Rebuilding Our Social Muscles: The stress-free guide to post-pandemic entertaining

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If you’re anything like me, all this post-pandemic buzz is adding anxiety to your real-time pandemic reality! I mean seriously, do we have the headspace for more change?  Are we emotionally equipped to put on party pants and resume our frenzied pre-pandemic social life?

Mental Health experts agree, post-pandemic anxiety is real, but, unlike your apartment during the pandemic, you are not alone! Erin Bunchs’ piece in Well and Good offers some sound advice to help work through your angst and prepare for your social debut! (read article)

The good news is, the post-pandemic world offers a unique opportunity to establish new social rhythms. Regardless of the tune you choose, its time to retrain those social muscles. Mary Grace Garis offers some great workouts to warm-up your public pects in her recent article in Well and Good (read article)  The best advice I can offer is to pace your reentry.  Start small and don’t venture too far out of your comfort zone!  So what can be more comforting than your home?  That’s right, it’s time to host a party, or more specifically a garden party!  Now, I’m not talking about a block-party or Class Reunion here, just a few fully vaccinated friends or neighbors who haven’t been in your physical orbit for the past year. 

Focus your energy on pre-party prep, so you’re not having a nervous breakdown before your guests arrive. Start by adding a little “special” to the occasion by creating a memorable table-scape for your meal.  Trunkin’s Collection will give your table the perfect panache!  Don’t get stuck in the kitchen all night! Consider ordering dinner from one of those hot new neighborhood ghost kitchens. Ask them to deliver an hour or so before the guests arrive. Transfer the food into your own casserole dishes and straight in to a warming oven.  Voila, dinner is ready!  Set up a self-serve bar or better yet, premix a specialty cocktail that will untie everyone’s tongues!  

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Another fun idea is to host an outdoor dinner and movie night.  Make your long absent guests feel like the A-listers they are. Set the perfect Old Hollywood vibe to screen MANK with a bubbly specialty cocktail and a VIP worthy table setting. Trunkin’s Summer Collection will capture the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age. Order up your favorite Chinese delivery in homage to LA’s Chinese Theater, the location of the first ever film premier. After dinner, make your guests comfortable on the lawn with blankets, pillows and citronella candles!  Pass out some novelty ice cream treats and enjoy the show!

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For a heavenly time, schedule your gathering when the Earth crosses paths with a comet. There are 4 or 5 celestial shows in the night sky every month.  Choose from action packed calendar of celestial events. For a memorable night under the stars, string lots of twinkle lights around your patio and set your table with sparkling round planet shaped placemats.  Shower the entire table with metallic star glitter. Try Trunkin’s Luster Blue Placemats from our Heirloom Glass Beaded Collection. For a fuss-free dinner, order pulled BBQ pork and slaw to serve along with baked potatoes from your oven with a smorgasbord of tasty toppings.

Set up your lawn as you would for an outdoor movie (described above) and break out your telescope. If you don’t have a telescope just have one or two 10-by-50 binoculars on hand to pass around to your guests.  Make sure you download a stargazing app before you settle in for a night of shooting stars.  Under the right conditions, you can see two or three thousand stars sprinkled across the sky as constellations, distant planets, and even spectacular views of other galaxies.

Send your guests home with a star cookie for their mid-night snack and most importantly, a BIG HUG!  Yes, HUGS are coming back in style once you’re vaccinated.  So reach out and give ‘em an old school, pre-pandemic BEAR HUG to remember!