Nothing can replace a hug. Sometimes, though, we do not have the opportunity to reach out to our loved ones and embrace them. Illness, social distancing, and high travel costs can keep us from providing in-person emotional support.
With some ingenuity, you can reach out and touch someone. Gwyneth Paltrow showed the way at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. The actress popularized the no-contact birthday parade. A parade of SUVs drove by with balloons and Happy Birthday wishes for her son, Moses. As long as they leave the presents, the drive-by birthday works brilliantly for a 14-year-old. For other special people in your life, you may be looking for more creative ways to reach out.
Send Singing Telegrams
Singing telegrams are experiencing a strong resurgence. The Atlanta Opera Studio Artists are recording arias of favorite songs and sending personalized performances out to seniors' homes and hospitals.
Add a Little Poetry to Someone's Life
Send your favorite video of cherished Shakespearean actor Sir Patrick Stewart reading a sonnet a day from his Twitter account at #ASonnetADay. Or compose your own poem and deliver it by a live telegram. On virtual poetry slams on Telegram or Medium, you can share your love with the world at the same time. Create a Zoom poetry circle and have everyone compose their own poem for the birthday girl or boy.
Book Virtual Live Performances
One great option: The Kennedy Center presents digital performances. The renowned performance center is opening up its large digital library for free. Also check in with your favorite theater, concert, and opera houses. You may find this season's performance of his or her favorite opera streaming live. More meaningful is a local performance. Performances including performers your mother taught as children in grade school or your dad coached in little league will be especially endearing.
Zoom a Party
A party is happening at Windsor Castle. The royal family is gathering together virtually on Zoom to celebrate the Queen's birthday. Outdo the Queen with an online tea party bringing together special friends to enjoy a warmhearted chat around an Earl Grey.
Whichever medium you choose, making the effort to personalize your message is the way to touch hearts. If your friend loves to reminisce about his days with the bluegrass band, send over a banjo-playing telegram. The telegram company will be more than happy to accommodate special requests. Although singing gorillas are harder to find these days, many artists are currently looking for creative outlets.