How to celebrate birthdays when you can’t be there

How are you all doing? 

After a strange old summer,  we’re still all battling away. As individuals, families and communities, we try to dig deeper than ever into our dwindling reserves of resilience and conjure up some much needed optimism to get through this. We can do it together.

They say that optimism can be learned and apparently optimists live longer, have better relationships and earn more money! So let’s look for a silver lining in every cloud. 

birthday celebration

Celebrating birthdays in lockdown

We hit a cumulonimbus this week…  My father turned 80 years old on Wednesday.  All our best-laid plans to celebrate this fabulous milestone fell by the wayside. From an epic once-in-a-lifetime family reunion in the Austrian Alps to a simple family gathering in the local pub to an outside lunch with no contact.  There must be millions of people across the world suffering the same fate, canceling birthdays & anniversaries with loved ones due to lockdown. Left in the wake of these cancellations is a void of a million hugs that were never felt. We need to bank them all and then go on a hug-spending spree when this is all over.  In the meantime, here’s a possible antidote to social distancing and a way to send a whole lotta love when you can’t be there in person.

With a little help from The Video of Everyone,  you and your friends can create a beautiful video montage to give anyone the celebration they deserve on their big day. If nothing else, it’s a fun activity to do with the kids, a way to stave off cabin fever and a positive distraction from everything that’s going on at the moment.  We made one for my dad, filmed across 3 continents, with everyone dressed-up and singing a verse of Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday (except for my Colombian Parents-in-law where the song title was lost in translation and they sung ‘New York, New York’. This made it even funnier). 

the video of everyone birthday

So, if you have a family or friend’s birthday coming up, or know someone alone during lockdown who deserves a big virtual hug, create a video celebration for them.

Be kind to yourself

None of us know quite what the future holds or how to get through this, so the best way to manage everything is by doing it your way.  Don’t put any unnecessary pressure on yourself. If all else fails, just relax, do nothing for a day besides watching lots of trashy tv or repeats of your favorite films.

You deserve it.

Stay safe. 

Keep smiling (from behind the facemask). 

It’s going to be alright. 


  1. We too were going to celebrate my sisters 70th birthday all together. Thank goodness we started a birthday video with you!! She will get all the goofy and sentimental videos on Sunday…along with The Book Of Arlene. I love your company! Keep creating smiles!!

    • Jonny Biggins Reply

      Hi Patty,
      Thank you for your kind comment and hope the video celebration and book for your Arlene’s 70th were appreciated.
      Stay safe,
      Keep smiling

  2. Linda Mossgrove Reply

    Thank you so much for reaching out with wonderful ideas. My grandson turns 16 in June and I pray that I will be there to celebrate with him. But if not, I have a wonderful option. I sent him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY book when he turned 13.
    Please stay safe as we get through this together.

    • Jonny Biggins Reply

      Hi Linda, thank you for your kind comment. I really hope you can celebrate your granson’s16th in person. Stay safe, keep smiling. Jonny

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