Simple Tips for Throwing a Pandemic Birthday Party


Remember when it was January 1st and everyone was saying it was going to be their year? Do you also remember when 2020 laughed and gave everyone a global pandemic? COVID-19 changed the lives of all and put everything to a halt. Gatherings ceased and you could forget about normal birthday parties. The 2020 pandemic birthday party evolved into birthday drive-bys and honking horns.

Recently, life has started coming back, bit by bit, which includes gathering in smallish groups. Our little guy turned two recently, and my first thought once orders started lifting was– let’s party! The party had to involve intentional planning, though. This wasn’t going to be the party we were accustomed to. In fact, this is new territory none of us have had to deal with yet. I mean really, how do you throw a pandemic birthday party? 

Evolving Traditions

Even the simple act of blowing out candles has to be rethought. Everyone would run in terror if they saw someone blow their air particles onto anything, let alone a cake. This doesn’t mean you can’t carry on the candle tradition at your pandemic birthday party. You could give each party-goer a cupcake with its own candle. Another idea would be to simply fan the candles out with a paper plate. The point is, we can’t be spreading our gross germs around anymore; those days are over.

Speaking of food, do you really feel comfortable with everyone putting their hands in a bowl of chips or plate full of veggies? We all know that one person who double dips in the ranch. Try making veggie baggies with individual ranch cups, buy foam coffee cups with lids and fill with fruit, and use serving utensils when food needs to be picked up from a serving dish. If you really think about it, there are a ton of options to safely serve food. These are much safer than cross contaminating with those germ-filled fingers.

Distance is a Good Thing

Did you know one of the outbreaks in Chicago was from a birthday party? When you bring multiple families together in close proximity, you are bound to spread the love, AKA germs. Now that it’s summer, take advantage of that backyard and spread those chairs out. Remember, it is a pandemic birthday party, so you can have groups of chairs together for each family and spread them safely apart. This way, you’ll be surrounded by family and friends but in a way that keeps you each safe. If you are like me and hate change, you need to remember those that had birthdays while we all had to stay at home. 

Be Understanding 

It is easy for us to get excited about celebrating with others, especially after we haven’t been able to for a few months. This is where empathy comes in to play. Do you have anyone older than 65 coming to your party? Is a friend or family member pregnant? Do you know if anyone attending has a compromised immune system?

It is also important to remember that we are all at varying comfort levels. Even those that aren’t in the high risk category could be struggling, and this pandemic birthday party may cause them anxiety. Masks can be a great way to help others feel more secure. If you are inside, masks really need to be worn, per CDC guidelines. If you are outside, having masks out would ease some anxiety of others. Yes, it feels like an ulterior universe with masks on our faces, but if it eases angst and helps us gather, why not? 

This might not be the party you thought you would have for your kids when 2020 first arrived, but it will still be a fun time for all. We were able to have 11 people in our backyard celebrating our two-year-old and it was one of my favorite days. There were masks, we were spread apart, and we were all together– and that was all that mattered. You’ll find the same appreciation at your pandemic birthday party and hopefully you can truly enjoy the ability to gather as much as we did. 


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