Since social gatherings are limited and keeping healthy is essential, how do we celebrate occasions and make them memorable for our kids? If this has been on your mind and you’d like a few suggestions, here are some ways you can honor what’s still important to you and your family.

Drive-by birthdays. If it’s a friend’s or neighbor’s birthday, why not drive by and surprise them? Roll down your windows, lean out of your car, and sing “Happy Birthday” while holding balloons and birthday banners. You might brighten their day even more by dropping off a gift on their doorstep.

Lighting for the occasion. The way we light an area can make all the difference. For example, with just a few candles, you can make a birthday celebration fun for young kids. Watch their excitement at finding six surprise candles around the room for their sixth birthday rather than on the cake. Bonus: they can blow them out without sharing germs. For a cozy family dinner, why not include soft music and scented candles? String lights and homemade banners can also make a room or nook of the house feel different enough for that special occasion.

Baby shower on the road. Getting together with a small group of girlfriends and their kids can still make a baby shower special. A tailgate celebration will help ensure social distancing. Each vehicle can be its own safe “bubble,” decorated with streamers, balloons, and cute baby slogans created by you and your kids. Mom-to-be will appreciate the effort, and spending time with people who care about her is already a gift.

Virtual bake party. To celebrate someone passing an exam or reaching a goal they’ve set, you could do a virtual bake. First, send out invitations and ingredients so guests can shop ahead of time. Next, choose your favorite platform such as Zoom or Google Meet. Set reminders on the day so no one misses out on the fun. Make sure you’re on gallery view so you can see each other’s smiling faces. Lastly, have fun and bake!

Maintaining a connection with family and friends is essential. It makes us feel loved and brings comfort to all of us. Sometimes seeing the face of a person close to our hearts is all we need to brighten our day.—RG