Mother's Day in a pandemic means virtual breakfasts, home spas and flower shortages.

Mother's Day in a pandemic means virtual breakfasts, home spas and flower shortages.
Mother's Day in a pandemic means virtual breakfasts, home spas and flower shortages.

Despite the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has separated people in the past two months, many have made special occasions special.

Whether it's a car birthday or an extended party meal, they keep ties throughout the celebration.

Mother's Day this Sunday brings its own challenges. Families want to be reunited with mothers and grandmothers, but they don't want to put them at risk, especially the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.

What about Mother's Day brunch, spa days, and dinners at a time when isolation is necessary?

People are following the example of what many mothers do best: finding creative ways to save a horrible situation.

"I think it's important to encourage people not to compare themselves to the past: to open up to a new normal," said Dani Spies, food blogger and YouTube personality who lives in Glen Rock. "Focus on the things you love, the conversations you can still have. Taking advantage of this space is a great reminder for people in times like this."

Virtual brunch, distant picnics and other ways to connect.

Spies, 44, blogging on Clean & Delicious, has a triple plan for Mother's Day 2020. She would normally invite her mother Judy, 71, who lives in Fair Lawn, to eat at her house.

This year, this meal will be a virtual brunch. It ensures a minimum of interactivity by giving everyone the same recipe for a spring frittata to make easily at home with all the vegetables they have.

"For a lot of people right now, things seem really heavy and difficult," says Spies. To add a little sparkle to the day, he is also planning a socially hassle-free picnic in his mother's backyard. Everyone prepared their own lunch.

But even if this is not possible, you can decorate your mother's front door with a wreath of flowers, leaving her cards covered with chocolate and strawberries.

Yet Mother's Day means a profound loss for many families this year.

There are a lot of people who have lost their mothers, especially if they are older, ”says Lisa Cini, author and interior designer for amenities for the elderly. It's a delicate moment, she says, when we want to walk carefully. they are in mourning.

On the slide, there is a great opportunity to make this useful and to connect on a deeper level, "says Cini, 52.

Her mother Livvy, 81, is an expert on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. While it is quite impressive, Cini acts as your IT specialist whenever something goes wrong. He recommends having a tutorial or troubleshooting session with seniors before Mother's Day to help ensure smoother virtual connections via Zoom and FaceTime. These are not the only ways to make sure everyone is in the same "room".

Playing games and accessing apps like Houseparty (another social network face to face) is a great way to do it, "she said.

And television? UnionTV34, Union Township station, hosts an annual Mother's Day greeting segment with local elementary students.

This month, the tradition has become a community affair to repeat on television and on social networks.

"Normally we only go to second year," says station manager Sal Terrezza. "This year, we opened it to everyone. I received messages from 40 year old men."

Takeout parties

Take-out and delivery are the new "make reservations" on Mother's Day.

Instead of sit-down lunches, lunches and dinners, the restaurants offer special take-out menus for moms. And as for reservations, pre-orders are a must because the understaffed restaurants prepare the holiday prices.

The $ 90 "hearty" brunch box at Anthony David's in Hoboken offers a quiche, smoked salmon platter, smoked bacon, French toast, pastries and berries, for up to four people.

"We do great brunch here," says chef and owner Anthony Pino. Mother's Day, she says, is probably the biggest restaurant brunch day of the year.

"You don't get those sales," says Pino, but estimates that about 150 boxes of brunch will be sent to mothers this year.

In fact, you can give him something and thank him for the way he takes care of everyone, ”he says.

At the Mulberry House Restaurant & Tea Room in Westfield, tea boxes including rolls, sandwiches and cakes have proven to be so effective that staff have had to temporarily suspend orders. Mad Batter at the Carroll Villa Hotel in Cape May serves seafood quiches and Mother's Day mimosa kits that include champagne and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Sofia, a farm-to-table steakhouse at Englewood, has wine and champagne to deliver and collect, as well as a full menu for Mother's Day, including halibut, octopus salad and tiramisu . Orders started arriving a few days before the holidays, says general manager Mark Ujszaszi.

"We still have to honor our mothers," he says.

About this day at the spa

PeriLynn Glasner planned to take her 71-year-old mother Dianne to a pinball hall on Mother's Day, but they had to change course.

