5 ways to spice up your birthday, pandemic edition

Birthday cake. Photo courtesy Pinterest

As we all know 2020 has been a rough year so far. Trips were canceled, festivals and concerts were postponed, and schools were even shut down. But in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, birthday celebrations were still happening.

Although it wasn’t the traditional ways people would have liked to celebrate, they at least made the best of it. If you have a birthday coming up or planning a birthday celebration, here are five ways you can spice it up during a pandemic.

  1. Drive by parade

This has become the most popular trend during the pandemic. This function is safe while still showing support and love to the birthday host.

The look on the host’s face is definitely something to look forward to. The instructions to making a “drive by parade” a success is easy: First, you send out invitations to family and friends, per usual. But this time you let them know the location to meet for the line up of the cars. Second, ask your guest to decorate their cars with signs or balloons, showing their love for the birthday host. They can even bring gifts if they would like to go the extra mile to show their appreciation. Finally, you get the show on the road. You can then call the birthday host outside to see the parade and wave to their guest. This is a time where the host can accept their gifts, take pictures/videos, and enjoy the parade that’s dedication just for them.

  1. Paint party

This is a crafty and fun birthday event. If you are feeling comfortable this is a fun event to have in person while following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Here is a way Taylor Hylton celebrated her birthday within the guidelines.

“I used Pinterest for inspiration while planning. I went with a Luau themed paint and sip.

I used Google docs to layout the supplies like food, decorations and anything extra,” Hylton said. “I hosted this event outside and were really glad people showed up and had a great time.”

If you individually aren’t ready to interact with people physically. You can have a paint kit with canvas, paint brushes and different colors of paint mailed to the homes of the invitees and host this event via Zoom. It’s still as fun!

  1. A “Me Day”

If you are more to yourself and don’t care to be around other people, then a “Me Day” is a great experience. You can start your birthday off with a nice breakfast, either cook for yourself or go to a restaurant. Treat yourself to a mall date, nails or a haircut appointment. Then you can finish the day off with getting all dressed up and taking yourself to a nice fancy dinner.

  1. Small gathering of 10 or fewer people

Small gatherings like cookouts or hosting an event can still be possible according to the CDC. If a game night with select individuals, keeping less than 10, is something you would like to do then it can definitely happen safely. Preparations are the first step to making your event comfortable and reducing the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19. Let’s take a look on how a fellow FAMU student celebrated his birthday during this pandemic.

“My original idea was to celebrate at Top Flite on a Wednesday night in April,” Craig Mitchell said.

He then realized just how serious COVID-19 was and had to reevaluate.

“I chose to have a small gathering at home with a select number of friends and I made sure to required guest to wear mask. My housemates and I made sure deep cleaning the house before, during and after was vital, while also limiting the flow of traffic,” Mitchell added.

  1. Brunch/dinner at your favorite restaurant

Finally, If you are missing your family and friends then a brunch or dinner party at your favorite restaurant is still available. Planning for this event is super simple. Start by giving your favorite restaurant a call and asking what precautions they are taking to make sure you and your guests are safely distanced from others. Also ask how many people they are allowing to be seated together and from there make your invite list. Make sure your guest brings their mask and their personal hand sanitizer just to take extra precaution.

“While planning for my birthday brunch at Table 23, I called ahead to get a number for the limited guests I can have while booking my reservation,” Antonio Mathews Jr. said. “When my party of 12 arrived they asked for us to put on our mask when we are walking around the restaurant.”

Here are a few tips form the CDC that can help this event go smoothly:

  • Check the restaurant’s website and social media to see if they have updated their information to address any COVID-19 safety guidelines.
  • Take precautions like wearing a mask as much as possible when not eating and maintaining a proper social distance if you are dining with others who don’t live with you.
  • Maintain a social distance of 6 feet or more in any entryway, hallway, or waiting area.
  • Wash your handsfor at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting the restaurant. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Remember with anything that you do from taking the trash out, going to work, grocery shopping or celebrating a birthday … wear your mask for yourself and others. Also, pay close attention to any updates from the CDC.