There’s no doubt about it: things are a little crazy right now. But in the midst of the fear and anxiety over COVID-19, celebrations are all the more important.
In my family we have five birthdays in the next few weeks. Since we all live in different parts of the world, we don’t usually get together. But over time, we’ve learned a few clever tricks to make birthdays special even when we’re miles apart. So if you or your kids have a birthday in the next couple of weeks or months, here are three ways to “lock down” your birthday celebration and have some safe, friendly fun in the midst of a pandemic.
- Virtual Baking Competition
Do you love baking shows? My family does. And you can do your very own family bake-off using your favourite social media tools. This year, the cousins in our family are getting together to do a Sugar Rush style competition virtually. We’ve chosen one day to bake a spring-themed cake or dessert—you can choose whatever sparks joy for you! Once your confections are done, connect with your family and show off your creations. (You can even get Grandma and Grandpa to judge!)
- Throw a Virtual Party
You can’t catch COVID-19 over the Internet, thank goodness! Plan a time with your friends, create a Zoom link (free for up to 100 connections) and invite your friends and family and come together for a virtual party.
Add in an online quiz where everyone uses their smart phone to answer questions—a fun and friendly competition! There are lots of choices online—my favourite is Kahoot. Just set up the quiz ahead of time and everyone can use their smart phone to answer in real time. It’s a great way to get to know the honoured guest.
If your kids are missing their school friends, you can also use Zoom to help them get together. Ask the class parent to send the link to the class so that everyone can come online and sing happy birthday to your child. (You’ll also be giving all those kids’ parents a few seconds of break.)
One bonus? There’s no limit to the guest list when it’s virtual!
- Donate to Charity
Now more than ever our small Canadian charities will need our support. They are often on the front lines helping people access food and essential services. Set up a Wish & Give link and ask your friends to donate in lieu of individual gifts. Your local food bank will thank you!
You can contribute the cost of dinner or bottle of wine to the charity of your choice and use your birthday to spread a little compassion during a crisis. I promise you’ll feel great about yourself. Win-win!