2020 was devoid of the fun activities we grew so accustomed to; there were no concerts, professional sports games, parties, or fun family theme park visits. Many retreated in their homes, with just their immediate family. While some branched out and developed a tight-knit bubble of friends. Either way, we all struggled to entertain ourselves and find things to look forward to. As I was assembling my 2020 photo album, I came to realize I was able to create many beautiful memories. We started new traditions that we will cherish forever, made reasons to get together, and ended with things to look forward to that I hope to carry on well outside our quarantine bubble. Here are a few highlights from my quarantined 2020.

1. A reason to get outside, together

When I chat with other parents, a common trend is the profound sadness associated with what the kids are missing out on. My son loves athletics, and his favorite day of school is always field day. At-home learning meant no field day, and this came as a massive bummer to Zac. Our bubble decided we could tackle field day and host a fun afternoon for half a dozen kids. The kids loved the organized activities and reason to be competitive. Field Day led to a summer of outdoor fun and eventually evolved into neighborhood football games at the park – which we managed to continue through the year. We gathered safely, played games, and for the time, found something to look forward to.

2. Alphabet dinners!

Early on, we thought it would be fun to go through the alphabet and cook dinner from a country beginning with each letter. Cuban night was a huge success and led to not just one, but four backyard dinner parties in the last year. I love to entertain and having a theme like Cuba just allowed for fun decorating, signature cocktails, and even the discovery of new games like Double Nine Dominoes and Cubilete.

3. Extended game nights

Game night has come a long way. Who doesn’t love to get their adrenaline pumping through some healthy competition? It is a great way to bond with new friends or distract from the monotony of hanging with the same group every weekend. I love a good round of trivia or Taboo, but my new favorite is the Minute to Win It. Minute to Win It was a TV show where contestants were given 60-seconds to complete a task or challenge. They are silly, challenging, and appealing to a variety of skill sets. Everyone is engaged, cheering and laughing. It works well for a party with different age groups. Plus, we found something else to help us through.

4. The 3 B’s of Girl Nights-In

Many of the women I know craved the opportunity to get together, form relationships, and have fun with other women. This looks different depending on your phase of life, and of course, which level of the pandemic you’re in. In my life, I have found there to be three B’s of “lady get togethers,” there’s Bunco, Bachelor, and Book club!

  1. Bunco is for easy and boozy competition.
  2. To indulge in pop culture (superficial decadence and drama), it’s Bachelor.
  3. Book club is for bonding and debating over a juicy book that may just allow you to change your opinion — a muscle that we all need to do more of!!

We are always more excited to simply get together, but the B’s give us a great reason to do so!

Regardless of the reason or the season, we crave new experiences, human interaction, and breaks in the routine. We thrive on connection, friendship, and distraction. These are the methods in which I have found connection in the last year and I am so grateful to those in my life that have enjoyed them with me. Cheers, can’t wait to expand the bubble and make new friends to share these traditions with in 2021!