DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a big birthday coming up, and I don’t know what to do. Normally I would host a big party for myself -- not out of ego, but as a way to ensure that I can bring my friends together and we can all have a great time. I want to do something like that, but thanks to COVID-19, we still can’t get together in person. I feel like everybody is sick and tired of Zoom parties, plus I don’t know how to design one so that it would be fun and not solely focused on me. Do you have any ideas? -- Celebrate
DEAR CELEBRATE: Is there an outdoor area where you and some friends can gather that might give you a chance to meet up with some of your loved ones in person? A socially distanced small gathering might be a way to bring you and your friends joy.
A video party can also be fun, but that, too, should be limited in scope. If you have too many people on the call, it will be hard for people to talk. Be selective with your guest list, and dream up fun activities for your guests to participate in, such as memory swapping about great experiences. Some people request friends to send in short videos when they are unable to join a planned call. Still others host smaller gatherings that can be intimate moments to connect with loved ones for your special day, but not all at once -- kind of like going out for coffee or drinks with a few groups of people. Extending your celebration to a week or a month of smaller engagements may be fulfilling for all!