Birthday toasts are difficult during the pandemic. Photo: Unsplash/Amy Shamblen
The lockdown currently restricts contact opportunities to a large extent – exuberant celebrations with friends and family are cancelled until further notice. We’ll show you how to have a great birthday anyway.
Stuttgart – The special feeling we felt on the morning of our birthday as a child has mostly faded in adulthood. Nevertheless, even as an adult, a birthday is a day that raises certain feelings and expectations in us. Whether you’re a birthday hater or a passionate birthday fanatic, the day is a constant in our lives. Wild pure celebration, the cultivated dinner in the evening, or a cake fight in the large circle. With time, we usually figure out how we prefer to spend our birthday, but right now the Corona pandemic is throwing a wrench in our birthday plans.
How do we define "celebrate"?
For many people, "celebrating" means sharing an experience with others. But to be able to celebrate the birthday in lockdown, it helps to take a closer look at your own definition of the word. What does "celebrating" mean to us – aside from crowds? Is it the music, the anticipation, the conversations, the gifts – and how is it possible to let this feeling, during the pandemic, without a party community, arise?
Digital parties, waving like the queen or game night?
How about the Kardashian approach, in which all acquaintances are summoned past the apartment in a column of cars or bicycles? Here, it’s important to wave out the window like the Queen, and wear an impressive hat, especially if you live on the fifth floor.
Even if meeting friends in person isn’t possible right now, we can use all the digital options to spend time together. Especially nice, for example, is an evening of games over Zoom in a large group, collecting a smorgasbord of video messages for the birthday child, or participating in an online tasting session. Also an idea for movie fans on withdrawal, is the advanced movie night: lying in bed, Netflix on and commenting on the movie or series via chat with your best friend.
Cupcakes, Netflix and new rituals
Or why not focus on one of the best things in life – food? The supermarkets and delivery services are still open, after all, thank goodness, and a birthday is the perfect occasion to turn your back on Lieferando and order food home from a Michelin-starred eatery or try out a new restaurant. Even a lavish delivery of chocolates and cupcakes can be justified on a special day in Corona times, let’s just call it self-care.
But maybe it helps to be prepared for the day to be quiet, because big expectations often make for big disappointments. Over the past twelve months, we’ve each found our own rituals that can be celebrated without making us feel lonely. Your favorite Netflix series and a big glass of wine, making your own birthday cake and eating it all afterwards – what more do you need? Selfcare is celebrating yourself, and doesn’t have to feel lonely.
Always look on the bright side of life
There are benefits to having a birthday without guests, too: you finally have the muse to answer birthday messages in a timely manner, so you don’t have to be ashamed to realize after a year that you forgot, as you usually do. There’s a bit of freedom in not being able – nay, allowed – to have a birthday party! Often, big birthday parties are almost expected by those around us. Perhaps the current situation allows us to question norms we didn’t find much joy in anyway. Because at the end of the day, a celebratory birthday has nothing to do with lots of guests, but a feeling – and we can always have that, even alone.
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