Updated: Apr 22, 2020
The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected many in different ways. Non-essential businesses are shut down, schools have gone virtual, group gatherings are forbidden, and quarantine is mandated. This is just enough to put a damper on birthday celebrations this month, and potentially change the way we celebrate for months to come.
Yet the resilience and adaptability of humans during times of crisis is fascinating. Celebrations have not stopped, only changed. Our adaptation to difficult circumstances is a true marker of evolution; so with that our parties must also evolve.
How have people been celebrating during quarantine? Here are 5 ideas to make your quarantine celebration great
1. Birthday parades
I was recently invited to a birthday parade for a family member turning 9 years old. We all met up in our cars at a specific location near the birthday girl's home to celebrate. Some cars had signs and balloons displayed. About 6 cars drove up to the birthday girl's home, and we proceeded to honk, wave, display our birthday signs and shout happy birthday from a safe distance away. After the parade, I left to my home feeling like it had ended too quickly. However, later the birthday girl reported it had been the best birthday she could remember. This seemingly small gesture meant so much to her. Each of us taking the time to create posters, bringing balloons, and driving up to her house communicated, I remember you and celebrate you on this special day even though we cannot be together right now. It was sweet. I could see how other families could make this quarantine party trend their own, some by decorating their cars with elaborate décor, others by blasting some favorite tunes, driving in front of the home several times to lengthen party or even stopping all in front of the house to sing happy birthday before riding off. Quarantine or not this is a great alternative to a party. It was fun and easy for guest and cheaper than throwing a party.
2. Virtual gatherings Brady Bunch style
Zoom has received much attention this quarantine from its ability to hold meetings with multiple individuals for virtually free, as long as you don't go over the time limit. I call it "Brady Bunch" style because individuals using Zoom display in tiles on top of one another, much like the opening song of the Brady Bunch beloved show. You can create a meeting to chat. I have seen others use it to play games together whether it be bingo, or Pictionary. For "adult" parties, this can include drinking games, or the opportunity to share a drink with the birthday boy or girl. Zoom could be a great way to have loved ones sing happy birthday to the birthday boy or girl. Of course, there are other ways to video chat, using Facebook messenger, Instagram, Google Meet or WhatsApp. This has given an opportunity for the technology phobic to venture into a new world of video chatting, a great way to get acquainted to technology that is here to stay.
3. Special deliveries
Of course, it's not only during quarantine that birthday treats and presents can be delivered to the birthday boy or girl. This service has always been around, whether it be flowers, edible arrangements, and other goods. However, in these times of isolation it has never felt more special to receive a special delivery from a loved one. I recently mailed out birthday gift using amazon; I simply changed the address to the intended recipient and voila the gift arrived fast. I received a sweet appreciation from the birthday girl whom I am sure did not expect to celebrate her birthday in her home but still reported to have had a special birthday with her family. I imagine how special it would feel to receive multiple packages from loved ones on your birthday week, even no cost letters, post cards, or magazines. Again it is not necessarily the gift but the gesture, and the added excitement of opening a package. A special delivery offers a moment of normalcy and can relieve tension or disappointment that is likely endures from the isolation of this pandemic.
4. Staycation celebration
Some have never been big on parties or celebrations, so this quarantine provides the perfect opportunity for a solitary oasis and relaxing birthday. If you are in isolation with little ones and spouse, what a great opportunity to request some time alone, maybe in a bubble bath
or outside sunbathing catching up on some reading. It can be the perfect time for the birthday boy or girl to make special requests of their family members, including eating a favorite meal, massage, TV binge, backyard picnic, campout, dance party where everyone MUST dance etc. If you can think of it, your family will make it happen. Prepare to be queen or king for the day! I would stretch it out a week if possible. ;)
5. Song Telegrams
I was talking to my friend musician the other day, and many have been impacted by the pandemic, peculiarly performers. Musicians often rely on "gigs" to keep income afloat and self-promote, and suddenly all concerts stopped. That is when I had the thought to utilize our musician friends for local birthday or other telegram deliveries. Step one: Find a local artist that you or the recipient may enjoy. Step two: Request a special song or two. Step three: Have artists drive to recipients home and sing a song or two on their lawn. Not only is this such a classic and sweet gesture for the recipient, but it's likely neighbors will enjoy it also, all while helping local musicians get "gigs." Try it, and report back to us (email@example.com); we would love to hear about it!
Celebrating during this time can be difficult, but I would argue even more vital than before. If you have new ideas for how to celebrate during these quarantine times, we would love to hear about it. firstname.lastname@example.org
-Adorn Team Member