It is the time of the year that we all reflect on the past year and look towards the future. The New Year always feels like a clean start! Anything is possible!
And let’s be honest, have any of us ever looked forward to a new year like we are this year? Hello, clean start!!!
However, as rough as 2020 was for everyone, we are incredibly grateful for one unforeseen outcome of the global pandemic. As a family, 2020 taught us how to celebrate special occasions even when distance keeps us apart.
My dear aunt’s 80th birthday was in October of this year. She lives in North Carolina, making a family party somewhat unrealistic (regardless of COVID or not). But since zoom had become a part of our daily lives, our extended family gathered virtually to celebrate my aunt’s special day.
Virtual celebrations aren’t all that different than in-person celebrations. Making it special just takes a little bit of planning and attention to the small details. We are happy to share the tricks and tips we learned to create a successful virtual celebration!
1) Have a Party Planner
Virtual events need party planners too. You don’t want the guest of honor to feel like the party was thrown together at the last minute or was an afterthought. It is their special day, and a well-organized event will make them feel like a priority in your life.
But you don’t have to hire a party planner. Just pick one or two family members to act as the party planner. They should be in charge of:
Making sure the event is properly set-up on a virtual platform.
Invites are sent out promptly (at least 2-3 weeks in advance - just like any party).
Acting as the IT support for those that might need help walking through the technology. (Bonus tip: Make sure that you include this person’s cell phone in the invite so that folks can call them if they need help.)
We (Nicole and Michelle) tend to fill that party-planner role together naturally. Nicole likes to handle the details and invites, Michelle manages the technology.
2) Play a party game!
Virtual family meetings can be just as awkward as virtual office meetings. Everyone talking at once, or not talking at all. So, after the initial greetings, we recommend that you play a game. And seriously... Keep. It. Simple.
Our favorite virtual game is “show and tell.” Here is how you play it (it is super easy):
Give everyone 3 minutes to find an item that reminds them of the celebration honoree.
Then have each do a “show and tell” about the thing they chose.
This game is perfect because it will fill the awkward silence and allow everyone to talk directly to the guest of honor.
3) Don’t forget the party treat!
Every special celebration needs a special treat. Thanks to that thing we all call the internet, it is now easier than ever to have a special treat be delivered across the country. Look for popular bakeries in the area that your celebration honoree lives and have a cake, cookies or fruit arrangement delivered to your guest of honor on the day of the virtual celebration. Ask all invitees to “bring” something similar to the event so that everyone and indulge together!
For our aunt’s birthday, we had a cake from our favorite cake shop, Nothing Bundt Cakes, delivered to her house. Our cousin prepped the cake with candles, and we were all able to sing Happy Birthday together (it wasn’t pretty) over the virtual glow of our computers! Additionally, we had all the attendees bring something to snack on as well. It was extraordinary to enjoy cake together while we were in six different states!
4) Don’t forget the greeting card
We know we still get excited when you see a card addressed to you in the mail, don’t you? Here at Fly By Fun, we think that the only thing better than a greeting card in the mail is a greeting card in your yard! It is a unique way to send your greeting, and a yard card display will all but guarantees a memorable celebration.
(Yes, this is the actual yard card done for our aunt's 80th birthday celebration!)
Of course, if you live in Northern Colorado, Fly By Fun Yard Cards would love to participate in your special celebration. We have yard card displays for all occasions and packages for all budgets. Check us out today!
We are looking forward to being a part of many memorable celebrations in the year to come, and we hope you all enjoy a safe and memorable New Year. And as excited as we are to see the end of the 2020 and global pandemic, we hope everyone takes some lessons with them forward into the new year.
Enjoy the joy!
Michelle & Nicole
(The Fly By Fun Yard Card Sisters)