Going Virtual: Celebrating milestones in the midst of COVID-19
Entering the age of seven is considered a milestone in a child’s life. It is when they enter more challenging experiences because it is the age of starting to have a moral sense of right and wrong. Memories are actively being saved at that age that will have lasting impacts in the future so parents want to create a birthday experience worth keeping.
Take for example a little girl named EJ. Her “My Little Pony” birthday party had already been planned and booked many months before her actual birthday. And then COVID-19 happened. The quintessential party is beyond the bounds of possibility but there’s no reason to skip the festivity altogether. In a way, celebrations are needed now more than ever to lift our spirits and hope for a better tomorrow.
It’s time to be creative. Piece together what was already planned ahead of time with what is doable at the moment. Invites were sent out to guests that include date, time, Zoom link and password, and FB Watch Party details for the following day.
On the day of the event, safety was top priority. It was an at-home party with a thematic setup so the place was sanitized twice and people working behind the scenes all underwent rapid tests, wore PPEs and practiced physical distancing. The decoration stayed as planned—welcome balloon arch, birthday banner, life-size acrylic ponies, cake stand, grazing table and milk tea station. Bags full of deliciousness (grazing box, lasagna, cake, cookies and milk tea) were delivered to all the guests who will be joining the party virtually so they can enjoy the food together.
While everything was happening, EJ was still unaware of what her parents had prepared for her. So when the time came for the ultimate surprise, the birthday girl’s reaction was one for the books—exactly what the parents intended and probably even more. And like something out of a fairy tale, she suddenly reappeared in a sparkly ball gown fit for a princess.
As the virtual guests started to dial in, a DJ was playing fun tunes remotely to hype up the atmosphere. And finally, the host, who was also only present online, introduced EJ to the special people in her lives as a seven-year old. They immediately started the program with a prayer and then followed by pre-recorded videos and birthday messages. EJ’s first dance with her step father was definitely one of the highlights of the day.
Birthdays and other celebrations allow us to feel connected. And at a time when we’re not allowed to physically come together, it’s important to be reminded that we still care for each other. Great job from the production team of PurpleSage Asia (check them out HERE), a local production company which aims to give life to virtual celebrations with style in collaboration with PlanNStyle for making this surprise birthday party for EJ a success. This unique celebration will definitely be remembered even after many years, when EJ has a full grasp of things, she can look back and tell how she celebrated her seventh birthday during a pandemic.