Since they are both passionate about photography, they will meet in a park to take pictures of nature and appreciate "the little things", explains Glasner, 32, from Hasbrouck Heights. But after Dianne from Hillsdale arrives, they will keep their distance. .

"We have zoom lenses on our cameras, so we're fine," says Glasner. She works as a freelance graphic designer and sells her Acorn Apothecary handmade soaps at local fairs.

After the pandemic, Glasner began selling its products on Etsy. The combined need to wash their hands frequently and gifts for Mother's Day suited his young store fairly well, which also specializes in face masks (those that mix and apply to the skin, not those of today we use in supermarkets).

I made people order more soap than I think they would need, "he says." They ask for everything I have. "

Glasner drops off packages to local customers or ships them to the United States Postal Service. USA, where her boyfriend works.

"He says he's busier than Christmas," she says.

Traffic would also be busy in local spas for Mother's Day ... if there were no pandemic.

Since closing all of these businesses in March, Angela Hadjiapostoli, owner of Spa Blu in Totowa, has been promoting gift cards as a solution for Mother's Day, promoting a gift of $ 100. his business was frequented by members of the cast of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey".

When it reopens, the spa will offer a 20% discount on all treatments and extended hours for customers, says Hadjiapostoli.

They're going to want to feel good and pampered, ”she says. Many of them are definitely studying massages and facials. "(In addition to the ways they can rejuvenate their eyelash extensions.)

Samantha McCann, owner of Revive Spa in North Brunswick, usually spent the Mother's Day weekend doing massage, facials and nail appointments. Now, she is offering a bit of the spa experience through home beauty kits. McCann arranged an offbeat curb pickup for Saturday, just before the big day.

Sunday, she will be at home with her husband and two young children.

"I would be happy if someone made breakfast for me and let me have my coffee," says McCann. She designed her kits, which range in price from $ 30 to $ 100, to give moms a chance to relax. They include products like essential oils, silk pillow cases, collagen gloves, jade rolls, cookies, nail polish and plants.

Let the flowers ... if you can get them

Flowers are a way to wait for Mother's Day and bouquets can be arranged without visiting the store. But this year, due to the pandemic, florists were forced to close their windows. Now they have a hard time keeping track of customer calls and online purchases.

We stopped taking orders because we have no flowers, "said Doug Ackerman, 55, owner of Doug the florist in Mendham." I am preparing to change my reply message at this time. "

You are not alone: ​​many stores inform customers that the flowers are gone.

Ackerman says that since flower farms have closed for six to eight weeks and are only starting to catch up, the shortage can be felt by businesses around the world.

Working with fewer staff (Ackerman had to suspend some staff) also made it more difficult to meet demand. Stores ask customers to consider alternate dates or flexible delivery times, such as Friday, Saturday or Monday instead of Sunday.

At Sayrewoods Floral & Event Design in Sayreville, owner Louis Roros, 59, is preparing for a loss, even if he has trouble following orders.

"Entrance is not allowed, so you lose almost all of that stuff," he says. People pay in advance, then pick flowers in the parking lot.

"Most people are grateful that we provide this service, but it's not the same thing where you can go in and choose what you want," said Roros.

Many florists must also replace what they have at home with what people have ordered.

"We are very short of what is available," says Anthony "Junior" Ameralis Jr., owner of flower shops in Union City, Cliffside Park, Jersey City and Lyndhurst. "This is great pressure for the florists."

He says that as fewer people work on flower farms in places like the Netherlands and Colombia, local stores are suffering. The dilemma is further exacerbated by the spraying of fresh flowers entering the country due to coronavirus problems.

"Most of the products that come, 50% are destroyed because they are fumigated," he says.

Ameralis, 53, has been ordered from as far away as Israel. Like phone calls and video chats, flowers have become a staple for the holidays even when mom lives nearby.

"It's the only way to establish a connection right now," he says. Ameralis estimates that 90% of its business is delivery, 8% pickup and 2% are people knocking on the door of its Union City store, Cappelletti Florist, an institution on Bergenline Avenue for 85 years.

“I have five stores and I only have one that can work. The restrictions are, in my opinion, ridiculous, "he said, pointing to the customers who fill the nearby supermarkets.

He considers flowers to be essential for Mother's Day and usually provides the necessary burst of color during times of depression.

"There are people who are locked up for almost two and a half months in a house," he said. "Do you know how it changes a person's state of mind, how it elevates their mind?"

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