Have a special day coming up?
Don’t let social distancing rain on your parade! Seriously – you deserve a party. If you are celebrating a birthday during this COVID-19 era, take some time to plan a memorable party. Whether you invite all of your cousins to the Zoom room or just host a small Skype session to say Happy Birthday, it’s important to show the love this year. Don’t know how to get started? No worries. We’ve got you covered.
Before the party, there are a few things you’ve got to get in order. Start by making a few decisions about the theme, the number of participants, and the event’s day and time. The most logical first step is to choose a streaming platform. Skype, Zoom, Teams, etc. all have different benefits, so choose the one that works best for you! After you’ve chosen a streaming platform, collect your friends and family’s email addresses. Then, finalize a day and time for your big event!
The next item may take a bit of time, but it’ll all be worth it — the invitations! Many websites allow you to create fun, easy digital invitations so don’t settle for anything less! Finalize your day and time, but remember to take into consideration your family members on the other side of the United States!
Pro tip: if this is a birthday party for a child, or for a loved one, create a gift registry so they can receive love and affection from miles away! Feel uncomfortable asking people to gift in this unprecedented time? Don’t – your family and friends are willing to throw together a few dollars in order to celebrate you! After all, a birthday only happens once a year, right?
Once you’ve created the invites, selected a day and time, and sent out the e-vites, start planning your party! You may think it’s silly, but purchase party decorations and supplies at your local party store and decorate! Nothing beats a plain background (or fake virtual background) like real streamers and a banner that reads, “Happy Birthday, Allison!”
Want to make the event extra fun for your guests? Plan a virtual party game! The event is for children? Categories, Simon Says, or Charades works perfectly! It doesn’t have to be intricate to be exciting. Is the party for adults? Play bartender or host a quick game of Pictionary or trivia! Find a game that works well with or without teams to make the event extra fun!
Once the big day arrives, it’s time to shine! Wing it or planning a schedule is completely up to you, but you should have a broad idea of what’s supposed to happen. This helps you stay on track, and will also allow guests to enjoy themselves for a brief hour and then get back to their regularly scheduled activities.
A few minutes before the party gets started, turn on your camera and face it toward a fun backdrop. Create or print a sign that says “Party starts at…” to help guests know what time to expect the festivities. Start the party by thanking everyone for showing up to the Zoom room. If your crowd is large or you have a “we need to know what’s going on” type of group, explain the night’s activities. Giving them an overview (not a full play-by-play) will help ease anxiety on camera, and will also allow guests to prepare for the activities if needed.
If you have a large crowd, it may benefit you to have everyone introduce themselves. Or get started with the party games! Jump right in and start the festivities with an activity will keep everyone motivated and upbeat for the cake and song portion. After the activity, plan a 30-second screenshot for the digital scrapbook and move on to the birthday song and cake! (It may be useful to include a memo on the invitations that everyone should plan to have a small cake or cupcake at their own house to indulge in the deliciousness.)
After the game, the photo, and the song and cake, it’s time for presents! This is completely optional, but it could be an easy and fun way to thank everyone for buying items for the birthday person! If you want to skip presents, just mention a simple “thank you everyone who graciously bought presents for…”
After this – the party is pretty much over! Thank everyone for coming and call it a day! Eat the remaining cake with your housemates! Relax, pay yourself on the back, then enjoy a nice seltzer!
After you’ve come down from the high of the party (even if it’s a few days later), tidy up the house and do some last-minute tasks. Firstly, remove the decorations from the party. You want those to stay intact for the next go-around anyways. Then, hop on your computer and send out the group photo! Include another “thank you” to the guests and an extra word of gratitude to those people who gave a gift.
After that, you can wash your hands and call it a day! The part is over (and hopefully it was a success!). Hug the birthday person tight and relax because the festivities are over. Give yourself a high five!
Think all of those tasks are doable? Great on you – you’re probably a pretty good party planner outside of quarantine as a well! Think all of this sounds like pulling teeth? Join the club. Just do what you can and the birthday person will, undoubtedly, be gracious. There’s only so much we can do in this day and age, and it’s important we remember that these are unprecedented times.
This year, things are different. Don’t let a birthday pass uncelebrated because of quarantine mandates. This year, go the extra mile for your loved one’s birthday.
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Have an exciting birthday story to tell? Use #ShowTheLove on social media to join the conversation.