Times are weird right now. Some states (and countries) are getting back to normal. Others still are under strict or recommended self-quarantine and physically distanced regulations. I prefer to err on the side of caution and being extra safe (especially here in Southern CA right now), and, with that being said, a lot of summer celebrations are going to continue to look different.
But, instead of only mourning the negatives of events and occasions being missed out on, it is so important right now to also bring a bit of lightness and optimism where we can.
I believe in celebrating both big and small occasions, and now, more than ever, is the time to celebrate the little things in the biggest and most fun ways possible.
If you haven’t already, during this time at home, start some weekly traditions to give more structure and fun to your week. Movie Mondays! Pizza Fridays! Ice Cream Sundae Sundays! And don’t forget about those Half Birthdays!
So, this next series of blog posts will outline some great ideas on how to safely celebrate all the many occasions of your family & friends this summer!
In addition to obviously the guest of honor, first, decide who all will be involved in the celebration.
If the party is for someone in your home, then most of the celebration will center around decorations, food, and activities at your house, for your immediate family (and whoever else you feel safe inviting over)
If the party is for someone else, then your focus will be on who else you are involving in the celebration (virtually, or distanced), and items to be mailed to, or dropped off at, the recipient’s home.
Either way, you can also plan some addition fun ways to include others, like a drive-by parade, party favors, video call, or compiled well-wishes.
For a Birthday celebration in your own home, consider multiple little celebrations throughout the day, or the week. Maybe you hang streamers in their doorway, or fill their room with balloons that they will wake up to. Start the morning with their favorite breakfast – pick up doughnuts or make pancakes.
Decorate the dining table like you would if you were hosting a bigger party – buy a table cloth, plates, napkins, etc. – lots of themed party décor!
For the main celebration, you can consider rental services that will make the day feel like a party! Whether that is a bounce house (the kind with a water slide are also super fun!), having a food truck park at your house, an ice cream truck drive through the neighborhood, or just order in a favorite special dinner!
You can plan a scavenger hunt, take a scenic drive – lots of ways to spend the day doing something fun and special.
For a friend or family member’s Birthday who you won’t be seeing in person, you can have almost anything mailed or delivered these days!
Put together a big box of goodies (Use the USPS flat rate shipping boxes!) to mail – include some party décor such as festive paper plates or napkins, confetti, a funny Birthday party hat, glasses, or shirt. Add in some of their favorite things as the actual birthday gift – clothing, food, toys, and more. If you know a favorite takeout or dessert place of theirs that is local for them, and the restaurant is able to accommodate, include a gift card! Top off the box of goodies with a handwritten note. You can decorate the outside of the box, too! As long as the delivery address is still legible, and you leave room for the postage to be adhered.
Beyond packing up your own gift, think of something fun you could have delivered!
Besides flowers, or an Edible fruit Arrangement, you can find a local bakery to deliver a cake or pastries. There are also a lot of specialty vendors who deliver bouquets of balloons or other festive items!
You can also change your address on Door Dash or Postmates to order food or dessert for someone else! I just always add in the notes, and message the driver, that the order is a gift (If they need to know the recipient won’t be expecting them).
You can send lunch, cupcakes, or anything else this way! If the place does not offer delivery directly.
Lots of ways to make someone feel special, even if you are unable to visit in person right now.
For any Birthday celebration, a fun idea is to compile Birthday wishes from all their family and friends. You can do this in writing via email, or in video form. For written, print out each greeting on some fun paper, and compile them all in a big envelope, bound like a book, or taped to a large piece of paper – making a giant card.
For video, there are a few apps that allow you to combine video clips into one movie. You can also just save them all in a computer folder, and select to play the entire folder “as a slideshow” if that is an option on your computer or phone.
It probably goes without saying at this point, that a group video call, like using Zoom, is also an option. You can send a group text, email, or even invitations (printed or digital) with the Zoom meeting ID number, plus the Date and Time.
Another popular option right now is the car parade, or drive-by party! This is such a fun way to get to see all your local family, friends, and neighbors without inviting everyone into your home or in other close proximity.
You can advertise this request in the same ways you would a Zoom meeting – group text, email, or printed or digital invitation.
Friends can decorate their cars, make signs, and honk and cheer as they drive by your house. Guests can also hand off a birthday gift, balloons, or other treats to the Birthday guest of honor.
In response to that, as a thank you, I love the idea of providing something for all of those people kind enough to join in the parade! Just because it is a different type of party, doesn’t mean you have to cancel the party favors! Especially if friends are bringing gifts or other treats for you.
You can hand out anything you like as party favors – just make sure they are individually packaged. A passenger can hop out and grab them, or you can pass them through the car window.
To take it one step further, you can consider hiring a food truck to park at your house – traditional ice cream truck, shave ice, cotton candy…! Even savory food like pizza or tacos could work, depending on how long it takes the vendor to make. (Keeping in mind whatever you feel is safe right now in your own area)
Guests can park their cars, jump out, and grab some food or a treat to go! There are so many local specialties and small vendors you can hire for parties!
I hope this gives you some fun ideas for your next Birthday celebration!
If you would like me to help you come up with some specific ideas for your theme and location, I’d love to! I am actually running a special right now (a Quarantine Party Special, if you will, ha!) since party planning looks a bit different these days. This would include a virtual consultation, plus a complete and organized list of exactly what to buy, what to do, and how to set everything up!