7 Ways to Celebrate during COVID 19 by a Party Planner

Posted on April 28, 2020

Birthdays, Anniversaries, Graduations, Life Milestones!

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been celebrating things. I’ve always visualised myself in mid celebration – a bottle of champagne. What brings me greater joy than celebrations of my own is creating a celebration for others.

I feel passionate about celebrating victory because I believe that success breeds more success. Sometimes success may be something as simple as surviving 50 days of COVID 19 with all income streams cancelled. If you really think about it, we all are successful at something. Consider this article the Celebration ‘Stim Pack’ from Ken Sambury.

During this period we must not just survive, but must learn to thrive. Thriving will give us the extra energy we need to adjust to the world as it changes and attack everyday like our life depended on it. Creating a new routine extends beyond our daily life, but it also includes revisiting how we approach milestones in our life.

All of the following methodologies require preparation. If you are looking for a quick fix, this is not the article for you.

1. Do it Yourself & Create Something New!

The objective here is to create long term sentimental value. To do this we can use a very well known item but very underused.

The greeting card.

Printable greeting cards have existed for years and this is when you can take the time to choose the perfect colour, words and design. Check free templates here.

With a little more effort you can make your greetinginsta ‘pop out’ and create a greater impact.

What if you are not physically close enough to deliver a physical card? Then an e card may be the trick. I’ve long been fascinated by the sarcasm and truth in ‘some e cards’:

Need a bit more colour and something a bit less adult?
Try Smilebox. This website allows you to incorporate pictures. Just take them from Instagram and maybe save yourself having to think up what to write.


The events of 2020 will be in the history books of tomorrow. Everyone should do a time-capsule to document what your Birthday, Graduation or Anniversary was like during this world wide lock down. The greeting card works best as a gift for someone else. In contrast, the Time-capsule idea will work as a gift for someone else but also work well if you are celebrating yourself. As a time capsule is a gift to your future self.

To build one, get a bottle or box. (A lot of choices on amazon.com between 15 and 50 usd) and pack it with images of what your life looks like now. Work space? Parties? Meetings? Dates? Essential Wear?

2. Fancy Food & Drink

No matter how drastic things get we still have to eat. We can extend our weekly groceries to cater for a celebratory dinner. Go the extra mile and get cutlery to match.

For my annual Birthday Brunch I’d buy my fancy disposable utensils in PriceSmart. The brunch menu itself will be simple enough to make – consisting of staples like rice, peas, chicken and fish. When I turned 26, my then girlfriend, and close friend Deon Cuffie Joseph made a similar menu for me.

Arvinder Rampersad, a popular event planner and his gf did the same for his Birthday celebration last week.

Need recipes ? Illusions Mas started an every Monday cooking show.

If you don’t feel like cooking you can order food from chefs who will be happy to do all the prep for you and deliver that special meal to your home. Two of my favs below:

3. Get a Celebrity Cameo

Maybe we are looking for a big surprise. Well this is it. Thanks to cameo.com we can finally access our favourite actors, comedians and influencers to help us with our celebrations.

Need a local face? I spoke to one booking agent, Jelan Cumberbatch who said he would be happy to ask any of his artiste to make someone’s celebration better.

Anyone you don’t see on this list you want a shout out from – I may be able to help. You can always email me at ask@kensambury.com

Plot Twist. You are the celebrity!

Yes. What if you be yourself – and give a confident video birthday or celebratory shout out to that person for their big day!

4. Re-Think Gifts

So the Ministry of Works and Transport has assured all citizens that our ports are fully functional.

This means we can still order whatever we want online and have it shipped locally. With a little thought we can also get something locally to create something special for our celebration. We can use groceries from the market to create a fruit bouquet since flower shops are closed.

Going to the grocery store? Get extra items such as a bottle of wine, chocolates and other sweet or savoury treats that can be added to an indoor picnic. Some creativity may be required as you may have to deliver your gift from a distance! Some people have resorted to ‘drive by greetings’.

Our presence can be a great way to celebrate if we live close enough – but keep your distance!

5. Dress Up and Go In

Look the part

I enjoy hosting events with a dress code. Everyone’s interpretation of what we mean by “Tropical” or “Classy” has expanded events I’ve hosted into more than a party. As my colleague Sekon Sta said in a recently published documentary the patrons are “part of our story”.

It may seem absurd to put on fancy clothes to join an online celebration or house party. However for some, this is new normal and the faster we adapt the faster we can continue having fun.

Decorate the area

Choose a theme and decorate the area to fit this. Alternatively balloons and a sign work perfectly.

Watching Christina’s Instagram it is hard for me to tell that she is not going out.

6. Have a Games Night!

Yes, a virtual games night! Games nights are one of my favourite things because I love the added elements of intimacy mixed with competition that you won’t get in a regular party or lime.

Each game night needs three things. Snacks, a host and the games! The host is you and the participants determine which snacks they prefer. Alcohol is a good idea if the participants are adults.

Video Games – #PlayApartTogether

A campaign launched by the World Health Organisation encourages people to distance but stay connected through multiplayer video games. Interested in taking advantage of the new special events and COVID related discounts in this campaign? – click here to see a list of participants. Then go to the company’s website and look for “play apart together”.

I wish I discovered this website before, as it allows individuals to play games with their smartphone while watching one television screen. Using a similar idea, this website allows up to ten users to play remotely and up to 10k to stream the game(s) live.

QuizUp Trivia

Need to do more than just play? Need to learn a bit as well? QuizUp Trivia will certainly test your knowledge and leave you with some facts you did not know before.


Need some All Fours and chill? What about a night of Kings Cup? Somehow no matter how elaborate and well planned the games we have are, it always comes down to using a regular pack of cards sometime before the games night ends. This website allows you to configure games effectively allowing you to play almost any card game remotely.

Print your games

Cards Against Humanity (one of the most most popular games) has a free printable version! You and your friends can all print the same game and play this. Click here to download.

Share your screen to play anything

As an avid monopoly fan for many years, I enjoy classic games. Using any app to share my computer screen I can turn a regular group call into a multiplayer game session!

7. Treat Yourself

All of the techniques mentioned above involve celebrating with friends or creating a celebration for a friend. What if you don’t need friends to celebrate? Taking a day off by yourself can be fulfilling and lead to self discovery. One blogger calls spending your Birthday alone a self fulfilling adventure. She uses her birthday as a deadline for something she wanted to accomplish and then uses the day off as an opportunity to do something she always wanted.

Thank People

What if on your special day we flip the script and take the time to thank the people who have helped you make it this far. Celebratory days like Birthdays are days when special attention will be placed on whatever you say or do. So a heartfelt thank you will go a long way on this day especially.

Improve Your Mind & Upgrade your perspective

Take the time to read a book, or read about your personality. My colleague, Daniel Francis chose to launch his book the Millennial Mind on the day of his Birthday. When working with him to design his marketing plan I applauded this idea. He shared his personal thoughts on why he wrote it and how he felt and it was well received by his friends and acquaintances. His posts got many views and shares especially on LinkedIN.

Plan for the future

I enjoy making plans however I have never created a vision board. A vision board is a visualization tool which refers to a board of any sort used to build a collage of words and images. I still remember some of the things on the boards I’ve seen my friends create. Based on this I think this is an excellent way to keep us connected to our day of celebration and it is something that will bring new value as our vision becomes reality.

Peace of mind is the best gift you can give yourself. So don’t be afraid to have a completely lazy day and just binge watch your favourite show. The best part of treating yourself is that you can do whatever you want with no judgement.

Celebratory moments are embedded within our culture. These moments are a renewable source of good feeling. Let us harness this and create new traditions!

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