This past weekend we celebrated my husband’s birthday. It was a different kind of birthday this year, as different as anything else it seems right now. We aren’t able to celebrate in the ways we usually do or with all of the people we normally would.
It can be hard to imagine how to celebrate when things are so hard and different. But, while we might not be able to do what we normally do, I think we need to find ways to celebrate. They may not be extravagant or familiar but celebrating helps us feel grateful, brings us joy, and helps us focus on the now instead of worrying about the future. It’s also still important to celebrate the milestones in our life, it reminds us we are still living despite what’s going on in the world.
So, even though it was different than previous years, it was a really beautiful day. We slept in, had brunch, opened presents, played board games, and ended the night with a great dinner (Steak Frites), cheese cake, and a movie night at home.
In preparation for his birthday, I’ve been thinking a lot about the many celebrations we will have this year that will be different than in previous years. I’ve been trying to come up with creative ideas to keep a sense of celebration for each occasion but, that can be done from home or in an otherwise pandemic friendly way. And of course, I wanted to share my thoughts with you who are surely also having to try to celebrate in these strange times.
Here are 10 at-home celebration ideas I came across:
- DIY Paint Night At-home: There are a lot of simple painting tutorials on Youtube. Choose a video for a painting you both like, order some paints, brushes, and some canvases. Voila painting class at-home! (You can get affordable supplies from the dollar store or Walmart).
- At-home Pottery Painting: There are a lot of pottery painting businesses out there and like many local businesses they’re struggling right now. Many of these businesses are offering at-home delivery and pick-up. Not only do you have fun painting together but you can make something you will use everyday (like a coffee cup or plate) that can remind you of your special day for years to come!
- Wine or Beer Tasting at Home: When you are at your grocery store or liquor store next try picking up a few craft beers or a couple of those small sized wine bottles that you haven’t tried before. You can have you’re very own wine or beer tasting at home, pair it with a fun dinner and you’ve got a great night-in!
- At-home cooking class: There are so many cooking videos available online. Pick one out, get your ingredients, and follow along for a fun night trying something new!
- Games Night-In: Get out your favourite board games, puzzles, and card games, grab your favourite pub snacks and have a game night-in! You can even find a fireplace video online (there’s one of Netflix too) to turn your TV into a warm fireplace just like at your favourite tavern!
- Movie Theater at-home: Pick-up your favourite movie theater snacks on your next grocery shop. Our favourites are popcorn, Twizzlers, and Maltesers. Pick out a movie you’d like to watch together, something new or maybe an old favourite, dim the lights and get comfy. Making sure to get all of the movie theater favourites makes a regular at-home movie night feel more special and indulgent.
- Restaurant At-home: Get out the take-out menus and order in from your favourite restaurant! Many local restaurants are struggling right now and would love your business. You can make it extra special by lighting some candles, setting the table with your nicest linens, dimming the lights, and adding some nice background music.
- Online gift giving & homemade cards: With online shopping and delivery you can still get that special someone a gift for their celebration. And if buying a gift isn’t available to you right now, try making a homemade card. Heartfelt words are just as important as gifts, and in fact the words and time it took to make the card (or letter) can mean a lot more to your special someone. My husband keeps a folder of all of the cards I’ve made for him over the years and they hold so many special sentiments.
- At-home Spa Retreat: Light some candles, do an at-home meditation or yoga class, use a face mask, diffuse some essential oils, hop in a bubble bath, or offer your loved one a massage. Or, do them all in a day for an at-home spa day retreat!
- Online video party: Because of technology we are still able to share our special celebrations together even if we can’t get together in person. Organize a Skype, Facebook, or Google call with your friends and family. You can even eat together, sing Happy Birthday, or just chat. It will help bring those important people together to share in whatever it is you are celebrating.
One thing that I think is actually a positive impact of COVID-19 on our celebrations is that we are forced to be intentional. If we want to have a celebration, we have to work harder, plan, and be more present than we could when we could just go out, travel, or throw a party with the people we care about. It also reminds us it’s not about spending money or doing fancy things, it’s about being present with one another in these special moments.
It would have been lovely to see friends and family and it would have been nice to go do something cool, but regardless, it was a special day spent together commemorating another year in this life and getting excited for the year ahead.
I hope you are able to find ways to celebrate the special moments right now among the chaos and unpredictability, and I hope these ideas help you in doing that.