Who could have ever even imagined graduations would be canceled, all children would be e-learners, churches, parks and Disney would all be closed? I guess it’s true what they say, reality is stranger than fiction! I mean is Dean Koontz or Steven King writing our new reality? While we deal with all this unimaginable reality, life still goes on. The world has not stopped AND during these difficult times, we must still find the joy and laughter and still celebrate our important moments. No matter how different they are from our old normal. I have seen so many people asking on Facebook how are you celebrating your special day? Here are four ways to help you celebrate during COVID-19.
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1. A Parade in Your Honor!
Who doesn’t love a good parade? Around here, during our annual festival, people actually have their blankets and chairs set up the night before the parade to guarantee they have a great spot as the fire trucks, bands and clowns pass by throwing candy at their feet! So, what could be even better? A parade to honor YOU! (or your loved one) I have seen many posts/videos of birthday surprise parades happening to help people celebrate their special day. This is also great for anniversaries and graduations.
This can be very easy to plan. Here are the steps.
1. Select a date and time
2. Email, text, set up a Facebook event and share the information asking friends and family to drive by, honk, wave, shout a greeting to whomever your are celebrating. They can even get creative and hang signs out of the car windows.
3. Explain where the starting line is to start the parade and ask a specific person to lead the parade. All other cars can line up behind this car. (Explain the make, model and color of the leading car in the invite so people know who to look for to line up behind.) Be very specific about what time the parade will start so that everyone is on time and can join the parade of cars.
4. Most important – Make sure the guest of honor is outside as their parade drives by!
If you feel comfortable you can set up a cake table outside on your driveway and parade guests can park and get out of their car to take cupcakes and say hello to the guest of honor from a safe distance. If people have brought gifts, they can also leave their gifts at the table for you to collect later.
Many balloon services are still coming to people’s houses to set up balloon displays. You can call your local party supply store or search for balloon services near your town and see what they provide.
Make it fun and special for your loved one. No matter what, this is going to be a celebration he/she will remember forever!
2. Celebrate Birthdays, Brides and Babies with Drive Thru Parties During COVID-19
Drive Thru parties are not a new concept, for some. My first drive thru party was twenty years ago. My aunt and uncle live in North Carolina and they were expecting their first child. There were many people from their town and church invited to this shower along with many family and friends from Northern states. Many of the friends from their town just drove up their driveway, gave them a gift, said their congratulations and got back into their car and left. This floored us, we had never experienced a party like that before. However, my aunt reassured us that that was how many of the showers took place down there in her area.
Children’s Birthday Drive Thru Party
Younger children will have a harder time understanding why they cannot have a birthday party. So, this is a great way to bring the party to them without having interactions with others. You can set up a large, themed display in the front yard. (Amazon sells all sorts of party supplies) For example, if your son loves dinosaurs, you could order a dinosaur party kit and set it up in the front yard for all guests to enjoy.
You could also set up a table with goodie bags for each guest to take as they stop by, and an individually wrapped cupcake.
Set up a camera on a tripod or have your cell phone in hand and when a party guest arrives, you can have your child stand closer to you and the guest stand by the display so you have a photo of the guest of honor with each guest. Or make a sign that asks the party guest to stand on an X you tape to the ground so that you can set up the picture properly.
Also, make a sign that states please wait in your car until the party guest in front of you has already left.
Baby or Bridal Shower Drive Thru Party
Let’s face it, so many women have dreamed of their wedding or first child since they were little girls. They could never have imagined their wedding would be delayed because of a virus nor, could any woman have imagined they would be going to ultra sounds alone because significant others couldn’t also be in a doctor’s office with them.
A friend of mine had been planning to come to town for her friend’s baby shower at the end of March. Her friend had been trying to get pregnant for years. After many difficulties and an emotional roller coaster, she finally got pregnant. WOOHOO!!! BUT just as she was so excited to cerebrate with everyone, cancellation after cancellation started to pour in mid-March. She was so devastated. At that point, people were already not going to celebrate her special day because of the COVID-19 scare. Then, everything stopped and she couldn’t even have a shower with people who were local. She was heart broken. Understandably so.
This drive thru party idea could be used for bridal and baby showers too. As the host, set up a beautiful front yard. (Again you can order party supplies online Bridal Shower decor and Baby Shower decor). I imagine some white chairs, balloons and flowers. Maybe a florist in your area is still running a delivery business and you could order a couple plants or floral arrangements. Set these on either side of the chairs. The bride and groom- to-be or the parents-to-be then sit outside as their family and friends drive by and wish them well. There could be a card drop box next to the road for people to drop off any well wishes or a gift table that they could drive by and place the gift on the table. They could take selfies from the car and use a hashtag when posting to social media.
3. Raise a Glass to Celebrating During COVID-19
Anniversaries and proposals will still occur during COVID-19. So, how do you celebrate these special moments? Enjoy an amazingly romantic night at your home.
My husband and I have been doing A LOT of cooking at home. We are pretty impressed that in the last seven weeks we have only brought food in from a restaurant three times! And those times we do bring in food, we savor it more than we ever had in the past. It makes it a special night. So, if you are looking for a special way to spend a romantic night, consider having someone else prepare your meal. (Less dish-washing time too!) I don’t know about you, but I receive numerous emails every day about restaurant specials. These restaurants WANT to prepare food for you! LET THEM!! Select your favorite and make a call to place your order. there you go, dinner is done. Now, you turn on some soft romantic music, light a couple candles or dim the lights and have yourself a special dinner.
Also, make it special by taking the time to dress up as though you are going out for the evening.
Once dinner is done, now what? Relax and talk, get your fireplace going (indoor or out) Just enjoy the evening together.
Graduation and Other Special Celebrations to Toast During COVID-19
I have attended two virtual graduations so far this year. While this is not how we expected to celebrate such a big accomplishment in our loved ones lives, we are making the most of it!
You can also find a safe way to have an in person celebration. Select a large park to have everyone gather. Before they arrive, mark spaces out where they can stand a safe distance from one another. This can be with blankets or flags or other markings. Then set up tables so they can easily pick up their own disposable champagne flute. Fill the glasses before they arrive with sparkling grape juice. Once guests arrive you can make a special toast in honor of the graduate or guest of honor. The guests can mingle from a safe distance.
4. Zoom, Facebook and Face time
I know, I know, you might be zoomed out by now. But this is a great way to celebrate a special moment in someone’s life. Either this or Face time with them and just share a conversation, tell them you love them or wish them well.
Unfortunately, soon after the stay at home order was put in place, my friend’s grandmother passed away (non COVID) and she was really wanting to be with family to share memories. She set up a Facebook group so they could share pictures and stories, but she also arranged a zoom call and was able to have a priest join in the call and say some prayers. You can find ways to celebrate every moment in your life in the tough ones during these difficult time.
COVID-19 Won’t Keep us from Celebrating!
We can’t let COVID-19 stop us from celebrating. More than ever, we need to celebrate and enjoy our loved ones and be in the moment for the good times. I encourage you to find a creative way to bring joy to someone’s life while they are celebrating a moment during these times. I’d love to hear how you celebrate. Please comment below and tell us what you are doing to bring joy to others and yourself.
Stay safe, friends.
Know someone who is celebrating a big moment? Please share this post with them or pin to your Pinterest board for your next celebration during COVID-19