We’re almost half-way through 2020, and if there’s one thing we can all agree upon: the times are strange.
A global pandemic is sweeping across the world, infecting millions and killing thousands in its path. A record-breaking number of Americans have filed for unemployment, out of work due to the closure of businesses and state-mandated distancing orders in effect.
The economy may be on the brink of collapse, and stuck at home, we’re trying to carry on with life as normal to the best of our ability.
Normally, at this time of year, we’d be planning family vacations and deciding which activities to enroll our kids in during their summer break from school. Instead, we’re figuring out how to home-school our children and put food on the table at the same time.
Some parents might find themselves in a particularly unique situation if their little ones are nearing the end of an education chapter and preparing for graduation.
This is a huge accomplishment and the Coronavirus shouldn’t stand in the way of a celebration—so you should throw them a party all the same.
Whether you host a virtual gathering or wait until social distancing restrictions begin to ease up, your graduating son or daughter deserves to be recognized for their accomplishments.
It might seem like only yesterday you were planning a toddler’s birthday party, but now they’re all grown up—and their graduation party should reflect how far they’ve come.
Need some decoration inspiration? Here are our top three tips:
Start with the Exterior
Coronavirus do’s and don’ts suggest people keep a six-foot distance from one another, which can throw a major wrench into any party planning.
Regardless of whether you limit invitations to close family members, or extend them to all of your loved ones, the entire neighborhood will note your child’s achievements with exterior decorations.
Put your pride on display with custom yard signs that loudly announce their graduation. It’ll be seen by cars passing by, neighbors strolling down the street, and guests approaching the door.
If you live in an apartment complex or condominium, you might lack a lawn suitable for signage. In that case, hang a commencement banner across your patio, balcony, or garage door. Either way, be sure to tie balloons to the mailbox that show guests where the party is—or where people under quarantine can place a congratulatory card.
Pro tip: If possible, try to set this up while your honoree is away from home. That way, they’ll be delighted with surprise when they return from the ceremony.
Go with Black and Gold
If you’re a party-planning pro and used to throwing the best birthday bashes in town, you might be tempted to choose a theme for this upcoming event.
We’re usually all about clever creativity, but on this occasion, you might want to err on the side of caution.
Your kid isn’t much of a “kid” anymore, and chances are, they’ve long outgrown themes you once found cute.
The last thing you want to do is embarrass the graduate in front of his or her friends and family with a “Groovy Graduation” complete with disco balls in every room.
That’s why we suggest sticking with the traditional colors, black and gold, and letting your creativity shine through chevron stripes, polka-dotted patterns, metallic tinsel, and so forth.
Play around with different tones and textures to create a one-of-a-kind vibe that will stand out in the background of any photograph—even years down the line—and immediately conjure memories of this special day
Set Up a Photobooth
Speaking of pictures, it seems as though parties these days simply aren’t complete without a fun photobooth. If it’s not in your budget to hire a professional company, go the DIY route by hanging a black sheet against the wall and prop table nearby.
You can make props yourself with construction paper and popsicle sticks—just cut and paste shapes to create grad caps, diplomas, glasses, books, apples, and anything else you can think of when “school” comes to mind.
Try to get all your guests to snap a photo with the grad and be sure to get copies of the pictures taken on other people’s phones. That way, you can print them out and include them with the Thank You cards you send out, giving everyone a memento of this milestone marker.
Congrats to you and your graduate! Hopefully, a successful party is just the first sign of all their good fortune to come.