With stay-at-home orders in place, various aspects of life feel thrown into a limbo, even relationships and celebrations. Just because you can’t go outside doesn’t mean big moments have to slip by unnoticed!
Whether you’re looking to make Mom feel extra special on Mother’s Day or to commemorate a loved one for their school graduation, we’ve compiled a list of fun, unforgettable ways to celebrate at-home during quarantine.
At-Home Spa Day
Mom may not be able to go to an actual spa right now, but that doesn’t mean she can’t get pampered! Build her a spa-in-a-bag and watch as she unwinds and recharges. What goes into such a luxurious experience? How about including a scented candle, bath salts or bubble bath, a moisturizing face mask, body scrubs, lotions, maybe a new bathrobe or slippers.
Don’t live with mom? Consider dropping off her goodie bag outside with a cute card.
Insider tip: You can also drop off goodie bags at friends’ doors of a facial mask and nail polish and have a virtual spa party for bachelorettes, birthday parties, or a random Tuesday!
Now is as good of time as any to let mom have a little extra time to herself. Pick up a new book you think she’ll love, or maybe rent a few of her favorite movies for her to binge all day. Then add a new pair of cozy pajamas and some refreshments (um, did someone say wine and chocolate?) and leave her to indulge in her happy place alone for a few hours.
Insider tip: Try to keep the kids entertained while mom is enjoying her quiet time. Knowing the family is doing a fun activity while she rests will probably help her to even further unwind and feel she can truly relax.
Fine Dining Experience at Home
When I was a kid, my sister and I hung up bed sheets around our dining room area so that it looked totally separate from the kitchen. We then placed candles on the table with fresh flowers, and designed a “signature three course menu” for my mom on the computer, which we printed and placed on the table setting. While her and our father sat and talked by candlelight, my sister was the “server” and took their order, while I played chef in the kitchen. Of course, the gourmet cuisine consisted of a spinach salad with ranch dressing (and nothing else), followed by boxed mac and cheese, and a dessert of a chocolate bar. But despite it not being the most fine dining experience, my mom still says it’s one of the best meals she’s ever had.
Mom might not be able to leave the house, but you can bring the restaurant to her this time (we won’t tell if you order take out instead of cooking, too.)
Create an Unforgettable Yearbook
Graduation acts as closure for an important part of life. It’s a chance to hug, reminiscence, cry, and laugh with friends, classmates, and teachers. Your graduate might not be able to have this moment together in person, you can still find ways to reflect and celebrate. An easy digital-savvy way is to ask your kids’ friends or teachers to submit short video messages via email, and then compile a highlight reel to show your graduate! It’ll make them feel incredibly special and appreciate hearing all the favorite memories others have had with them, and may help bring a sense of camaraderie even while social distancing.
Not tech savvy? No problem! Instead of asking for video messages, as folks to send postcards with their “yearbook message” on the back. Then, you can bind these postcards together to create a creative, unforgettable quarantine-style yearbook! Not only will the kids still get to read all the personal messages, they’ll also have a physical piece of memorabilia to cherish for the rest of their life.
New Chapter, New Journal
Or, perhaps your graduate is more of the introverted reflector? Then buying them a brand new journal to signify the beginning of this next chapter in their life may be the gift they’re looking for! Not only will these blanks pages metaphorically offer a clean slate, but journaling is also proven to have many anxiety and stress reducing benefits. Which, given the current uncertainty in life, could be a much appreciated reprieve. If you want to add an extra sentimental touch, look into ordering a custom journal or write a personal note on the back page for them to cherish forever.
Living Room Prom
Whether you loved or hated high-school; prom is a one-time experience that most are thankful they had. So why miss it? Turn your living room, basement, backyard, or whatever into the dance floor! Let your graduate buy or rent a tux online and help them dress with hair, make-up, heels, whatever they want.
Blow up balloons to bounce around while dancing, make an at-home corsage, take a ride in the car around the block to make it feel like they are arriving at prom, and even have a family member with a camera snapping pics! Coordinate with parents of their friends and see if they want to do the same thing and make a group call out of the experience and sync the same playlist so all the graduates are dancing to the same music together! It may not be what the expected, but it’ll be an unforgettable prom night nonetheless.
Maybe the graduation party is a no-go, but you could throw a launching party before your graduate heads off to college or their new job. Similarly, a prom could be held when friends are back in town over the holidays. Therapist Hollie Gonzalez, recommends getting your teen involved in the planning and decision-making. Find out what is important to them and see what can be re-created safely.
Re-enact Your Favorite Rom-Com
Maybe it’s when Johnny lifts Baby for their epic dance scene? Or maybe it’s John Cusack standing outside the window with a boombox in Say Anything? It could even be as easy as Samantha getting her first kiss over the candles of her sixteenth birthday cake. Whatever your favorite cheesy, sappy love scene is, why not try and recreate it at home together? It’ll be funny, goofy, and oddly romantic. (Hint: Just be sure you put some pillows on the floor for cushion if you try the Dirty Dancing lift!)
Try Something New
Trying something new together has so many positive benefits for couples’ relationships! It doesn’t mean you have to try skydiving or go sit in a cage with sharks, something new can be as simple as cooking a recipe you’ve both always wanted to try. Or maybe it’s trying your hand at a couples meditation and exchanging massages? Don’t be afraid of messing up, just relax and you may be surprised by how much fun trying something new together can be!
Punny Scavenger Hunt
One time, I had to go on a business trip that overlapped with Valentine’s Day. My fiance and I had only been engaged a few months and so missing this holiday felt like a huge disappointment. Fortunately, I found a fun way to surprise him and spread a little romance: a Punny scavenger hunt! While I was at the airport, he came home to find this intricate little game to play. Now, this is something you can recreate at home (no business trip required!) Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- “You’re the only fish in the sea for me — look where I go to take a dip.” – mason jar full of Swedish Fish candy
- “A few kisses to have in case of an emergency — well these, and this important fire safety item, too!” — a baggie full of Hershey kisses
- “Some people like beer goggles, but I know you prefer wine glasses.” — attached to a bottle of wine.
Attend a (Virtual) Concert
A handful of singers and musicians are offering free performances from their home and the concerts so far have been amazing! So why not treat yourself to a virtual concert? Buy a new outfit online, get dolled-up, pour a drink, call up your friends on Zoom and dance it out in your living room! It’s almost like a front row experience, right?
Bake a Homemade Cake
This may seem basic but when is the last time you had a homemade birthday cake? Personally, it’s been years! You can go the traditional route and make a basic cake with premade icing… or you can go big and try to recreate a crazy fun cake from Pinterest like this rainbow layer cake! If you want some funny inspiration, turn on Netflix’s Nailed It and you’ll have a few fun ideas in no time.
No matter the occasion, a great idea is to buy your loved one (or yourself) a gift card to a local business or event. You won’t be able to use these right away. But you’ll be supporting the local economy while also giving the gift of having something to look forward to after these trying times pass. Talk about a win-win!
Image by miljko