Hats off to the Class of 2020

For the class of 2020—whether graduating from kindergarten or college—traditional commencement ceremonies are, disappointingly, out the window. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still acknowledge your grad. After all, they’ve worked hard. Here’s how to throw a 2020-style grad party they’ll never forget.

  • Have a virtual party. Visit with friends and family online, and add some fun by having each guest share a photo, a memory or something about the grad that makes them proud.
  • Ask friends and family to send greetings to the grad via snail mail, email or with a congratulatory phone call. Any way they get kudos, your grad will feel special and recognized.
  • Have a small party at home. If you’re social distancing, you can still have a party at home with your household. Make the grad’s favorite foods, a festive punch and some cupcakes frosted in their school colors. Scrounge around the house to see what kinds of decorations you can dig up. Even a simple, homemade “Congrats!” poster can help set the tone.
  • Organize a parade. Ask the grad’s friends to drive by at a designated time, holding signs, honking horns and calling out congrats. You can stand outside and enjoy the “parade” from a safe distance.
  • Make a collage of the grad’s school photos through the years—it’s a fun keepsake.
  • Hold your own makeshift graduation ceremony. Have the grad don their cap and gown (you can find inexpensive options online if the school isn’t providing them). Make an officially “unofficial” diploma. Hold the ceremony outdoors, and ask the neighbors to come out to witness and cheer on the grad from their yards or doorsteps. Don’t forget to blast “Pomp and Circumstance” as your grad walks to the “stage” to accept their diploma. They could even give a speech, valedictorian or not!
  • If your grad is receiving special honors, add colored tassels to their cap and silk scarves or stoles to represent their achievements. Any scarf or necktie could mimic the real thing.
  • Find a video of one of the grad’s favorite public figures who has given a commencement speech in the past. Pretend the speech is being delivered live, and let the speaker’s words of wisdom inspire you all.

Everyone is bound to feel sad about not having the graduation ceremony and party they had hoped for. But these grads will always have the distinction of being part of the Class of 2020—one that will go down in history.

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