Yeah, I know, celebrating a birthday now in Covid Lockdown won’t be the same…but it is what it is, and there’s certainly no fun in moping around about it. I’ll tell where there is fun, though…its right where you create it!;) There’s always fun to be had, you just gotta want it. So, all my little May babies..and possibly even June babies (sorry, guys, just doing the maths here on our health stats, and it doesn’t look good), if you’re a bit stuck for ideas, this one is for you! (Also I started writing this a while ago, so, this now extends to us July babies…and August, September, October?)
You don’t need all the flash to show someone you care, or that they are loved. But is is fun to do those little things. And I reckon we could all do with a little more fun in our lives right now. So here are just a few simple ideas you want to try when celebrating a birthday in lockdown:
1. Special wake-ups:
Those who’ve been with for years, know that we do this anyway – lockdown or not. But if you’re not already doing this, this is a fun little way to kick the day off. Make a full day of it from beginning to end. Its been an old family tradition that I’ve passed onto our family here to have super special birthday breakfasts in bed. Everyone gathers around, and either pitches in to help make the breakfast or spends their time making birthday cards that morning to give to the birthday person.
Then we all gather in the birthday persons room waking them up with the birthday song, showering them with gifts and all the attention.
2. Balloons and decor
Guys, in our home, it ain’t a birthday if there aren’t balloons. And if you’ve followed us long enough on IG you’d know the day starts off with our traditional Balloon wakeup. So it goes without saying that having balloons was a must for us. And with the advent of Morgy’s birthday lining up nicely with the one step lowering of our lockdown level, we were in business for on time delivery of helium balloons.
Places you too can get your heliums balloons from:
a. Party City. They come as my highest recommendation. Joel gave extremely friendly and fast service. He called me at 1pm, and we had all our balloons by 2:30 pm that same day. We hid our balloons in the car (with window) open till the evening when the kids went to sleep.
They have ALL the décor youd ever need.
b. Then there’s Crazy Store. Many on IG posted about their success of helium balloons from them, but I’m not sure if they deliver to your door. And going to a store is just not on my to do list this lockdown.
c. Then there’s Limitless Events. Check them out on IG here. They are friendly, and sounded lovely, and came recommended by a few IG friends, but last I checked they do have a limit on the areas in which they deliver. Give them a call to see if they have expanded this area yet. Especially since the lockdown levels are dropping and thus allowing more freedom in movement for business.
e.Lastly a nifty little idea was shared with me by one lovely IG reader who says they buy the disposable helium tank from Merry Pak. It costs about R880 and you can get 30 normal size latex balloons out of it. I thought that was pretty cool, but you’ll have to do the maths on whether that works out for you. And you can order just the foil balloons from TakeAlot, and inflate your own balloons with said helium tank at home.
Tip: ALWAYS ask for gel in your balloons. It guarantees your balloons will stay up for at least 24hours. But we often get about 4 to 5 days out of our latex balloons, and then MONTHS out of our foil balloons. (Morgy’s 9 foil balloon is still up since middle May!)
4. Special meals:
We usually ask the birthday person to put in their order before hand so that we know what they’d like for breakfast and dinner. That way they can look forward to their meal – especially great for kids.
Also, now with our lockdown status being lowered where we can now order takeout, perhaps you want to indulge in that a bit. (just to note: we are not ready to order in yet. Just the amount of hands it takes to get that order made and delivered to you is enough to put me off from any risk of Covid.)
UPDATE: We now have last week, and it was SO GOOD!
5. Drive by’s:
This little drive by birthday wishing has been made popular in this global lockdown, and is truly a fun little way of showing love. If your lockdown rules permit you to drive, and the person is within the approved/restricted distance from your home, maybe pack in some balloons and home-made banners, and take a quick drive by to birthday person’s home. Remember to keep your distance from everyone – don’t get out to hug. But honking, and sending your wishes, showing your banners and waving your balloons ends up being a very special little tribute to the birthday person. Whether it’s kids or adults, its quite special!
Or ask friends/family if they are willing to do this for your child (if they have not yet themselves suggested it)
6. Zoom/Google Meet/MS Teams/House party
If drive-bys are not your vibe or you’re out of the restricted distance bubble from friends, then video calls are the new parties! Not just for business meetings, little apps like House Party, Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams enable us all to connect while staying apart, and safely in our homes.
