Right now, most of us are facing the greatest crisis of our generation. While many are all struggling with coping, some of those hit the hardest are our kids. This is especially true for those missing out on the celebrations to mark one of their most major milestones: graduation. While your little ones might be graduating from preschool or kindergarten, it’s the older kids who are going to feel the loss the most. They’ve worked hard to make it through high school and post-secondary school and deserve recognition for their success and accomplishments. While you can delay a big party until the pandemic rules are lifted, there’s no reason you can’t find a way to celebrate graduation during these days of isolation. Here are our top tips to help make it memorable.
- Create a Drive-by Honk Sign: Choose an area within earshot of your home to post a “Honk for Our Graduate” sign. Make it large enough for people to see it, so they will honk their horns to acknowledge this major accomplishment. Your grad will wonder what the ruckus is about, and you can let them know it’s for them. Let all their friends and family know to encourage more people to come by to honk their congrats.
- Post a Congrats Board: An online board is a great way to have people post fun messages to your grad. An excellent option is Kudoboard.com, but there are several others available, including creating social media groups. Invite family, friends, and even teachers to share their messages, memories, and congratulations.
- Plan a Car Parade: Much like the honk idea, a car parade is an exciting way to show your grad how much everyone cares and how impressed they are with their accomplishments. Set a time, invite people to participate, and have them decorate their cars, prepare signs, and then drive by your home together honking, and shouting out their congrats. Neighbours might complain, but it won’t last long, and most will enjoy the spectacle! Just choose a respectable hour to plan it.
- Present a Scrapbook: To show that their accomplishments haven’t gone unnoticed, prepare a scrapbook with their best grades, memorable assignments, best teacher comments, and all their top achievements throughout their academic career.
- Post a Sign: Up the embarrassment factor by having a sign posted on your front lawn, garage door, or front door. You should be able to find a local sign shop happy and grateful for the business. You can get creative and have little characters made up depicting your grad receiving their diploma, or just do a sign with your message of congrats. Don’t forget to gush!
- Have a Household Grad Party: While not ideal, have the whole family plan, serve, and enjoy an incredibly special meal for your grad. Make their favourite foods, invest in some champagne (if age appropriate), and even dress up.
- Bake or Order a Grad Cake: Many bakeries are still operating and will be excited to provide a grad cake. If you have issues finding someone to do it for you, bake your own and decorate it with a grad message.
- Plan to Attend the Online Ceremony: While some schools are delaying ceremonies, many are having an online ceremony. Make a big deal about it and have the whole household attend. As well, share the web link so other close family members can participate.
- Share a Graduation Announcement: Make sure your email list and social media pages celebrate the grad day, so everyone knows about it. With so many people living apart, sometimes these special occasions can be forgotten. This will encourage everyone to send congratulations and let your grad know how much they are loved and how proud everyone is of them. Encourage people to share video messages online or directly to your grad via email. You can even have a video sent to you to create a single video of everyone’s messages.
- Have a Virtual Party: Set up a virtual party for everyone to get in on the fun. You can make it a free for all, or have a plan with speeches or some activities. Get people to dress silly with grad hats, or be ready with a glass of bubbly for a group toast. You can get as involved as you like. Maybe everyone has dinner together online or contributes their own insights on life with messages that things will get better. It doesn’t have to be long, just fun and/or meaningful. Figure out your grad’s state of mind and avoid doing something that might prove to be upsetting. For example, getting too emotional for some people might make them feel worse. Lightheartedness is probably the best approach to keep things happy and positive.
- Brag Around Town: Post some safely positioned signs on your car announcing your kid’s graduation and encourage honks and waves.
- Share a Special Gift: While budgets are tight right now, consider a special gift you can share with your grad as a reward for their major accomplishment. This is no easy feat and deserves any recognition you can offer. Think about their interests and buy something indulgent and not necessarily related to their graduation. In these difficult times, they need to know their efforts mean something and sometimes a special gift is the best way to mark these occasions. Consider planning a group gift from those you know traditionally would have given them something. This is a great way to show your grad they are loved and that the people closest to them are proud of them.
- Order Food from a Special Restaurant: Your grad is probably missing their favourite restaurant treats, so why not order food in? Most restaurants are offering delivery or curbside pickup, so you can plan the meal for their special day and treat them to the food they love. As well, most families have a go-to “fancy” restaurant for special occasions. You can help provide some sense of normalcy by carrying on the tradition, even though you have to enjoy the meal at home.
While there is no way to match the original plans to celebrate this special day, every effort you make will show your grad how proud you are.
If you are looking forward to making the usual plans for your special occasions, Château Le Jardin is still here to help. Reach out to our team today!