounds, so bring on the puffers and pea coats!
This year, you’ll want to avoid pitchers, beverage dispensers, and individual glasses that warrant refills, and opt-in for more germ-safe alternatives like 1-use cans and bottles. Our large cooler can fit hold up to 300 pounds. You’ll have plenty of room for drinks that please every guest, from alcoholic beverages, canned sodas, bottles of water, and juice pouches.
Get ready for your outdoor Christmas by planning ahead and, most of all, having fun!
Talk to your family and friends about your plans and guidelines for hosting Christmas in the coming weeks so that they come prepared and ready to have a great time! Hosting Christmas outdoors doesn’t have to be strange; it’s a great opportunity to make new traditions! Maybe that means playing flag football, corn hole (with hand sanitizer at the ready), or making reindeer food to spread around the yard on Christmas eve. Maybe it looks like having a bonfire and enjoying hot cocoa with your quarantine circle of friends. Whatever the case is, with thoughtful planning and healthy consideration of others, Christmas 2020 can be a year to remember warmly.
For those hosting, our event specialists at Tent Guys are ready to help you plan the perfect outdoor Christmas party. With many people considering outdoor parties and rentals for the holiday season, be sure to contact us soon, as event rentals will definitely be booking fast. From Tent Guys to our Charlotte community, we wish everyone a very merry, safe, and healthy Christmas!