Life goes on, even during social distancing, and there are things to be celebrated! Here’s what we’ve done about making celebrations special during social distancing.
We’re right in the middle of a busy week in our house as far as celebrating goes! Of course, Easter is coming up this Sunday, but we also have Kennedy’s birthday on Monday and my birthday was this past Tuesday. We had big plans for this week this year, with family coming in from the other side of the country, Easter dinners, and all that kind of thing. Obviously, our plans have changed significantly, but we’re still trying to make the most of this time together, even if it’s just the four of us. It’s still important to have things to celebrate and to make memories as a family, even during a pandemic. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on making celebrations special during this time, in case anyone else has any similar celebrations coming up that will need to be significantly altered as well.
Since I ended up doing a little “use what I have” decorating for our celebrations, I thought this might be a fun post to share for this month’s edition of the Thrifty Style Team. Thanks so much to Julie from Redhead Can Decorate for organizing this fun bloghop for us every month. Once you’re all done reading my post, make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom and follow the links to see what thrifty style ideas the other team members have to share this month.
Ideas for Making Celebrations Special During Social Distancing
It’s kind of hard to plan for anything right now, I know, when it feels like our whole world keeps changing day-to-day, but it helps to plan for celebrations well ahead of time now more than ever. Think like those people who do their Christmas shopping all year round and start working towards upcoming celebrations and events well ahead of time. Do a little at a time if you can. Order any supplies or gifts needed online now if possible and have them in the house so you don’t have to worry over what will happen if shipping times change or something becomes unavailable in the future. Obviously I’m not talking about Easter here, but for anything else that comes up like birthdays, graduations, or other holidays that come along while we’re all social distancing.
Use Local Businesses
Not only is it nice to know that you’re supporting local small businesses during this time, they’re actually just much more reliable right now. If you were planning on ordering special decor or housewares to prepare for a celebration, see if there’s a local business that’s open for business right now for zero contact curb side pickup or porch delivery who can fulfill that need. Things can’t get delayed or lost if you’re going to pick something up yourself or if the person you spoke to on the phone is personally dropping your order off on your front porch.
Flowers always go a long way too, so see if you have a local florist that you can pick up a few flowers from, or even cut some from outside if you’re lucky enough to have things blooming already!
Use What You Have For Decor
If you’re ever celebrated this holiday or event in your home before, chances are you probably have a lot of what you need already. Even if you haven’t, you probably have things you can work with. The goal is to make the experience memorable and special, not perfect. Using a little creativity goes a long way here.
I set up a fancy table for us to eat our celebratory meals here this week and I tried to make it a little different and a little more special than what we usually do since we won’t be heading out to any big gatherings, but I used what I had of course.
These egg place card holders finally got used about five years after I bought them from the Target dollar spot. I always liked them, but they just never felt right until now. Glad I had those in my stash!
I also spray painted this vase I had in my cupboard to feel a little more fancy. I just taped off the top part of the vase with painter’s tape and spray painted the bottom gold. Instant fanciness!
I love the undeniably springy vibe that these lilac branches I brought in and forced last week bring to the whole setup too. They were totally free, but I love them so much that I think I’ll have to do this every year.
Do the Traditional Things
Everyone has things that they always do for certain celebrations. Even if this isn’t a normal time, it’s important to give yourself that sense of normalcy and allow yourself to have a little fun right now. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but if you always have a certain birthday sign you hang up, or if you always put balloons in certain places around the house, do those things this time around too. It’s not Easter in this house unless we have the carrot garland on the stairs. 🙂
Also Consider Starting a Whole New Tradition
If you’re used to having 50 of your friends and family together for Easter dinner or Cinco de Mayo or whatever, trying to gather together as just a family of three or four in the very same way can feel a little sad and empty. If this is the case for you, maybe think about doing something a little different, but still fun. If you usually do a big birthday dinner, why not do a small fancy breakfast instead? This is what we’ve been doing for the last few years for all our holidays because our extended family is just all over the place and we often find that it’s just the four of us on the actual day of a holiday. Fancy breakfasts work like a charm and Jack even asks when the next fancy breakfast is coming up throughout the year.
There are lots of other options too, you could do a dessert buffet, make wonton soup and spring rolls and eat while having a family movie night, or do a big game night. The options are unlimited. You might find something that you love and end up wanting to repeat it over and over again.
I almost forgot to mention: I spray painted some old Christmas chargers gold too!
Menu Planning for Celebrations During Social Distancing
I don’t have any more experience with grocery shopping during a pandemic than anyone here, but here’s what I’ve noticed: If you want to place an online order in our area, you’re looking at getting a time slot about two weeks out. Considering that it used to be two hours out, that’s a big change for some people in terms of their routines and the way they plan their meals. The other issue is that you might not get everything you ordered. You don’t know ahead of time what kind of food shortages are going to be in your area when you actually go to pick up your order.
I’ve found that it works best to plan your special menus at least three or four weeks in advance, when possible. That way, you have a couple of chances to order things if something really important isn’t available when you go to pick up your first order. You’ll also give yourself a bit of extra time to re-plan certain menu items if you find you just can’t get what you need.
Of course, it helps if you try to make a lot of your ingredients freezable or non-perishable, so you can get them in your house well ahead of time. Choosing simple comfort food recipes that can be made mostly out of pantry staples will definitely make your life easier. If you aren’t sure that your celebration will feel special enough, just add more variety! A big buffet of assorted things to choose from always feels special and you can eat the leftovers for lunches and dinners for the next few days.
I feel like we’re all going to come out of this thing as experts at being prepared for anything. We’ll all have super well-stocked homes that will be ready for anything life can throw at us after living through this. Our birthday bin is pretty well-stocked, but I definitely have plans to beef it up a bit, just in case. And I’m already trying to figure out how I can start to prepare for Christmas as well. It’s good to have things to look forward to right now and it’s definitely helpful to keep yourself busy!
Have you had any special celebrations yet during social distancing? What have you done to make them feel fun and special?
Don’t forget to visit all the other thrifty style team members!
The Painted Hinge – A Thrifty Way to Upcycle Old Curtain Rods
DIY Beautify – Easy Wreath Centerpiece
Sweet Pea – Upcycled Shower Curtain DIY Pillow Covers
Postcards From The Ridge – How to Make Flowers from Paper Egg Cartons
The Creek Line House – Making Celebrations Special During Social Distancing
The How To Home – Dollar Tree Hand Stamped Book Stack
The Tattered Pew – How to Upcyle An Old Cutting Board Using Modge Podge
Unskinny Boppy – Free Printable Easter Greeting Card
I Should Be Mopping The Floor – Painting Upholstery without Fabric Medium
Salvaged Living – Tips on Buying Vintage Books for Decor
2 Bees In A Pod – Vintage Postcard Art
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.