When I asked Penn for a small birthday celebration with the kids weeks before social distancing, I never quite imagined this. I certainly had a nice day. I got to relax with my family and connect with loved ones on FaceTime without feeling rushed. But I would be lying if I said that it didn’t feel a little off. Now we are headed into what would have been our spring break vacation followed by our wedding anniversary, and we are spending it at home. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for our health and I will gladly reschedule celebrations to keep people safe.
I do believe, however, that it’s important to make those around us feel special. Especially given this period of isolation, our friends and family could be feeling lonelier than ever. Plus the new found extra time on our hands could be put to creative good use! Below are 5 fun ways to help celebrate while adhering to social distancing.
#1 Recreating Special Places
This past weekend our kids surprised us with a date night. We were told to dress up and enjoy an adult beverage on the front porch. Neither Penn or I were allowed in the kitchen. They not only cooked us dinner, they created their own restaurant with menus and everything. (That reminds me that I need to give them 5-stars on Yelp. The Oreo nachos were divine.) Whether it’s a stroll down memory lane or pretending to have an outing like our dinner al fresco, breaking life up with something out of the norm makes everyone smile.
#2 Car Parades
There have been so many cute posts on social media of teachers driving through neighborhoods to see their students in parade fashion. They play music, decorate their cars, and wave out of windows to excited kids on driveways. But you shouldn’t wait for a car parade to come to you – organize one of your own! Let your kids decorate your car, give them some pom-poms to shake out the window, and drive around to wave at your neighbors! Bonus points if you can coordinate a few cars to spread the goodwill with you. I guarantee you’ll have a blast.
#3 Theme Parties
Bring a little fun to your dinner table or your next Google Hangout with a fun theme night! Pick a theme to center around (Favorite TV show, 80s, Superheroes) and have everyone dress accordingly. Make sure your food, music, games, and/or drinks match the theme too. If you are doing a theme party on a video hangout, have everyone guess each person’s character and play trivia or games that coordinate. The prize for the best dressed gets a hug from you when all this is over.
#4 Long-Distance Games
Sometimes there isn’t much to discuss over video chat. Since we are all doing pretty much the same thing, you may run out of stuff to discuss after analyzing Tiger King for the 73rd time. If you find yourself in this rut, suggest playing a game virtually! There are lots of games that work to play while social distancing. You can download an app like Houseparty which has games built in, or you can go old school. If someone has Scattergories, they can send a photo of the category cards and let everyone play along. Pictionary using a random word generator is also something you can play on your next family video call.
#5 Love Letters
One of the things that was really nice about spending my birthday social distancing was hearing from so many people that I love! If there is someone celebrating a milestone at your house soon, see if you can coordinate video messages, cards, or even sidewalk chalk drawings to help them feel special. Also check your calendar for any upcoming birthdays, anniversaries, or graduations where you can send a nice note or message from your house.
We are all in this together! What creative ways have you been helping celebrate while social distancing?