How to Celebrate Mother’s Day — or Anything — Now

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Just because we’re apart doesn’t mean we’re not together. Here are some ways to celebrate each other during coronavirus stay-at-home orders.

If you have been trying to celebrate anything during the stay-at-home order, I would like to offer my sympathies. It’s hard to make light in the dark, and coordinating birthday celebrations, weddings, anniversaries, etc. seems to have only leveled up in complexity and ingenuity. What platform do we use, if any? What about gifts?

Even though my mom lives a 15-minute drive away from me, this coming Mother’s Day feels like I might as well be 2,000 miles away. Our usual way of celebrating — going someplace nice to eat, getting our nails done, going to the beach — is all obviously out of the question. So what can we do?

While in quarantine, I’ve coordinated three different birthday celebrations as well as some friend events and it’s been a lot of trial and error. Here’s what has worked for me so far.

Houseparty Surprise Parties

The Houseparty app has become one of my most-used apps lately since it allows for casual hangouts without the effort of having to keep up conversations, which to be honest, is something we are all out of practice doing. It’s also easy enough for grandma to use.

A group of people plays trivia on the Houseparty app.
A group of people plays trivia on the Houseparty app. Credit: Houseparty.

So when it came time to celebrate my dad’s birthday, someone who thrives being in the company of lots of friends and family on his birthday and any day, it made sense to coordinate a surprise birthday party through the app.

I only told him to make himself available during a window of time so I could order him dinner via Postmates, but little did he know I had a bunch of friends and family ready and waiting on the app to wish him a happy birthday.

Several Houseparty games later, we had passed the time without notice and everyone reached out to me after to say how much fun they had.

Zoom Double Feature Night

They say it’s usually bad to mix business with pleasure, but this isn’t true of Zoom. And if you have a halfway decent internet connection, you’ll able to host full-on movie nights.

Whereas Netflix Party is limited to one platform, the possibilities are endless with screen-sharing on Zoom. Hulu? Of course. Criterion? Entirely possible.

There’s no need to miss out on the communal movie experience, but you’ll have to supply your own popcorn!

(Here’s a helpful tutorial for the technically challenged.)

Coordinating A Fund

Sometimes the person you want to celebrate doesn’t enjoy being the center of attention. Or maybe the current global pandemic has put them in a bad funk where they really can’t imagine finding joy right now.

A gesture that will help them look forward to the future and/or lend some help toward a cause they care about will go far in recognizing them without making a big fuss.

Putting together a collection for a post-coronavirus weekend getaway or donating to a relief fund in their name is never a bad idea.

Los Angeleno