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Dear Katie: I'm Really Sad That I Can't Celebrate My Birthday During Covid-19

Dear Katie: I'm Really Sad That I Can't Celebrate My Birthday During Covid-19

Katie Harrington

Dear Katie,
I know that there is so much going on right now but I’m really sad that I can’t celebrate my birthday with my friends this year. I haven’t seen them in over 2 months. When this all started back in March I thought I would have my birthday at the start of June to look forward to, but I understand that it’s still not safe for me to see my friends or extended family. Have you any advice?
Dear Beth,
I completely understand why you feel upset about not being able to see your friends and celebrate your birthday with them after a very difficult and stressful few months.
For most people, birthdays are extremely important and special. Although as people get older, they tend to celebrate less as if they should be ashamed of their age and how many birthdays they’ve celebrated. I think we should all count ourselves lucky to be able to celebrate as many birthdays as possible. Celebrating a birthday doesn’t have to be about throwing the biggest, most lavish party or receiving the most expensive gifts to show off to everyone. There are many ways to celebrate whether it’s a candle in a cupcake, a card in the post from a relative or a birthday phone call from an old friend; each is special and a celebration in its own right.
I, personally, love birthdays. Especially those of the people I love most because I enjoy spoiling them and showing them even more than usual, how special they are. Unfortunately, this year many, many people are celebrating their birthdays in quarantine, myself included. And it’s not easy, no matter what age you are.
I recently celebrated mine and although I had a brilliant day, thanks to my amazing family and friends, it was certainly not the way I had planned to spend it. Waking up that morning, I felt very happy/sad. Of course, I was delighted that it was my birthday, but I knew that I wouldn’t get to see my friends or my extended family. My parents and siblings really went out of their way to make the day extra special; filling the kitchen with balloons, baking me a cake worthy of being entered on the Great British Bake Off, and spoiling me with a lot of love and a few surprise gifts.
Due to the amazing powers of social media, I was able to have a birthday party on Zoom with some of my college friends and I also received many lovely messages from friends near and far. My friends also organised to send birthday presents, cards and surprises to my house, which had been arranged with my family. All of this led to a wonderful birthday, although very different to the celebration I had envisioned earlier in the year.
My younger sister’s birthday is only a few days after mine, and my heart honestly went out to her. As she’s only 10 years old, she had no way of contacting her friends or for them to wish her a happy birthday. Her party had to be cancelled and due to anticipated delays in delivery, her birthday present had not yet arrived. Yet, my family came together to make her day as special as we could with limited supplies and amenities. We baked her a very tasty unicorn birthday cake, had a treasure hunt around the house to a few smaller emergency gifts that had been purchased in the case of delivery delays, and set up an obstacle course in which the whole family took part, rather competitively I might add. All of this combined meant she had a brilliant day and almost forgot about anything she had felt she would miss out on.
Again, we must remember that sometimes birthdays are hard for individuals, even without quarantine. Particularly, some elderly people may be alone celebrating birthdays at the minute so be mindful of those who’s birthdays you know are approaching. Something as simple as a phone call or message on their birthday during quarantine could make their day.
We put together a few more ideas about how to make birthdays in quarantine special.
Having my birthday during quarantine made me realise have lucky I am to be surrounded by amazing family and friends. Although it’s difficult right now, for anyone celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, graduating during quarantine, remember that we can all celebrate ten-fold once it’s over.
Katie x

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