How to Celebrate Mother's Day During Social Distancing

Five tips from party planners for dedicating the day to Mom.

After more than a year spent social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, our new normal is finally in sight—vaccinations are happening across the country, and the latest CDC guidelines say that gathering with other vaccinated family members and friends, or with one household of unvaccinated people at a time, is now considered safe. While larger gatherings are still tenuous, a family-focused Mother's Day celebration is certainly in the cards this year. But what if family members live far away, or else still don't feel comfortable gathering at this time? In these instances, you still have options. Even if you can't host your mom for brunch this Mother's Day, you can still virtually commemorate the occasion. "Honoring our mothers shouldn't be missed because of what's on going in the world," says party consultant Mindy Weiss. "Now is a great time to make new traditions. That extra effort and creativity will really resonate and be appreciated, especially during this time."

Along with allowing you to celebrate Mother's Day from a safe and healthy distance, a virtual bash has other upsides, too. "Mothers work so hard all year round with making sure their homes are perfectly clean and often are responsible for doing the same on Mother's Day when guests come to their homes to celebrate together," says Elle Anderson of Elle A Events. "Moms deserve a day where they can stop worrying about cleaning, they don't have to set the table to make sure the place settings are perfect, and can sit back and relax in their pajamas."

Hoping to throw an online celebration for your mom this Mother's Day but not sure where to start? We asked a few of our party planner friends for advice on how to pull it off, and here's what they had to say.

young family looking digital tablet
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Schedule an online Mother's Day call with loved ones.

Looking for a perfect way to celebrate Mother's Day virtually? Kathryn Johann of Parties By the Sea suggests setting up an online call for your mom with friends, family, and siblings. "Your mom would be thrilled if she sat down in-front of her computer on Mother's Day and discovered you arranged a Zoom or FaceTime call with her family and favorite friends," she says. "If platforms like Zoom aren't her style, HouseParty is another fun and easy way to get multiple family and friends all together that's gaining popularity by the day.

Plan for a special menu.

If sitting down for a traditional Mother's Day dinner is still out of the question, Weiss says there are still ways to break bread with your mom to celebrate. "If you're hosting a virtual party, ask each guest to make their favorite dish and present it BYO-style," Weiss says. "Each family member can show off their contribution. Or you can give everyone the same menu to create in their own home so each member of the family enjoys the same meal together, plus one specialty dish to surprise the others with and show off online."

Have your favorite photos of mom handy.

A few memorable photos can go a long way when virtually celebrating Mother's Day. "Collect beautiful photos of your mom and place them in the background of your Zoom call," Weiss says. "Or put together a photo montage of your favorite pics on your iPhone and present it to her on Mother's Day. The memories recounted will bring back some great times together."

Send a sentimental (but supportive) gift.

Not sure what to gift your mom this Mother's Day? Anderson suggests surprising her with presents that also support local businesses. "A thoughtful gift would be gift cards from your mom's favorite restaurant, local clothing store, or spa for when our restrictions are lifted," she says. If you're searching for something she can enjoy right away, she recommends having dinner from a beloved restaurant delivered straight to her door via Postmates, GrubHub, or UberEats.

Plan ahead.

Weiss says preparation is key to pulling off any celebration, but this is especially true when dealing with technology. "Just remember, if you are planning on a Zoom party, be sure the older crowd knows how it works ahead of time," she says. "During our family Passover this year we had to walk my aunt through the Zoom process, but it was a great experience that truly brought everyone together and it meant a lot to her and each of us."

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