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Time to Party Like It’s 2020—Social Distancing Style

Written By: Erik Hale Virtual Birthday Party

We are mostly social creatures that all secretly desire some degree of peer group recognition. We will humbly text our friends when we get a promotion, post on Facebook the sex of our child and #hashtag anything on a vacation that makes us seem even vaguely cool.

The birthday, however, is a time to lay back and revel in the love of friends and family. When I was five, I remember being “forced” to stand on a chair at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor in my cowboy outfit while 30 or so strangers sang an off-tune version of “Happy Birthday.” Last year on my Facebook wall, about the same number of people offered birthday wishes while leaving memes of things like cats blowing out birthday candles.

This year’s birthdays so far…well, they just hit differently. It’s harder to celebrate without your group of friends toasting margaritas and exchanging stories well into the night.

We crowdsourced ideas from over 40 people, and we came up with 10 ways to make this the best virtual birthday party ever for you or your bestie.

1. Send them money with Zelle or Venmo. I liked getting the $10 from my grandma until I was 16, and a few bucks still goes a long way. Especially today.

2. Organize a surprise themed Zoom birthday party. Pick “the ‘90s” or “Hawaiian” themes, start a text chain with all of the person’s friends and set a time. Decorate your house, wear hats and you can all sing “Happy Birthday.”

3. Meet at a drive-in movie. There are precious few left (maybe they will make a comeback), but if you can get a group of friends to watch a movie together in this climate, that’s a win.

5. Send them a bottle of booze through an app like Drizly. They will have to show their ID but imagine their surprise when they wake up the next morning and remember you got them tipsy.4. Start a hashtag. Text all of your friends and ask them to upload photos to #itsbrittneysbirthdaybitch (find an unused one) and you can upload old and new photos.

6. Buy them a gift card for carry-out from their favorite local restaurant. We have some lists for Orange County, LA, San Diego and Greater Palm Springs.

7. Send them a cake or flowers from a local food delivery service like Postmates.

8. Organize a parade. Have all of your friends decorate their cars and drive by their house honking and singing “Happy Birthday” in a caravan. The neighbors will love it!

9. Just send them a text. Everyone loves texts.

10. And if you don’t write on my Facebook wall….are we even friends? Virtual Birthday Party

11. Here are some of our favorite drink recipes.