Holiday season festivities, but make it COVID friendly.
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Christmas Tree Tailgate
Gather up a group of your core friends (you know, those folks that you’ve been spending all of quarantine with) and head to a Christmas tree farm with an open parking lot. Some farms are super tailgate friendly, while others will not embrace this idea, so make sure to scout for a solid location before packing up the car. If you’re living on the East Coast, Maple Row Farm in Easton, Connecticut is a great option. Just be sure to arrive no later than 10:30am, because the lot will fill up well before noon on weekends.
Then, delegate your traditional tailgate essentials amongst friends. Here are a few ideas for folks to bring along:
Cornhole – The more festive, the better. This Christmas Tree Cornhole Set is a little pricey, but one of those investments you probably won’t have to make again and can enjoy for years to come.
Cooler – Full of holiday bevi essentials. I like this Sagebrush Green Yeti Cooler, especially for its wine friendly packaging. Pack a bottle of bubbly to make some mimosas with; the perfect pairing for your morning Christmas tree tailgate.
Snacks – Individually packaged options are the best way to stay COVID friendly. Keep it super simple by purchasing a bulk variety snack pack, like this 50-count Ultimate Snacks Care Package from Amazon.
One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is watch the staple movies of the season. Every year on Thanksgiving night, my family kicks off the countdown to Christmas by watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We also watch the classics like A Christmas Story and Christmas with the Kranks.
Virtual movie marathons are a great way to safely enjoy the company of friends and family, and create a virtual spin on holiday traditions. If you have a streaming service that offers multi-viewer options like Netflix, Hulu, Disney + or HBO, you can easily plan a holiday movie marathon from multiple locations using Teleparty.
I’m still surprised that not everyone knows about this!
Download this extension, and follow these steps to set up the application. Then ask everyone to sign into their own individual Netflix accounts. Select a movie, then look for the Teleparty icon. This will sync movie playback across all accounts, and create a group chat feature.
Virtual Wine Tasting
Virtual wine tastings have been all-the-rage since the start of the pandemic, but they’re especially convenient for this time of year. They offer a chance to gather with a group of friends, couples or neighbors, and celebrate the joy of the season without risking an in-person get together.
There’s tons of virtual wine tasting options to choose from, ranging from free classes (try Coursera’s Course by UC Davis), to just $10 per person (try Corkbuzz), up to $250 (try Matthiasson) and more. The price depends on a few factors:
Exclusivity: If the tasting is limited to your private group of friends, or open to anyone who signs up.
Inclusions: If the tasting includes a bottle of wine, two bottles of wine, or none at all. Some wineries will ship the wine directly to your doorstep, right on time for the tasting, while others will ask that you go out and purchase them on your own.
Vineyard: If the tasting is hosted by a top-end winery, their classes will tend to be more expensive.
If you choose a virtual tasting from a winery that doesn’t include any bottles of bubbly, try sourcing wine from Drizly. Order liquor, beer, wine and hard seltzers from the website, or download the application to your phone, and have the drinks delivered directly to you.
Pro-Tip: To easily elevate the experience, research which cheeses pair well with the variety of wine on the menu, and curate a cheeseboard to enjoy during the tasting.
Prop your laptop up at the dining table, bring along the wine and cheeseboard, and raise a glass to this special tasting experience!