1st May 2020

Celebrating your birthday during a lockdown

Jim Day Banner

During these unusual times, it’s easy to shy away from celebrating life events while we deal with our own isolation and waiting for things to change, but it’s important to make the most of them regardless of where we are because even the smallest of gestures can make a huge impact on someone who might be struggling with it all. That’s what happened to me.

24th April 2020 - I woke up much the same as any other morning. It was week 432 (or maybe 5 or 6, I couldn’t remember) of the lockdown due to COVID-19. The day didn’t start with an ‘S’ which meant it was a work day, it was a friday and it was nearly my birthday.

As with a lot of people, the lockdown had brought a flurry of emotions over the previous few weeks and as much as I had become accustomed to social distancing and working from home, the monotony of it all was really hitting home (which was exactly where I was staying). Suffice to say, I was getting pretty fed up. I’d barely even thought about my birthday, hadn’t even mentioned it; I was comfortable with the fact it would be a quiet one this year. Thankfully, this day would be different…


Sure, there were pretty obvious clues that something was being planned, but I’d missed them all, so stuck in my own monotony that a planned team quiz at 3pm barely registered in my mind. When 3pm itself came however, I was greeted by a box at my door; what could it be?

Genuinely, I believed it was a care package of some kind, probably containing food to keep a starving man alive. Not that i’m ungrateful for receiving such packages, I need food to live and any food from outside would surely be better than anything I made for myself inside. I went back to my home office (spare room) with the unopened box to partake in this quiz over video chat, still none the wiser.

That’s when it happened, the big surprise! Everyone was on the video call and they all wished me a happy birthday, I was stunned, this was so unexpected and was really sweet of everyone to care. I was then told to open the box...

The box of gifts!

During the initial excitement, I’d almost forgotten about the box that had just arrived and so was even more surprised when a balloon flew out when I did finally open it. Much like at the end of Raiders of Lost Ark I stared at the contents of the box in amazement, it was beautiful; thankfully there were no face melting consequences. The team had given me a selection of real ales (my favourite), some sweets, drinks coasters and some Oreo muffins; such a thoughtful gesture that I certainly had not been expecting.


Pictured: Beers I received
Not pictured: The beers I’ve drank

Most importantly of all within this treasure trove of delight was a birthday card; which I will tell you all about right now!

A signed birthday card

A greetings card is always a wonderful thing to receive on any special occasion and there are many reasons why this one was super special. Firstly, it was Star Wars themed! I love Star Wars and the fact that my colleagues know that about me shows me how much my individual interests are appreciated.

Secondly, the card contained a ‘build-your-own BB-8’, which I thought was great as I really like to build stuff, which my colleagues are also aware of. This was also a brilliant solution to a strange dilemma I have around greeting cards, that most people do not know; this dilemma being that I always keep them up for far longer than most people should and never throw them out even after that. Therefore having something to keep as a constant reminder of such generosity and thoughtfulness is always an added bonus.

Finally and most importantly, everyone had signed the card! This was particularly special because none of us have been together for months and yet there in my card was everyone’s personal messages. It turns out that Lauren had gone to everyone’s houses and got each person to safely sign the card; which is an amazing amount of effort to go to for lil ‘ol me and a truly lovely thing to do.

Bb 8

Fun and games

So with all that excitement out of the way, there was still a quiz to do. Lauren OG had created one using Kahoot, which worked like a charm. Now, we at Abstrakt are no strangers to doing the odd pub quiz now and then and I have to say we’re not too bad at them either; what OG put together however was something else.

In another life OG would’ve been the perfect quiz master, her imagination, creativity and sense of humour are unparalleled in this realm and we all had a lot of fun taking part. Some of the categories of this quiz included: history, star wars, star trek, planes, her majesty; which anyone who knows me would agree are my specialist subjects, each with hilarious results, with the highlight definitely being the film rounds.

Name the film:


I definitely hadn’t laughed so hard in a long time since the lockdown began and was such a fun experience after what had felt like an eternity of monotony. I have no idea how long it took OG to put the quiz together or how difficult some of the other delights might have been, but we all had a great time, especially me.

Wrapping up

With all the excitement over it was then the weekend and I went into it overjoyed by how much my team made me feel appreciated for my birthday and even though my colleagues went above and beyond, it helped me realise just how important it is to keep celebrating things at times like this; the only thing left to do was to literally write about it, so here you go!

In closing I’d like to say thank you to my team at Abstrakt: Lauren, Marc, Nikki, Jenkins, OG and Robbo for being such great people and for making such a huge difference to someone who was struggling to stay positive.

Need ideas and inspiration on celebrating someone’s birthday during a lockdown or interested in working with us? Feel free to get in touch.

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