Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Quarantine has forced most of us the world over inside for far longer than we’re used to. Certain milestones and events seem light years away! For me and my family, a weekend brunch has always been a special way to celebrate and connect with each other; we invite a huge group of friends and family to celebrate with baked goods, mimosas, and scrambles — but of course, we haven’t been able to do that in the last five months.

But let’s remember what is possible: even if you can’t have the big, boisterous affair you’re used to, there’s still plenty of ways to make this occasion special with whoever is sharing your home. 

If you live with your partner, use the morning to make it all about them! I’m reminded of the lovely song “Heaven on Earth” by Sinclair. If you can wake before them, a lovingly made cup of coffee delivered in bed can start their personal paradise while you cook. Turn on some mellow music and (if cooking brunch hasn’t filled the house with comfy smells), burn some candles. Think about how you can envelop all of your partner’s senses in the brunch experience. Make a day of it! After a filling meal, commit to spending the day together, even if that means just watching television in each other’s arms. Brunch is supposed to be cozy, after all.

If you live in a bigger household with kiddos, include them in the cooking process! There are so many easy tasks, like setting the table, or helping you stir, that even a very young child can handle and feel like they’re part of making the morning special. Make sure to use your best table settings — and extra points for fresh flowers for a centerpiece! Have a video call with grandparents or friends; maybe have a treat delivered to their house as a surprise to include them in the whole affair.

Just because your favorite brunch places are closed doesn’t mean you have to lose your relaxing Sunday Sabbath. If fancy new food is what makes Sunday brunch special, put on your nice clothes and order one of your favorite restaurants to-go! McMenamin’s has always been an important part of our family relaxing together, and we can still order our favorite burgers, cajun tots, and locally brewed beer to enjoy at home.

However your family does brunch, making a Sunday morning special and spending time together can jumpstart your whole week. And who says brunch can only come on Sundays? Any meal can be made into an occasion to celebrate family and friends! So spice up your next shared meal; allow yourself to find joy in the stressful time we live in.

You and your loved ones deserve it.