Let’s face it: birthdays are different these days. With the CDC still discouraging parties, we can’t celebrate a loved one’s special day with the gusto we once did. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make a birthday memorable.

We believe in birthdays! They are certainly something to celebrate. Often, we just want to be with our loved ones on our birthday, and that’s exactly what you can do this year. 

It’s often the simple things we remember about birthdays and this is a great time to get back to the basics and incorporate sweet, simple ways to celebrate with your immediate family. 

  • Family members can all make a handwritten card with a special message to the birthday boy or girl. 
  • Decorate the house with balloons, banners, signs, streamers and more. 
  • Set up FaceTime or Zoom calls with friends and family near and far. If possible, schedule times throughout the day to spread out the fun calls. 
  • Have everyone in the family wear party hats. 
  • Incorporate “favorites” of the birthday boy/girl throughout the day. Think favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner, play favorite music or watch a favorite movie. 
  • Do a card blitz and have friends and family send real snail mail birthday cards.

Winter birthdays can be tough anyway – especially here in Ohio when you can’t go outside for a party at a local park or pool (summer birthday people- lucky you!) and it can be tough to host a bunch of people indoors. We know that’s not even an option right now, anyway, but there’s always been an element of creativity in planning for winter birthdays, even when there isn’t a global pandemic going on. This is the perfect time to think outside the box! 

Here are a few ideas for those winter birthdays:

1. Hot chocolate bar. Celebrate with this winter staple, but take it up a notch and make it fancy for the occasion. Ashley’s Pastries has the popular hot cocoa bombs which are a tasty, easy treat. They’re a daily staple now, and we offer delicious flavors like marshmallow, peppermint, caramel, Nutella, Oreo, espresso and peanut butter. You can also set up a hot chocolate bar at home where your family can create their own tasty beverage with toppings like dark chocolate chips, fluffy marshmallows, real whipped cream and crushed peppermint. Everyone can cozy up with a toasty mug to watch the birthday boy or girl open presents.

2. Decorate a cake together. We can make this one easy for you. Swing by Ashley’s to pick up one of our  decorating kits. We take care of the baking, you can do the decorating! The whole family can share some laughs and spend time together creating an edible masterpiece. Our cake and cookie decorating kits are always available, but you can call ahead to request cake flavors and cookie shapes, as well as color of icing and sprinkles. The cake kit is just $25 and includes an 8” single cake, icing, sprinkles and various cake toppers to use for decorating. The cookie kit contains six cookies, two bags of icing and sprinkles for $20. If you’d like, you can add more cookies to the kit and  we’ll add additional icing and sprinkles. It’s a fun and yummy way to make memories in the kitchen. 

3. Make your own pizza party. Who says cake has to take center stage? If you’ve got a family member that loves pizza, make it a DIY pizza party! You can make your own dough or pick up pre-made dough at the grocery store. Create a work zone where everyone can easily assemble their own pizza with favorite toppings – a variety of veggies, many meats, cheese, spices – and get creative. As you wait for the pizzas to cook, everyone can share a favorite thing about the birthday gal or guy. 

We hope these ideas help to spark some inspiration for those winter birthdays. At the end of the day, our loved ones want to know they are loved and cherished and thought about — that’s what makes a birthday special and memorable. This pandemic is a chance for all of us to slow down and remember what it is that really matters. Sometimes, the simplest birthdays are the best. As always, we are here to help  so you can celebrate life deliciously.