How to Celebrate During a Pandemic

In these unprecedented times, it’s never been more important to spend time with your loved ones. And yet, spending time with your friends and family members has become increasingly difficult. Many restaurants are closed or have restrictive dining, stores are shutting down, theme parks have closed their doors, and large gatherings are banned in certain areas. That European vacation you were planning this year is out of the question, and it looks like the family won’t be going to Disney World, either. As you spend another day sitting inside, you feel like this year is passing you by. The world is shut down, but the milestones keep happening. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations: everyone’s lives keep changing, and now there’s no way to celebrate it.

If you’re feeling disconnected from the real world, maybe it’s time to get creative. No one said that you can’t hang out with your friends and family or celebrate their accomplishments. You just have to figure out new ways to do it. With a little finessing, you can get back to enjoying life and cherishing your friends and family while also celebrating this difficult time. Because no matter what happens, family always comes first. And here’s a few ways you can stay in touch this summer.

1. Instead of Going Out, Have Dinner and Drinks at Home

You and your partner’s anniversary is coming up. In the past, you always celebrated by going to a fancy restaurant. This year might be a little bit different if you’re wary of the idea. Some restaurants are slowly opening their doors, but policies are constantly changing and restrictions are in place that might make dining out feel more like a chore than a relaxing night out. How can you celebrate you and your partner’s special day?

Instead of going out to eat, consider cooking a fancy dinner and enjoying your favorite wine right at home. Okay, maybe neither of you are professional chefs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time. You can buy groceries at the store or online and pair your meal with your favorite RayLen wine. Our online store offers the ability to ship right to your home so you don’t even have to leave the house. When the evening comes, turn up your favorite music and have a blast in your kitchen as you prepare your special meal together. You’ll make memories that you’ll fondly recall for years to come, and you might even learn a few things about each other in the process.

And if you really hate cooking, you can skip the cooking part altogether and order take-out from your favorite restaurant and pair it with your favorite wine from our vineyard to up the fancy. You’ll still enjoy a delicious meal, and feel good knowing you can support a local restaurant and a local North Carolina winery while doing so.

2. Treat Your Friends and Relatives to a Gift Card

You might not be able to go out and have fun today, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do so in the future. If one of your loved ones is celebrating a milestone, why not treat them to a gift card they can redeem when the pandemic is over? Think about their interests and what they’d like to receive. For example, if they’re passionate about food and drink, look into getting a gift card from their favorite restaurant. If they enjoy wine, you can buy a physical or digital gift card from RayLen’s online store. The possibilities are just about limitless, and they’ll be able to buy what they want for themselves instead of you guessing and (possibly) getting it wrong. If you choose to support a local business, you can also feel good knowing that you’re helping to keep the doors open during a financially difficult time for many.

3. Host an Event Through a Virtual Zoom Call

You’ve probably heard of the Zoom program being used for businesses, and you might have even used it yourself if you’ve been working from home. Zoom, Facetime, Skype: all of these platforms are perfect for hosting a virtual celebration right in your living room. Send out virtual invites to everyone, then have your friends and family members gather on their computers for an online get-together. You might not be able to meet in person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hang out! Catch up, offer support, and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. You can even host online events like a craft party or a paint-and-sip session through a video conference with friends. To hold a paint-and-sip of your own, all your group needs is their own paint, canvas, brushes, and their favorite RayLen wine or drink of choice. The added plus of holding an event like this from home is the ability to take as much time as you need or want with your group and not be held to the time restrictions or formalities of an in-person event. 

4. Celebrate a Graduation or Birthday the Socially Distanced Way

Unfortunately, the pandemic denied many high school seniors and college graduates the chance to truly celebrate their accomplishments. Graduations were canceled, senior proms were cut, and instead of walking across the stage, they spent the evening sitting at home with their parents. Those are lost memories that they’ll never be able to get back. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create new memories that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.

If you’ve got a loved one celebrating a graduation, a birthday, or any other special day, consider hosting a car parade. A car parade allows you to greet your loved one and celebrate their accomplishments while staying within the safety of your car. It also makes them feel extremely important–imagine having a whole parade dedicated to you! You can also plant signs in your front yard that announce your friend or loved one’s graduation.

If someone in your family has a large enough backyard and the weather is right, you may even consider holding a very small get-together with everyone agreeing to maintain social distancing. Of course, consider the age and health of those on your guest-list and be sure seating is arranged in a way that promotes distance between households. If you’ll be serving food and drink, consider avoiding shared foods and opting for disposable utensils. Items such as single-serve chip bags are a better option than a bowl of chips, for example. And, rather than using cups, opt for soda cans and canned beer or canned wine.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Treat Yourself

In these uncertain times, you’ve probably missed a few milestones and accomplishments of your own. You told everyone not to worry about it, it’s not important, but secretly you missed having the chance to celebrate with family members. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself as you accomplish goals or celebrate your own special days. Buy that jewelry set you’ve been eyeing online, make yourself your own birthday cake even though your party was called off, treat yourself to trying a new bottle of wine, or even take a day of relaxation that’s all about “you” since your summer vacation plans were cancelled. We’re all going through a hard time, and everyone needs to take a break and treat themselves once in a while.