Well… this is something we honestly haven’t anticipated when we pictured our son’s first birthday!
Viktor is turning one in a couple of weeks, so instead of a friendly gathering, we’re going to be – just as many people around the globe – celebrating it in a very intimate family circle. Viktor, daddy, grandpa and me – a worried mom, hoping this will all pass soon enough.
I’m not super crazy about big birthdays and celebrations, but I wanted this party to happen. I was hoping for some nice family pictures (we even hired our photographer in advance! bummer!), a cake and some friends to catch up with.
Instead, we’re going for a minimalist first birthday – since I’ve been searching for all the viable options, I want to share them with you. I know it’s tougher when the kids are a bit older and know the concept of parties; I’ll cover those ideas, too, although thankfully I don’t have to worry about that yet!
If you do have a toddler who wants nothing more than to have friends over and a super large cake, I think the best policy right now is honesty. It may take a while to explain what’s going on in the world, and even more for them to understand (after many questions you need to be ready for), but it’s for the best. Your kids need to know that there has to be something truly massive going on in the whole world for their birthday to be canceled. They need to know that you’d be celebrating it if the situation was any different!
Here are some things you can do to make this day awesome regardless of the circumstances:
Take your own photos
If you wanted a photographer (or you’re used to one), this doesn’t sound like a great idea, I know. Do your best to turn it into something fun, though – dress up, put some awesome clothes on your kid, take crazy family pictures and hang them around to forever remind you of how beautiful your life and family really is!
Make cake, muffins or anything your child likes
Since I have a very young child, I don’t have a lot of options – I want to make something he’ll be able to enjoy too, since we have a no-sugar policy in our home. I’m probably going to go with his favorite banana raspberry muffins so we can all eat them!
Don’t stop at this, though – make it extra special by cooking your child’s favorite meal. Kids are a lot more simple than us, complicated adults – give your children their favorite food and it’s guaranteed to put a smile on their faces! (I am wired this way as an adult, too!)
Decorate to the best of your abilities
Resources may not be fully available during this time, but I’m sure you’ve got stuff around the house you can use. Last year’s signs or balloons are still good enough! If you want to go all in, you can order it online, just make sure you’re prepared for the delays since the world is currently a mess.
If you don’t have anything laying around and you can’t buy things at the moment – that’s okay! Make something yourself – there’s got to be a bit of paper left in some corner. Make your own “Happy Birthday” sign, or a colorful homemade confetti (if you don’t mind the mess!) – your kiddo will love it!
Video chat with family and friends
They may not be around, but I’m sure they’d like to be – call the excited grandparents or arrange a video chat with your kid’s best friend. We live in the world of technology (for better or for worse) – this time, put it to good use by making your kid’s birthday amazing regardless of circumstances!
Write a letter to your kid
If they’re old enough to read, great! It will be such a lovely keepsake and they’ll be able to find it hidden under their pillow or next to the birthday cake. If they can’t read, you can write and read it (make sure not to cry though – kids don’t really understand “happy tears” and they could end up crying too)!
I’ll be writing a letter to my one year old for sure – he won’t read it this year, but one day, it will mean a lot to him!
Do what your child enjoys the most
Is there a special activity (cooking, watching a movie. building a pillow fortress etc.) that they really like? (I’m sure the answer to this is YES!)
Then that’s what you should do, regardless of whether you are a fan of it. It’s their birthday and they deserve to feel special and have fun, even if it means watching Hercules for 102th time!
By doing this, your kids get the greatest gift of all – your attention. There is nothing more valuable than that!
Do you have any other ideas? Help a mom out and post them in the comments!