My baby girl turned 1 this week. It was such an amazing day of excitement, reflection, and family… But it was much different than your typical 1st birthday celebration.
It is crazy to think that only a few months ago I was planning her birthday party. I had a theme, guest list, and was scouting out party locations. I love hosting, entertaing, and party planning (thus the “party” in my blog name) and this was a celebration I had been looking forward to for quite some time. A few weeks into social distancing I realized her first birthday was not going to pan out the way I envisioned.
This week, I decided that I was still going to “go all out” for her birthday. I was going to decorate, bake a cake, get balloons, take photos, and have cake and ice cream with our entire family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins). I just had to figure out how to make it all happen while following social distancing guidelines. I know some people might find my precautions extreme BUT because I have an immunocompromised relative in my family, I’m taking the “better safe than sorry” approach.
I wanted to share with you how we celebrated, along with some tips for throwing a safe and budget friendly socially distant birthday party!
Keep the Guest List Small
As much as I wanted to invite our entire support system to the 1st birthday celebration, it just wasn’t an option. We decided to keep our guest list to just family (aunts, uncles, and grandparents). We came up with time slots and shared the availability with the family. This actually ended up being a great approach because it kept our birthday girl from being over stimulated AND we only had a few people over at a time. If we had hosted a traditional style party we would have had 17 family members at the house at one time.
Keep the Budget Small
I know it seems like a no brainer, but it’s not always easy when it comes to a celebration. For the decorations I reused some tassles I had from a babyshower we hosted a few years back. I purchased the balloons from the dollar store, and made my own cupcakes and smash cake. I even made a cake stand for less than $2.00! You can find an easy tutorial for this DIY by watching the video below!
Rethink the Traditional Cake and Ice Cream
Instead of making one big cake for everyone to share, I made cupcakes and packaged them individually. I was sure to wear a mask when handling and decorating and kept the mask on until the cupcakes were packaged into individual cupcake boxes. The boxes served a dual purpose — the packaging kept the cupcakes germ free and allowed anyone that stoped by to pick out their cupcake of choice. I ordered these adorable cupcake boxes off of amazon and loved that they were easy to assemble and super sturdy.
I also purchased individually packaged ice cream as an extra precaution. They’re the perfect serving size, don’t require separate bowls, and keep things germ free.
I used Snixy Kitchen’s Spiced Banana Date Cake recipe for the smash cake (I used a whole weat/oat flour blend)! I loved that the smash cake wasn’t overly sweet. Our girl still LOVED the cake and frosting and I didn’t have the guilt of loading her up on refined sugar.
Offer a Live Stream but Keep Things Simple
Again, we wanted our entire family to be able to see our girl enjoy her first slice of cake but if I’m being honest, I think we all are experiencing a bit of video chat burnout.
I shared a Zoom video link and let the family know that they were welcome to log in and see our girl eat cake! I was also very open in stating that it wasn’t a “virtual birthday party”. Folks could log in, watch her devour her cake, and then log off whenever they wanted. Everyone felt included but there was no expectation for them to be tuned in for a long virtual event.
I hope that these tips are helpful and provide a fun way for you to celebrate a special milestone in the age of social distancing. This approach can be tailored for all sorts of birthdays and milestones, not just 1st birthday parties!