I’m gonna show you how to successfully throw a socially distanced birthday party.
– Oh my gosh, no. I don’t wanna do this.
– First things first, what is a socially distanced birthday party? Well, it’s a birthday party where there can’t be too much closeness and celebration. I’m no expert, but I’ve recently learned a lot of tricks because I’m currently planning one today, as we speak, for my daughter, who is just turning 13. Everyone that I have seen has been doing these. Either a Zoom birthday party. Or the drive-by parade option.
So we are going to go with option number two, and do the drive-by parade birthday party. This brings me to my first tip which is to establish a theme. With parade on the mind, the first thing that came to my mind was Mardi Gras. My daughter’s name is Marley, so we’re gonna call it Marley Gras.
Decorations are cheap and easy. This is also time where the kids get another craft, so the kids found some paint, and paper, and have made a beautiful sign.
Now that we have a theme, we’re using Mardi Gras colors. Now, we’re talking. All right, so we went to Mardi Gras last year, in case you don’t remember. And we still have a huge stash of beads, so I have Lysol-ed these beads. I’m going to put them where the parade is gonna start so that people can grab a handful of them, and then, just toss them back to us during the parade.
Listen, once you establish a theme, you can go crazy.
Let me tell you about my next tip, lie to your kids. I’ve been lying to my daughter all day. She’s currently out of the house, so she’s asked, is she gonna have a parade. Of course, I said no. I really made her think that her gift opening this morning was all she’s getting. She knows she’s having a little birthday dinner tonight, so hopefully, this will be somewhat of a surprise.
My next bit of advice is don’t think about all the things that you’re not able to do. Think about what you can do, so, for example, this day was all about Marley’s favorite foods. We started the morning with a not-so-healthy breakfast of pigs in a blanket and doughnuts, but she told me that her favorite dinner is tacos, so we’re gonna do a little Mexican taco night. The only difference here is that there’s not gonna be a huge crowd of people, but you can still make it extra special, and while we’re on the topic of food, next tip, don’t forget the cake.
Look, you can’t cut and slice cake. Too many germs, too many phobias going around about that, but I did find, and I learned this from another party we went to, individually wrapped birthday cakes. Marley’s siblings are gonna be tossing these to the cars as they drive by, so each guest at the party is getting some birthday cake, and a party favor, all in one, and I didn’t forget the gloves, okay? The kids are going to be wearing these as they pass out the birthday cake, double coverage.
She is still going to get a small family party. One of her very close friends shares the same birthday, so they’re gonna come over. We’ll still keep the number super low in the house, but she still gets the traditional cake.
My next tip is to make this a personalized and memorable experience, okay? If you’ve got someone like my teen daughter who thinks, oh, she’s not that special, or oh, we would never do this for her, I’m going above and beyond with what I have means to, so, in this case, I got a T-shirt made, 13 and quarantined, and these things do not have be expensive, and you can do something like picture frames, or Christmas ornaments, or anything like that, just to note this occasion.
Next big thing to consider is the guest list. Listen, my philosophy here is include everybody. This is a time where a big guest list is not going to affect the cost of your party. There are so many times where I’ve had to tell my kids listen, we have to limit it, depending on the birthday they have because the cost goes up. Even though you include everybody, don’t expect everybody to be there. It’s a lot to ask people to drive all the way across town for a 30-second drive-by, but some people are willing to do it just for the fact that they can get out of the house.
The time has come.
All right, are you all ready? Start honking, and then, I’m gonna call her out. Before you get to our street, okay? Yeah, all right, bye.
Let’s see if we can pull this off. She thinks we’re doing Mom vs. Quarantine, and she’s about to have an interview, so I’m gonna call her out here for her interview. Marley.
– Come here. It’s your turn. All right, come here and do your interview.
– Here comes my bir-drive-through. See, I knew. I already knew it was gonna happen. Oh my gosh, no. I don’t wanna do this. Oh my gosh. Thank you, and thanks for having it.
– Are you shocked?
– Yeah. I didn’t think all this, bye Mia! Thank you.
– You didn’t think you had this many friends? Is that you were gonna say?
– She didn’t think she had this many friends, see? At the end of the day, it was a mostlysocial distanced party, and I’m pretty sure it was a success. I keep thinking about things that I loved about this social distanced birthday party, and one of the things is the attention to detail that the guests put into it.
These posters that they made, which are glorified birthday cards are so sweet. You’ve gotta look at some of the little messages, and the time that they took to put into this, so I plan to take pictures, which is my other tip because they are quite large, so I’m gonna take a picture of each one, and put it in a scrapbook.
Oh, guess what else I just found out? She knew about it. It wasn’t a surprise. It was, in a lot of ways, but my nephew told her the morning of the party. She told me way after the fact. You can’t tell by her reaction. I mean, she was genuinely still surprised. Had the party not been a success, I might kill him, even though I love him, but yeah. It was still a success.
– Thirteen years of execution, topped off by today’s drive-by.