Less than a week ago, just as the COVID-19 cases had crossed the 1,000 mark in India and heartbreaking images were all over the news, a friend sent me a simple text: ”I have a single unbelievable experience to share.” And a video. Closer home, a simple birthday ritual was rendered special in a housing complex in Pune while sticking to all the rules of social distancing. Even as we have applied the Konmari method to our lives paring it down to the basics, birthdays still arrive offering a sputter of hope in uncertain times. And while not all of us might have the luck to be quarantined with family and social distancing means that we are on our own through this period, here are a few ideas to plan a birthday party as well as to make your special day count… even in lockdown mode. This one can include all the guilty pleasures and shower karaoke favorites—from George Michael to Justin Bieber, no song is cheesy enough to miss out. How to make it kid-friendly: Create a playlist of Disney songs or fun nursery rhymes set to music and watch your kids shimmy away with you or their friends over Zoom. So while a fancy restaurant dinner or customised cake might not be on the cards, use your lockdown pantry imaginatively to create a birthday menu for you and your family. Ask each one to make a special birthday cocktail with a refrigerator mix (or commonly found ingredients in your refrigerator: think lemon, chili, ginger, coriander, curry leaves, hot sauces, egg whites and milk) and whatever dregs of alcohol you might still preserve in your home. How to make it kid-friendly: This one is easy… pick off Netflix or Amazon Prime’s vast selection of children’s films, put on a batch of popcorn and settle in for some family viewing fun Think magical, think movies, think books and get your child’s friends together on Zoom and have a fun evening with princesses, geeks or dragon slayers.
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