How to Make Birthdays Special During Difficult Times in Life


Because difficulties come to everyone and can fall at any time, even birthdays, here are four ideas to make birthdays special in difficult times. 

Make Birthdays Special in Difficult Times

Difficult times come to everyone and are pretty indiscriminate about when they fall, including on holidays and birthdays. However, hard times shouldn’t be a reason to give up your birthday celebrations. In fact, there’s an argument for holding onto your birthday traditions during the hardest of times. They give you something to celebrate and to look forward to on your darkest days. Here are four ideas to make birthdays special no matter when they happen and what else might be going on at the time.

Set up a Surprise Visit

If someone close to you has a special birthday coming up and it’s possible to make a surprise visit, then plan on stopping by. (It may be that you have to maintain social distancing protocols if their birthday is affected by COVID-19 protocols or some other restriction.) If that’s the case, then plan on dropping something at the door and doing a visit from the sidewalk or from your car. Even though they can’t be physically close to you, they’ll probably enjoy a cha—albeit a shouted one—with you. Cell phone calls on the lawn work well for this, too.

If you live with the birthday person and want to surprise them with birthday visitors, consider arranging a video call with loved ones or a window of time when people can drive or walk by to say hello. Just knowing that they are loved will help the person with a birthday have a more special day and feel supported during their difficult time.

Write It on the Lawn

Birthday cards take on a special meaning when they’re supersized! These days, you can celebrate the birthday of a loved one with a birthday-themed yard sign. These yard signs are five or six feet of birthday happiness right on someone’s lawn. Your loved one’s happy birthday yard sign can include information like his/ her name, giant illustrations, and more. Put the sign out overnight while the person is asleep so that it will be a surprise in the morning. If you plan far enough ahead, you could even have friends and family write their well wishes on the sign to be read in the morning. It’s a unique touch for a unique birthday.

Create an “About You” Scrapbook

If you are a person who keeps everything—concert ticket stubs, birthday cards, etc.—then making a scrapbook about your loved one is a way to celebrate your partner’s birthday without spending a lot of money. You can also use this to show your partner that you care and that you’ve been paying attention to and saving what’s important. Write little notes about your favorite memories or what stands out to you about those events and include pictures of your best times together.

Try a Virtual Paint-n-Sip

If your loved one likes to paint and loves wine, why not set up a painting party on Zoom. You can choose an easy picture to paint and get some simple art supplies from the local dollar store. Once the date is set, create a Zoom link for all invitees and paint and sip until your hearts are content. Choosing a birthday theme to paint, like presents or a birthday cake, adds a nice thematic touch.

Celebrating a birthday during a difficult time is one way to add a bright spot to one of life’s dark spots. While some concessions may need to be made, it’s still possible to have a memorable birthday celebration. From yard signs to virtual paint-n-sips, there’s a way to celebrate make birthdays special no matter what’s going on in the world at large.

About the Author

Anica Oaks is a freelance writer who hails from San Francisco. When she’s not writing, she’s enjoying her time outside with her dogs. Anica recommends finding a Happy Birthday yard sign to make your loved one feel special. Keep up with her on Twitter @anicaoaks.

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