Adapting to our new normal is challenging enough without wondering how we can make our loved ones feel special on their birthdays. Fortunately (not really though), my family celebrated my little brother’s 11th birthday a week after California issued its stay-at-home order. If you want to find out how to top a canceled birthday trip to Universal Studios by celebrating at home, read on!
Not on a baking binge? You can have a cake delivered to your home
My brother has quite the developed palate for an 11-year-old, so he requested a caramel pretzel chocolate cake. As delicious as it sounded, my mom didn’t feel like going through the trouble of making caramel. Instead, she found his cake request on the website for Milk Bar, which delivers treats right to your door. Preferably, you should try to support local businesses during this time, as many bakeries are offering delivery services now for all of your celebration needs.
Decorations are a must
To set the mood for a celebration, spicing up your home environment is a must. Decorations can be ordered online and delivered to your door, or you and your family can make them together as a fun bonding activity. I recommend making goofy hats for everyone and a sign with written messages to the person who is celebrating their birthday. You can also print out embarrassing pictures of that special person to hang up around the house! My brother is obsessed with Minecraft, so it was my mom’s duty to make our house a Minecraft lair. Eating cake off of green and brown grass blocks truly set the mood right to celebrate my brother and his love of gaming.
Invite your friends and family! (virtually)
You can still be surrounded by all of the people you love on your special day; just make sure to keep the distance between y’all. Don’t be afraid to video call your friends and family and have them sing “Happy Birthday”! Put your phone in its own chair to have the ultimate simulation of your loved ones’ presence in the room. Here’s an exclusive tip: Make sure to mail them a slice of cake beforehand so they don’t feel left out.
So, what are we going to do? Sit around all day?
Of course not! There’s plenty of ways to have fun and celebrate a birthday from the comfort of your home. Y’all can play online board games with friends and family, host a virtual Chopped competition to see who’s the chef of your group, have a makeshift fashion show with a theme of your choice or go on a family bike ride. You all can even recreate famous photographs, draw portraits of each other, play “the floor is lava” game, build a fort and watch your favorite movies in it or solve a 1,000-piece puzzle. (Beware: That last one will probably take the whole day, and you don’t want to impede cake time!)
Don’t want to spend money on gifts, cake or a celebration? Use your birthday to give back
If you feel guilty celebrating your birthday during a global pandemic, that’s understandable. By just staying at home, staying six feet apart from others and wearing a mask in public, you’re still doing your part to help lessen the spread of COVID-19. If you’re not in the mood for celebrating, consider finding ways to help your community during this time. Consider donating any birthday money you receive to hospitals or companies that are producing medical supplies for health care workers.
Although it may not feel like a time for celebration, there’s nothing wrong with spending a day eating desserts and having fun (virtual or physical) with your loved ones to celebrate your existence. It’s a nice way to get out of a mundane routine of life in quarantine. Happy birthday to all you April-birthday Bears!
Contact Özge Terzioğlu at [email protected].