How to Celebrate Loved Ones When You Can’t Visit
Extended social distancing has been hard on us all, and it’s particularly difficult when missing major life celebrations. But in today’s highly connected world, staying at home doesn’t mean you have to be completely isolated. Celebrating birthdays, graduations, and family get-togethers can easily be done from the comfort and safety of your home with a little creativity and cooperation. Let’s explore some virtual celebration ideas that will help ease the grief of missing out on the parties and celebrations we thought we’d all be enjoying this year.
Virtual Birthday CelebrationDon’t let the birthday celebrations fall to the wayside because of social distancing. Putting on a virtual birthday celebration might not be as great as an actual party, but there are still plenty of ways to enjoy it. You may have seen some of the heartwarming videos of cars lining the streets to celebrate birthdays while social distancing. This is just one example of the positivity sprouting from an unprecedented time like this. And it’s one of the many creative ways to celebrate birthdays long-distance. Here are a few more:
- Send virtual birthday cards – they’re prolific, interactive and fun.
- Celebrate birthdays with all your friends and family members over video calls.
- Try to keep the same traditions you love.
- Send cupcakes and candles to friends and relatives so everyone can share in the celebration and make a wish for the coming year.
- Sing “Happy Birthday” over video or create your own video using your smartphone. Just ask friends and family to send their own short birthday-wishes video to you. Quickly compile them all with an easy-to-use app like Quik or iMovie.
- Play virtual games together with new, exciting apps such as Houseparty and Jackbox. They’ve become the most popular game apps. They’re quick to learn and loads of fun to play!
Graduation CelebrationsIt’s the time of year when high school and college seniors are supposed to be walking in graduation ceremonies. If you have grandchildren graduating, you know this isn’t how they expected their accomplishment to be celebrated. But there are still ways you can celebrate this big moment in time. Many schools are conducting virtual graduation ceremonies and inviting friends and families to watch. Since this is the next-best opportunity to attend the ceremony in person, make the most of it. Invite your whole family to videoconference with each other as you watch online and make it an event.
- Dress as if you were there in person.
- Decorate your home with graduation party flair.
- Send congratulation cards and gifts virtually or have something delivered that day.
- Help make the graduate feel supported – odds are they’ll need a little cheer during this time. Help them remember that this is the beginning of a new chapter.
Summer EventsFor many people, summertime means family reunions, cookouts and vacations. While we can’t celebrate these events the way we normally do, don’t let social distancing stop you and your family members from connecting. With a little creativity, you can still enjoy the fun of family get-togethers from home. A terrific way to get everyone together is by inviting friends and family to a virtual video vacation:
- Have everyone decorate their space in a luau or beach-theme – hang fake palm fronds on your walls, send everyone a flower lei to wear, put up some unlit tiki torches, the possibilities are endless.
- Dress in your favorite beachwear and invite others to do the same.
- Have everyone make their own cookout-style meal at home so you can all get a taste of summer together.
- Send out a signature drink recipe like a Mai Tai for everyone to make on their own and sip together.
HolidaysThis year, holidays will be different than normal. And that’s okay. Accepting the things you can’t change is the first step in allowing yourself and your family to enjoy events, big and small, with friends and family in a virtual world. It’s important to keep traditions alive despite long-distance celebrations. If you’re usually the lead organizer of family holidays, there’s good news – you can still take charge of planning a virtual holiday party for yourself and your loved ones. It may not be ideal, but these helpful tips should lend some joy to your virtual holiday gatherings.
- Share a favorite holiday recipe with your family that everyone can cook independently and enjoy together.
- Send virtual holiday cards to friends and family – there are many options available online.
- Play your favorite holiday party games over video chat.