5 Ideas for Socially Distant Celebrations To Make Milestones Special, Even in Quarantine

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Photo: Getty Images/David Levingstone
Life in the time of COVID-19 has meant changing many habits (like the way we spend time together, exercise, and even eat). It's also meant either canceling or dramatically shifting many plans (like vacations, weddings, and maybe even moves). But one component of 2020 that gloriously hasn't shut down is how much we love our loved ones. Because that reality remains steadfast, finding creative and meaningful ideas for socially distant celebrations to make milestone moments special—anniversaries, birthdays, pregnancy announcements, etc.—is essential for keeping spirits high and focus on positive components of life we can, in large part, still control.

Even while abiding by social distancing guidelines, it is definitely possible to make positive memories. Below, find five ideas for socially distant celebrations while keeping everyone safe and healthy.

5 ideas for socially distant celebrations to make milestones special, even during a pandemic.

1. Embrace small romantic gestures

Sweeping your partner off their feet with big romantic gestures, like a beachy getaway to celebrate an anniversary, may not be in the cards this year. That's why Susan Trombetti, relationship expert, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, recommends using this time to embrace the art of small romantic gestures. For example, you could try writing a heartfelt note. "A love letter telling them about your feelings for them and appreciating the things they do for you, or [recounting] nostalgic memories is so much more meaningful and safe than visiting a crowded, touristy town, anyway" she says.

2. Create personalized videos to celebrate birthdays

While you may not be able to gather all your friends and family in the same physical location to toast for a birthday this year, you can still spread the love by creating personalized movies to commemorate the occasion. You don't have to be a tech wiz to do it, either: Many free apps let you stitch together photos and video clips from your phone into a little movie within minutes. iMovie (for iOS users), InShot, and Smilebox are just a few options.

To do it, have friends and family send you their favorite photos, video clips, and video messages to include and then have a virtual viewing party on the big day. "This is great for remaining socially distant while touching someone deeply and creating something unique and personal to them," Trombetti says. "It also allows for everyone to participate."

3. Host pregnancy announcements and gender reveals via Zoom

If you're someone who wants to announce baby news to friends and family in a big way, you should be able to do so. But instead of doing it via an in-person gathering, Trombetti recommends hosting a virtual party via Zoom to share the good news. You can still go all out with decorations and creative ways to share the message, and the best part is that this way, you can record the entire thing to have everyone's reaction on camera.

4. Have a car parade

Local car parades are another fun way to celebrate any big moment with loved ones. "I love the idea of organized parade parties and drive-by birthdays for little kids, friends' birthdays, or your grandparents celebrating their golden anniversary while the honoree stays safe on the porch or front yard," Trombetti says. "There is so much excitement in the air, and everyone's unique spin and creativity are fabulous and safe." Bonus: There's no mess to clean up afterward.

5. Send gifts—and share in them together online

Even if it's not their primary love language, everyone loves receiving a good gift. Whether your best friend just had a milestone birthday or your favorite aunt got a job promotion, sending a thoughtful gift may mean the world to them and let them know you're thinking about them. You could also order them an entire dinner via delivery and hop on Zoom for a celebration dinner together, just like you would have done in person.

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