What is the purpose of a celebration? In the past, I’m sure many of us would have said something along the lines of “bringing people together” — with the understanding that we meant “in person.” Since the “in person” part is problematic this year, people have really had to think about the purpose question, and see what can still happen.
This weekend I attended two celebrations that, a year ago, I would have had a hard time imagining could happen virtually. The big one: my little brother’s wedding. He and his wife (!) left Brooklyn in April and have been renting a place in upstate New York. They decided they liked rural life, and bought a house up there. It turns out that when you take the in-person event-planning aspect out of a wedding, you can be quite speedy! They told us over Thanksgiving that they planned to get married and they had a Google Meet ceremony on Saturday.
While it was sad not to be all there in person together, there were a few upsides. For one, I could mute my children during the ceremony, an option that I would have loved to have had in some other circumstances. When my 5-year-old lost the ability to sit still a few minutes in, he could just…not sit still. They’ll likely have a big party in late 2021, so in essence they just separated the wedding into two parts: the ceremony itself and then the reception more along the timeline of a traditional year-long engagement.
I also attended my husband’s annual office holiday party. Last year I found a very festive little black maternity dress and the bump and I took Uber downtown for the 100-plus person event. I came home around 11 p.m. or so to send our sitter home. This year, they sent us a package with snacks and drinks, and we zoomed in for a very well facilitated event. We were done by 7 p.m. or so which, given my interrupted sleep these days — due to the happy but not-so-sleepy little boy contained in that bump — is probably fine!
What virtual celebrations have you attended recently?
In other news: My New Corner Office podcast episode this morning is about how to Throw a Good Virtual Party. I enjoyed pulling together some tips for this episode…but I’ve also made the decision to end The New Corner Office with 2020. We’ve had a good run (almost 200 episodes!) but I don’t think I can sustain the pace. I’m going to incorporate some more career content into Before Breakfast (my other every-weekday-morning short tip podcast) and probably run some more posts that could have been episodes here.
I’m also pondering doing more “reader case studies” here – I enjoy the financial ones over at The Frugalwoods and it’s definitely something I could do for time issues here.