You can easily find most of these in your app stores, or organically part of a suite, as in the case of Google Meet (and free).
7. Video tributes
This I found was truly a special kind of gift. Sending a bit of your spark and love to that person capturing your tribute to them in motion. The visual will never come close to being wished in person, but it sure trumps just a phonecall. I LOVED seeing my nieces and nephews and siblings when they sent Morgy their wishes. What’s more is that its a gift that lasts forever.
In fact, I’ve taken all her tributes and images and videos from the day and made it all into one large video to commemorate her day.
8. Curb side gift drops.
So if the birthday person is ok with accepting online deliveries, Im sure they will be super keen to accept a curbside drop off from a loved one. Just make sure you follow all the protocols of ensuring you’ve been safe, and sanitized the parcel. And the receiver could also disinfect the parcel much like anyone would when taking a normal deliver, then great!
This also goes without saying. You could support local businesses like Charly’s Bakery, or if that is out of your budget, then bake it yourself. And if you’re not too sure about your own baking skills then box cakes work too.
They’re quick and simple and flop proof. One’s Ive used that tasted SO good are:
NOmu, Ina Paarmans and Woolworths chocolate cake mix. All have delivered such insanely delicious results – doesnt at all taste like the old box cake mix.
10. Scavenger hunt:
These are always a winner with my kids, and being in lockdown it’s no different. If it’s for an adult, you could spice it up a bit with something saucy 😉 or keep it PG if you have your kids involved. Leaving clues that lead to each other are fun to figure out.
Or another fun one we use is making a puzzle out of a picture which is one big clue that the kids to their prize/gift, but then hiding all those puzzle pieces around the lounge or house (depending on how hard you want to make the hunt.) Just let them know how many pieces to the puzzle there are. Or keep it simple, and skip the puzzle and just go with the consecutive clues.
Either way, it adds a nice bit of fun to it all.
11. Blow candles on a beautifully set table:
We sing at least twice for the birthday person in our home. The second is usually done at a beautifully set table, complete with treats (if it’s kiddies)….or complete with divine desserts (if it’s adults)..or who am I kidding, it’s treats and desserts regardless! So we set up a table quickly with our best table cloth, balloons, cake in the centre and all the treats on the table as if it was a normal party. I found that it kind of gives kiddies the familiar sense of what celebrations normally look like. I know in our house having 4 kids already provides the sense of crowds, and the volume of a regular party to go with it.
But, mostly, I found that if you bring the spirit, love and happiness, it doesn’t matter how big or small the birthday crowd is, it’ll be just as lovely.
And making this little effort does have big effect. You can use streamers, balloons, streamer curtains, or anything you may have in your home from previous parties. Just try for festive. Also just focusing it on one spot helps a lot if you don’t have a lot of décor to spread in the home. For me, I also didn’t have too much energy, so I kept the festive look just to our dining table, which had the desired effect.
12. Play Games:
Ok, this one is a no brainer, and if you’re in our home, games night is a pretty regular thing already. But whether it is or not, it’ll still be fun to break out the games for the whole family.
-Our current favourite is Harry Potter Trivial pursuit from Hasbro.
-Then there’s Jumanji – an absolute blast!
–Bananagram is cool too
–Uno is ever endearing
–Dominos helped our smallies sharpen their counting in the begining
–Monopoly is still a fave for our girls
–Xbox/Playstation. Have a games night thats pure tech is my girl’s idea of heaven. Throw in some milkshake and goodies and you’re gold!
13. Have dance party:
Also another staple in our home, we dance all the time every day. But even more why having dance to celebrate is fitting. This brings all the happies, and gets the endorphins flowing. We use You tube searching for “Copy Dance” or you can use KidsBop.
14. Take loads of photos!
This is time that will certainly make the history books, so hells yeah you want to document your incredible celebration in this period! Its momentous, so get snapping!
And remember, above all, it’s the spirit of the day that counts…so bring all the happies! Happiness remains your choice, always…so why not just choose to see all the good in this day, and what a blessing it is to have another year in this crazy, beautiful, wild ride of life!
Enjoy the celebrations, folks!