Celebrating Milestones, Corona Style

I was going to start this blog post writing about what the hardest part of life during corona, but as I was writing it I realized that it would be kinda silly to write what is the hardest because there are just so many challenging parts about this time period and picking just one is a fallacy. However, one thing that is definitely challenging about corona times is when you have a milestone that is a once in a lifetime (hopefully) event, something that you've probably been planning for for years, and then all your plans are for naught because they aren't possible in today's world. While some people chose to push off the event (though not everyone wants to wait indefinitely, because who knows when life will go back to normal?), most people decided to go ahead with the celebration, but in a very different and/or abridged way.

For example, my dad got married during this whole period. For a while I'd seen people post videos of their corona weddings, and I thought it really was beautiful. In my community, weddings usually are big affairs. Mine was "small" with under 200 people. But of those 170 or so people, do you know how many of them I'm actually truly still close with? 2 of them. Period. Others I haven't spoken to for years, others I don't even know how to get in touch with them if I want to, or they're just passing acquintances. When I think about how much money was spent on my wedding to please all these people that I really don't care at all about now, its ridiculous.

When I see these corona weddings, I see people have to narrow down their guest lists to people that truly matter to them. I think the cap is 20 people at these weddings now, with social distancing between them. And wedding halls aren't open. So people's weddings are done in people's homes or back yards, with people that they love and are dear to them, and they are, quite frankly, the most beautiful weddings I've ever seen. Every video I've seen of such weddings brings me to tears. My dad's wedding was just the perfect day. And I can't help but wish that even after the world "returns to normal" that these style weddings stay in fashion.

And then you have other events. One of my kids had a milestone birthday, one that we'd started planning over a year in advance. And then corona. I had planned on doing this big party in a hall, with me self catering it, with many friends, family members, neighbors, just to celebrate this big day.
And again, corona made that impossible, so instead we had a very, very, very small event, just a few close family members, and we went to a nice restaurant with outdoor seating, social distancing. When things "go back to normal" or at least somewhat more "normal" this kid will take some of their friends for a fun evening out at a venue of their choice. And I have to say, that it was a really, really, beautiful event. More beautiful, maybe, than a big fancy party would have been.

Though for some people, for safety reasons, perhaps they are extra high risk, even these small events might be too much and they can only celebrate with the people with whom they live. Or they do have these small events as I mentioned above, but because of the lack of crowds, it feels less special. How can one take these events and make them into a positive, special memory?

Well, for one, when events are smaller, it means that they cost less money, so money that would have been spent on the bigger party can then be spent on making the smaller party nicer. You might, for example, want to make specialized matching comemorative t-shirts for everyone to wear for the event, by using iron on transfers- special bride and groom t-shirts, anyone? Covid Sweet 16 shirts anyone? These would end up being nice keepsakes and a reminder of how unique and different (if not also tremendously difficult) of a time it was.

Or, you can, as we did, spend more money on a fancy restaurant, which even when expensive, is still cheaper than doing a cheap event for a larger crowd.

Of course, everyone will want to be Zoomed in, to feel like they're part of the event. But because Zoom can be patchy, you might want to invest in good photography or videography, so you can share the happiness of the event with others, even if they weren't able to be there in person.

Times are what we make of it. This time period sure isn't easy, but there are definitely some special things that come from it, those intimate special celebrations with our loved ones.

Have you had a milestone to celebrate during these corona times? What did you do to celebrate? Or did you decide to postpone?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Congratulations on the special birthday and glad to hear how lovely it turned out to be despite the limitations we are all operating under.

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