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Creative Ways to Still Celebrate Life’s Special Moments During COVID-19

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

4 years + of college and your graduation is cancelled

Birthday rolls by but there’s no way to have a safe party

It’s your favorite holiday but there’s nothing going on to celebrate

The new baby is born and either no one can come visit you and your newborn or you can’t go visit your small new relative.

COVID-19 has really ruined everything hasn’t it? If we want to keep ourselves, our friends, family and neighbors safe, we have had to and are going to continue to have to forgo some of the niceties that make life pleasurable; all for the safety of the group. We have to make sacrifices for long term gain, that is- the health of the entire country. What a huge burden for any one person to carry.

It is all too easy to make this issue either too much about ourselves or not enough about ourselves. The complexities of the effects of COVID-19 could take years to explain. It will take at least another year or two to resolve. Does that mean there will be no responsible way to enjoy our lives for the next year or two?!

I’m here to remind you that this isn’t the case. Especially if we get creative.

Here are some creative ways you can still celebrate life's special moments and have even more fun than an in person traditional formula celebration. (I bet you’ll save some money too 😉)


1. Birthdays

If your birthday was cancelled or super low key due to COVID-19, welcome to the club! If not, give it a few more months.

Our traditional dinners out, shopping and nail salons with friends, cake and balloons at home with your top 5 are canceled. But it doesn’t mean that the fun has to be.

For my sisters birthday we hosted an online zoom last minute. I invited a few people, dj’ed a dance party for us, completed with flickering lights, silly filters and technical errors. It sounds ridiculous and it was! But I promise you we had a great time. After 10 songs and a lot of good laughing and embarrassing camera moves we each made our own plate of nachos and caught up.

This fun idea could be improved in many ways.

Everyone grub hub, doordash, ubereats - orders the same thing

You use changing colored lights to set the mood

Order gifts to their house early to be opened the day of only

Have a theme

Play online board games or invent your own, everyone lists their favorite memory with the birthday person,

If you’re thinking this whole idea sounds lame, maybe you’re right. But if you try something similar you won’t care if it’s lame anyways and the person you host it for will likely be glad

that you put in the effort!

2. Graduations

Another opportunity for an amazing celebration to be totally missed. Whether you’re graduating 1st grade, high school, college or a graduate program; it’s likely that your graduation and grad celebrations were cancelled or hosted online. If your event hasn’t happened yet (or if you are still willing to celebrate a little late) there’s still hope!

People get so much in their pride about doing things the way they are “supposed” to be done, that they miss so many opportunities for what could be.

There are so so so many ways to celebrate your graduation or the graduation of your nearest and dearest. If the ceremony is happening online, have a watch party. In the spring we celebrated the masters graduation of my fiance’s brother by dressing up like we normally would and watching the whole event on the couch, afterwards we went to the closest university campus and took graduation photos of him there even though it wasn’t his school. People honked and waved the whole walk there.

It was still super fun and a whole lot more memorable than resigning to the fact that the graduation was “cancelled”. His achievement certainly wasn’t cancelled out just because people were stuck indoors.

Some even better ideas surfaced online all summer, in one clip a high school graduate’s family set up a whole fake “stage” for her to walk across and you can tell it meant more to her than the traditional event would have. Play some inspirational speeches, say some meaningful words, have the graduate wear their cap and gown and you have yourself a graduation!

3. Weddings and Newborns

Weddings and birth of new babies have to be the literal hardest event to feel is “cancelled”. After all, how can we celebrate these events without all of our loved ones? I haven’t personally been through this one but the best word of advice is similar to the last two. Careful planning and brainstorming from a few people involved can help make the event more exciting.

Try asking someone you know, how can I make this event feel celebrated?

How can I feel connected to others and let others feel connected to me?

A friend of mine had someone plan her a virtual bridal shower, complete with who knows the bride best games and letting her guess who each memory was with from a list. This was achieved by setting up an RSVP form with all of the questions and games filled out by each guest virtually before the event. The bride to be went through the answers and was able to talk and see her guests smiling faces before having cake and dinner with her closer relatives.

This one was especially well executed and game winners even got virtual gift cards.

Keep thinking on some of these ideas and you’ll have a successful event even with a 40 minute to 1 hour time limit on the calls. If you wanted to pay and host a longer event, consider asking each person to pitch in if money is tight.

Whatever the occasion, we need to remember to celebrate small victories and big victories. This includes feeling connected to those around us even though we are being responsible. People we know are still happy for us and really need to see and hear from each other. Why shouldn’t we give them a reason to celebrate?

If you got a raise, have a zoom party.

Got through a big project? You know what to do.

Loads of other events could have been included on this list and wayyy more solutions, let us know in the comments how you made sure a big event in the life of you or someone you love was celebrated. We would love to implement them and share more ideas!

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