My daughter turned 5 on April 11. The past few weeks have been unlike anything she has experienced thus far in her life. We cannot go out to eat. We cannot see her grandparents. We cannot have play dates. We cannot go to her favorite places. We have adapted to a new normal at home, which consists of a little bit of structure (including learning, play and quiet time) with a lot of outside time.
Weeks ago, when I broke the news to her that she could not have a birthday party, she was bummed, but I told her how we were going to make it extra special this year, considering the circumstances.
First of all, we invited everyone we would have invited to an in-person party to our virtual party.
I sent out texts telling everyone what the menu was, and if they wanted, they could eat the same foods that day. I also did porch pick-ups for those who wanted to have a cookie or a piece of cake to celebrate the day with us.
We also decorated the house. We made a banner for her and blew up tons of balloons for her to have in the living room. She absolutely loved that!
I then invited everyone to FaceTime us at certain times throughout the day. To make it more special, I saved presents from each particular person or family so she could open their presents while they were FaceTiming us.
We also had a local business put some yard art outside for her. This was something special and fun that we typically would not pay to have done, but we justified it with the money we saved on food and drinks by not having a party. The company sent us a virtual invitation that we sent to friends and family. They were able to drive by and honk and yell happy birthday to her. I also got in touch with our local fire department and police station. It was so sweet to see our friends, family and community come together to wish her a happy birthday.
During this time, we have been trying to support our favorite small businesses both near and far because we want them to still be around when this is all over.
We picked one of our favorite local businesses and donated a birthday party for them to give away. It garnered some new interest in the community for the business on their social media platform. It also paid it forward to another child and gives the family something to look forward to.
My daughter’s 5th birthday was unlike how we have ever celebrated a birthday before, but it was all the more memorable. It was still a joyous occasion, filled with seeing her favorite people (albeit on FaceTime or as they drove by), eating lots of delicious food, and of course, opening presents. It is my hope that when she is remembering this time in her life someday that she has fond memories of how we tried to put a positive spin on everything and made the days memorable, including her very special 5th birthday.
How have you made your child’s birthday extra special during this stay-at-home time?