Even during the lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the Philippines, our daily lives continue. Birthdays still happen. Many moms have prepared celebrations for their children, complete with birthday party suppliers, but had to cancel their plans due to the viral threat. Nevertheless, mommies still want to celebrate life and family. We now have a renewed perception of life. Every day is a blessing that we can still wake up and be with our families. So no matter how simple, we celebrate the Lord’s goodness. Here are some prudent quarantine birthday ideas that I have seen.
The Celebration of Life
We Filipinos love to celebrate our birthdays, especially that of our children. Holding gatherings in celebration over good food is our way of showing our thanksgiving for the life that we have. We celebrate each year as a milestone.
Normally, we bring together the members of both families, including lolos, lolas, titos, titas, cousins, and everyone else. When I was younger, I remember gathering over birthday spaghetti with hotdog slices, birthday cake, arroz ala valenciana, and if the family budget allows it, we have ice cream!
Over the years, birthday celebrations have evolved because we now have themed parties held in hotels or restaurants. Parents who can afford go all out with decorations, magic shows, birthday cake, game prizes, dessert tables, and giveaways. And most of all, the whole family would wear matching outfits based on the theme. For the love of their daughters, even the Daddies wear costumes, too. It’s so fun!
But Covid-19 is like the killjoy that has curtailed all that. We can no longer hold birthday parties with hundreds of guests and several suppliers. Maybe it’s God’s way of telling us to go back to the basics—celebrating with prudence while giving thanks to Him for all the blessings. It is not saying that we should never celebrate anymore, but to change our approach towards celebrations.
Quarantine Birthday Ideas
In order to give thanks to God for another milestone year in their children’s lives, several mommies have held prudent celebrations. The fanfare has been reduced but the love and the joy that goes around didn’t diminish. Check out some creative quarantine birthday ideas below.
Creative Photo Shoot
Mommy Giselle Perez of Bacolod City is an artist and one very creative mom. For her daughter’s 18th quarantine birthday, she arranged a really dope photo shoot with their dolls! She has a doll collection plus she makes her own dolls, too. Her lovely daughter Gwen posed with the dolls amidst paper flowers that Mommy Gizelle also made from scratch.
Dolls as party guests? Why not? When we were kids, dolls were our playmates—why not reminisce the old times?
- Related: Creating Happy Family Traditions
What an awesome idea this photo shoot was. After all things have been said and done, it’s the photos that will remain. So let’s put some effort into making them really nice. Afterwards, Mommy Gizelle had a simple dinner with the immediate family.
Three-in-One Joint Celebration
Meanwhile, the three children of Mommy Joanne Gonzales-Tagros of Bukidnon had birthdays that fell on the quarantine months. Daughter Chicay was born in March, son JB in April, and the youngest daughter Ella in May.
So instead of three celebrations, they prepared a big one! But not a big party though, because physical distancing is still in effect. It was just a family affair with lechon and homecooked meals and of course, a birthday cake!
The important thing is, their immediate family was in attendance.
- Related: Why Family Meals are Important
Virtual Charity: eParty
Despite the pandemic, the worries, and the loss of income, Mommy Daphne of Bacolod City wanted to celebrate. It was her eldest daughter Gianna’s 11th birthday. Before the lockdown in March, she thought of bringing friends together and having a Pinoy fiesta party. She thought of reviving the well-loved Filipino games and serving native delicacies.
When the quarantine happened, she held an online birthday party and fund-raising. She hoped to give out food and spaghetti packs to the families of tricycle drivers living in their community. The eParty was a success and she was able to hold a charity drive in her daughter’s name.
You know, I held something like this last year: An Introvert’s Virtual Birthday Party. I blogged about it in our marriage blog.
By the way, Mommy Daphne has shared her quarantine reflections in this blog. An inspiring read: A Mom’s Self-Assessment During Covid-19 Lockdown
LDC—Long Distance Celebration
Mommy Elsie Gonzaga of EGL Gourmet Foods in Bacolod City had planned for a month-long cruise for the summer of 2020. It was her 60th birthday and her first grandchild’s first birthday—one week apart. Her family from Bacolod and the United States would converge and enjoy the sun, sea, and endless food on board. But the most exciting part would be the hours of laughter and storytelling.
Then the lockdown happened. Miss Elsie celebrated her birthday quietly surrounded by immediately family here in Bacolod City. The following week, her granddaughter Haley also celebrated quietly in Las Vegas–albeit with a cake smash.
Since Haley’s Birthday fell on Easter, Granny Elsie had a bunny cake made and they had and LDR fellowship over videocall.
My 45th Birthday
This month, July 2020, I turned 45 years old. Yes, I am a now a caliber 45—a mark that changes my views in life. It had not been an easy climb reaching this point, but the important thing is, I am thriving at this stage in my life.
Last year, I thought of holding a joint celebration with hubby, who will also be turning 45 in a few months. While we usually just cook food at home in order to celebrate our birthdays, I thought that we are going to do something bigger this year. After all, it’s not every day that we both reach this stage.
Again, Covid-19 cancelled that idea. This year, we are just thankful that we are alive and well. And we celebrate that.
So instead of a joint celebration, I prepared a simple birthday lunch for the family. I made pork sisig as well as white spaghetti.
The star of the table would be my homemade boneless lechon belly. A lot of the things that I used to prepare for the dishes came from bartering, which means I let go of some old stuff in order to acquire the ingredients. If that ain’t prudent, I don’t know what is.
We were full and satisfied and my heart just overflows with joy.
Another Blogging Award
I got some gifts from friends and family for my birthday. There were cash gifts, plants, fruits, and birthday cakes from friends at Merzci Pasalubong and Seda Capitol Central.
But one of my biggest birthday gifts was winning in the Write to Ignite Blogging Contest by ComCo Southeast. This is for my story: . At first, out of 70 entries from all over the Philippines, they shortlisted 40 finalists. And I landed on 4th place!
Read my winning entry: Stages of Dealing with the Covid-19 Pandemic
Thank you, Lord! What an awesome welcome to my 45th birthday!
Other Birthday Party Ideas
Hope you got some inspiration from these great quarantine birthday ideas. We shall get through.
Before the new normal, here are some other birthday party stories in this blog.
- A Mani-Pedi Birthday Party with Friends
- Unicorn Girl 6th Birthday Pictorial | Family Birthday Traditions
- Baguio City Birthday Adventure for Kids | Philippines
- Decorative Sandwich Making is a Fun and Affordable Birthday Party Idea for Kids
- Cha Misua | Chinese Birthday Misua Recipe
- Five Years of Shane