Spending the Holidays with SharedEasy
It can be a challenge to be away from friends and family for the holidays. Some of our members are oceans away from their families for the holidays, some are close but work schedules or time constraints keep them tied to New York. Some just want to experience a holiday away from the norm. We rang in 2020, decked the halls and feasted on dishes for our first annual holiday celebrations.
In true coliving tradition, we planned a holiday celebration to head off any feeling of loneliness this holiday season. We had a great time at our newest home in Long Island City, where we make it easy to rent a room in the new hip neighborhood in Queens.
The Italia Cruz Home was our location for celebrating the holidays this year as we shared fun times with members and played games, danced into the wee hours of the morning and exchanged gifts in a White Elephant Gift Exchange that brought many laughs, to say the least.
We kicked off the Holiday Season in mid-December with a “progressive Tree Decoration and Holiday Decor Extravaganza” as we traveled house-to-house through Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan delivering the gift of holiday cheer to each of our coliving spaces with trees and ornaments and hot chocolate. A good time was had by all.
At the Bernard London House in Brooklyn, we asked members to bring an ornament representing their culture, country or just something they found at one of the unique Christmas Markets in the City. It was an 8-foot tree in our largest home and there were a lot of lights and ornaments required. We had everything from ballet slippers (we have ballerinas living in Brooklyn) to the London Bridge (we had our London girls here on a theatre project) to Texas Longhorns from our extended stay in NYC members from down south — the House Leader, the CNN intern, the musician, the model. Much to the delight of their roommates, we saw our members take the initiative and decorate their individual apartments. It was truly a time to remember.
At the Dekalb Friends House, we rocked around the Christmas tree playing music and creating hot cocoa concoctions that were creative if not tasty. At South American Country House it was a bit more low key and a great time to get to know each other better, our Manhattan House is always a lot of fun — of course, it plays off of the energy of the Central Park location near Columbia University as is the Boston House near Williamsburg. Besides the big party at Italia Cruz, we also had a tree decorating/pizza party. Things were rocking for the holidays in Long Island City/Queens. One of the great things about SharedEasy is how each home takes on its own personality. Our homes go way beyond the average “rent a room” experience. Each of our homes is different, each has its own vibe and each is special in its own way. We blasted the music and decked the halls with cheer.
Besides making it easy to rent a room in the big city, we also bring fun and community! One of our greatest pleasures is seeing our members get together and share traditions, taking what could be an otherwise lonely holiday and turning it into a great party. We had this at Thanksgiving as well as we hosted our First Annual Thanksgiving Feast at the Bernard London House in Bed-Stuy. Members brought dishes from their country and traditional desserts (one of our members was a Food Network prodigy another was a chef) and we supplied the turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Afterward, we ventured out into the neighborhood for a “night on the town.”
It was our first year of holiday fun and we look forward to many more. One thing we learned, our members LOVE to have fun. Dance parties are always a good thing, gift exchanges are always a good thing. Community is always a great thing.