Birthdays! As long as we’re alive and the world keeps turning, we’ll all continue have one. Birthdays are meant to celebrate the fact that you were born, so all you have to do in order to qualify one is to be born. Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you were born, and you’ve managed to stay alive. Given the current climate, this is no small feat. This entitles you to a birthday!
Is having a birthday the thing that unites us as humanity? Not really; you can celebrate a “birthday” for anything that survives in existence for a minimum of one year. If you’re anything like me, you’ll celebrate the birthday of friends, pets, inanimate objects, relationships (“anniversary” is just a fancy way of saying “relationship birthday”), as well as beautiful websites with incredible content (wink wink).
The problem is that reality isn’t exactly very festive right now. Social distancing, mandatory quarantine, face masks and constant disinfection all go against pretty much every single birthday ritual we’ve established. We can’t get together to dance our hearts out, hug each other, or eat potato chips out of a shared bowl. We can’t get drunk off the same glasses. We can’t make out with acquaintances and strangers, letting ourselves get carried away by the birthday cheer.
But get-togethers and unhygienic activities aren’t the only ways to demonstrate to your favorite birthday-haver that you love them. This quarantine has really put our collective ingenuity for making other people feel good on full display, especially those who are unfortunate enough to have a birthday in the midst of this shitty situation that has us all cooped up inside, feeling isolated and lonely.
Have a virtual birthday celebration!
Birthdays are about letting people know you love them, and you don’t need to break quarantine in order to do that. Thank you, internet! Thank you, deliveries services! With a little bit of imagination, people are making the most out of virtual birthday parties.
Over the course of this quarantine, I’ve celebrated more than 10 birthdays. We’ve done it all: dance parties via zoom, virtual get-togethers with people from all over the world, we’ve played bingo over Google Hangouts, we’ve played Pictionary via Skribblio, we’ve played Tutti Frutti, we’ve watched movies at the same time and discussed them with each other. In some cases (requiring extreme logistical efforts) we’ve made video tributes of ourselves singing and dancing, because nothing says “I love you, friend” than recording as you make a fool of yourself.
Send a birthday present!
There’s also the surprise factor. Look into it. A lot of vendors, of many varied products, are working extra hard to personalize their deliveries when it comes to birthday presents, with packaging that don’t merely serve the practical purposes of transporting the merchandise but themselves are part of the birthday present, or handmade cards that allow you to customize the greeting. It’s a great time to kill two birds with one stone by giving an incredible birthday present as well as supporting some of your favorite businesses; you can either purchase a virtual gift card or a coupon for a future tattoo, or maybe some wine. The possibilities are endless.
If you want to get fancy, you can also have some presents custom made.
How about a painted portrait of the birthday-person’s pet?
Maybe some homemade cookies with a personal twist?
Or how about dinner from a place that means something to both of you?
Or an incredible box of curated birthday deliciousness?
If the birthday caught you by surprise — because, let’s admit it, sometimes it gets hard to tell what day it is– you can always count on your favorite delivery app to send a quick meal, a treat, or anything. All you need is a credit card and the knowledge that the birthday person will be home to receive it… as if they have any other choice right now.
If you like to plan ahead, Mercado Libre is still an option, and in fact they’ve enabled a feature that allows you to search for vendors that are still making normal deliveries. This opens up a whole world of possibilities, all kinds of presents and surprises that span a wide gamut of sizes and prices.
Another great option is to buy a party box. These are — as the name implies — boxes that contain everything you’d want from a birthday party: balloons, ribbons, candles, confetti, all in a box that is delivered right at the doorstep of the person being celebrated. Maybe the overall mood isn’t quite there for everybody, but I believe that birthdays are still the best excuse to go overboard with decorations. Here are some party box options: one, two.
At the end of the day, whether it’s during quarantine or back in “regular life”, the most important thing is for the birthday person to know you thought of them, and you consider them important, and that they are worthy of your time and your love.
Which reminds me… this is the week of La La Lista’s birthday! Happy birthday, La La Lista! And since La La Lista is all about lists and music, here are my top five birthday songs for you.