Spending most of your time at home away from others can feel strange. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop having the celebrations that make life joyous and fulfilling.
Many of our most cherished traditions have persevered through time. They have adapted and taken on new life amid difficulties. Today, with added stress and social distancing, we’re once again adapting our celebrations to the times.
We’re finding new ways to celebrate one another and forging innovative connections between loved ones (and even strangers).
Unique Graduation Celebrations
Caps, gowns, smiles and a webcam. In-person graduation ceremonies may not be happening this year, but you can still celebrate academic achievements with a little ingenuity. Get a group of classmates to join a video call at the same time. Scheduled student speakers can still give speeches. Someone can read graduates’ names as those students walk. It may take some coordination, but it’s doable.
You could even create your own graduation setup at home. Create a stage, put on a cap and gown (or improvise with whatever you have at home) and go through the whole ceremony.
School Prom (at Home)
Schools are closed to students, which means proms across the country are canceled. Celebrating this springtime teenage tradition may not be possible at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share in some music and fun.
You can host a virtual party, designating one classmate as the DJ or divide up the duties so each person can play his or her favorite song in turn.
Of course, part of prom fun is the fancy attire — tuxedoes, ties, dresses — so put on some spiffy clothes while you celebrate. And if you want to take pictures with friends or your date, you can drive over to their houses and take photos through windows.
New Birthday Traditions
Kids, adults, pets — we all love birthday parties. But now that we can’t physically gather to celebrate, birthdays are looking a little different.
Many people are going the parade route, with would-be party attendees driving by the birthday celebrator’s house displaying signs, dropping off presents, honking horns and showing support. If it’s your party, you can sit outside to enjoy, or you can sit in the window and show your appreciation.
For birthdays of older or immunocompromised people, revelers can gather outside windows with balloons, decorations and cards. For kids’ birthdays, parents can join a video conference call and, with some advance planning, do a shared craft with child attendees.
And there’s no reason we can’t still have cake, right? Whether you’re purchasing one, making it for yourself or a family member or friend is treating you to some sweets, you can still celebrate with something tasty.
Welcoming New Life from Afar
Getting together to spoil an expectant mother is one of the joys of life. Games, gifts, conversation — these hallmarks of baby showers are all still doable; they just may need a few tweaks.
Try mailing gifts to the mother-to-be and then setting up a video conference during which attendees can watch her open them. Play some games (baby shower BINGO cards can be emailed and printed, for instance) and have each person decorate her video background a bit to make the event more festive.
And when the baby does arrive, consider showering the family with gifts, meals, balloons and banners from outside a window or by leaving items outside.
Hosting Virtual Parties
While a great location, a coordinating color theme and fun decorations are good elements of a party, it’s really the guests who make a soiree truly meaningful.
So pare back the environmental factors and focus on the friends and family. Set up a video call with party guests and treat it like you would any party. Send invitations (online invites are an option), start at a certain time and set the mood with music.
Making Anniversaries Memorable
Celebrating a marital milestone can still be a special occasion, even if a candlelit dinner at your favorite restaurant isn’t a possibility this year.
Try planning a date night in, doing your best to recreate the atmosphere of your favorite bistro. Doing something different from your normal routine can help designate the day as something special.
If you were planning a bigger celebration with family and friends, you and your guests can get creative. From drive-by parades to socially distanced speeches (online or from outside your home), you can bask in all the love and affection you’d typically get while staying safely apart.
Weddings While Socially Distant
With large gatherings canceled, it can be a tough loss for those who were planning to celebrate their nuptials. But love finds a way, and people are finding new and innovative ways to continue saying “I do”. You can:
- Hold your ceremony online, with guests gathering virtually
- Include immunocompromised relatives in pictures by visiting their homes and photographing yourselves in front of their windows
- Invite guests to a “drive-by reception,” forming a parade, honking horns and cheering from your car
And if the ball was already rolling for your wedding and you’ve already purchased or planned to purchase decorations or flowers, consider donating them to communities that may need cheering up.
Keeping You Safe and Helping You Stay Well
For more tips on staying healthy and to learn how we can support your family, visit our website.