Since the lockdown went into effect, there are many people who have been separated by either travel restrictions or health concerns from being together. And I am not talking about the online joke that the reason many men want lockdown lifted is so they can see their mistresses!
What I am talking about the tens of thousands who have had to move out to help prevent spreading COVID-19 to their families, and families up and down the country who have not been able to get together to celebrate special occasions. However, I think the ideas below can apply at any time, so even after we crack this crisis, keep this list at hand and keep making those happy memories – that will give you even more reasons to celebrate!
So here are my top four ideas today on how to celebrate special occasions when you can’t be there.
Keeping The Romance Alive
I feel that those who have been unable to get back home at all have been especially hard hit. Romance can wither between snatched calls and daily distractions which dull memories of the joy of the quality time they could share before lockdown. Celebrating anniversaries of first dates, memorable events and holidays, as well as anniversaries is a great way to keep the connection growing and stoking the passion, even if you can’t physcially give a hug.
When I spoke with Romance Flowers about couples that are keeping the romance alive, they said that even long married couples had taken advantage of their affordable same day flower services to deliver their popular Crush On You and One In A Million bouquets to send a much needed message. I think that this is more than a token gesture. To me, it invokes the memory of those special times, particularly when the note lets them know that they are missing them.
If it is your wedding anniversary, it could be an idea to utilise flowers similar to those from your own wedding day, too.
Perhaps even shorter term romances can grow with a simple reminder that she or he is the best girlfriend / boyfriend, complete with another little item that acts as a long lasting reminder. Custom wall prints, personalised poem cards, mugs or even a carefully selected delivery of wine/bottled cocktails!
Celebrating Birthdays During Lockdown
Birthdays have been really hit by the pandemic, mine included which is coming up in a week or so! Parents up and down the country have found inventive ways to make that special day happen, when they’ve had children or younger ones locked in the door. That is pretty hard to do when it is still almost impossible to even get flour to make a cake and Amazon deliveries can be hit and miss!
It’s possibly even harder to deal with than most adult birthdays, simply because the kids have not had so many birthdays and they get excited about them more.
Some options include organising a virtual Facetime, What’s App or Zoom type party with as many friends who can attend, and send round in advance party hats, blowers and poppers (if the kids are old enough, along with a birthday cupcake or two to enjoy during the gathering.) Most kids have a tablet or access online these days, so taking the time to make a new kind of fun and make new memories at the same time is a good way to put it to use.
If you can be with your family and you have a garden, it’s a nice idea to have a paddling pool set up if the weather is nice, or your own homemade afternoon tea session with the children. It’s about making the best of what you can do at home (luckily the weather has been keeping up!).
As for those who are in the most at risk categories in any age group, remember to focus on the fun, and recalling good memories as well as celebrating already making it through some of the most difficult times of their lives. Tempting though it may be, resist the urge to relax social distancing until there is an effective vaccine in place.
Celebrating Graduation And Other Important Milestones In New Ways
Although many students are affected by COVID-19, there will be some who will be graduating none the less, with or without an official graduation ceremony. Many others will achieve important milestones, from learning a new skill to achieving fitness goals.
Why not take a leaf out of the suggestions above and perhaps organise your own Facetime, What’s App or Zoom style graduation/celebration ceremony, complete with sharing a party music playlist and lots of family/friends chat at the same time? Any excuse for a party is welcomed to help stop the days blurring from one to the next.
The giving of graduation gifts may also be on hold until they can be enjoyed in full, so take the time to find one which is really desired. There are retailers on Etsy still delivering personalised prints, cards and other froms of congratulations gifts, you might just experience delays.
If you’re living with someone who is graduating, and you’re not totally seperate, why not have a go at doing a mock up graduation photoshoot? Roll up some paper and get a nice lockdown graduation photo, following by cracking open a bottle of champagne.
Just Because Special Celebrations
Last but not least, finding ways to enjoy making memories together whilst separated is something which can be done any day, and virtually every day. Why not make a date to watch the same movie or tv show at the same time and connect on What’s App so you can share the experience together?
Taking that on board, why not try to get together to bake something from scratch in tandem. There are many recipes which can be easy enough for even the youngest (and the worst cooks) to enjoy attempting to make. For those old enough to drink while cooking, enjoy the conversation, wherever it leads. This is so much more than simply snapping a picture of restaurant food and posting on Instagram but do make sure your post your successes and failures, if that is what you want to do.
Even if we have to be miles apart on any particular special occasion, there is no reason to not celebrate it – even during lockdown. Even if everyone else forgets, you can go ahead and celebrate it on your own anyway! Occasions shouldn’t be put on hold, it’s just about learning a new way of celebrating.
If it’s your birthday or occasion and you’re away from loved ones, use this time to be selfish. Watch your favourite boxsets, eat your favourite food and sip your best wine. You gotta make of it the best you can…