Written by our Founder and CEO, our Celebrations Pulse Sunday Letters aim to engage with our community. From sharing stories to welcoming your ideas, we want to help you to express, connect, and celebrate the important people in your life.
Many of us found ourselves with a lot of free time during the pandemic as we physically distanced ourselves from colleagues, friends, and relatives. It was a great opportunity to discover new activities and learn skills. According to one study, 59 percent of Americans picked up a new hobby in 2020 and 2021.
Whether you took up painting, knitting, a musical instrument, baking, flower arranging, or any of the long list of potential pursuits, you likely left lockdown with new talents and a new source of joy.
Hobbies can be a powerful part of our lives. Among many other benefits, they improve our mental health. They can take our minds off life’s challenges, whether at home or the office. They’re also an antidote to loneliness. And they boost our self-confidence and give us something to look forward to. Above all, they can break us out of ruts and bring a fresh perspective to our lives.
Your hobbies also can give you a new reason to use your power and connect with other people who share your passions. As social creatures, we appreciate anyone who might have the same interests as we do, and we enjoy sharing those extracurriculars with others whether it’s at work, in our own neighborhood, or in online communities.
Finding new hobbies today
Thankfully, the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us, and most of us have resumed some semblance of our pre-2020 lives. But a return to offices doesn’t mean you should stop pursuing new hobbies. It just requires commitment and advanced planning.
Mike, a member of our community, recently shared that he was struggling to find an activity to do with his son. Mike thought back to the hobbies of his youth – and thought he’d give model rocketry another try.
He and his son drove to a local hobby shop and picked up a rocket kit. Over the next few weeks, they painstakingly assembled the orange rocket in their garage. Once done, they found a club that hosted weekend launches at a nearby farm.
On launch day, they found a crowd of amateur rocketeers gathered to launch their creations into the sky. They were delighted when their orange rocket safely parachuted down to Earth to the cheers of a dozen new friends!
We’d love to hear about your hobbies – both new and old – and how they’ve enriched your life, strengthened your relationships, and extended your community. Share your stories here for a future edition of Celebrations Pulse.
More hobby ideas
It’s never too late to start a hobby. And during the winter months, hobbies are a great way to keep yourself busy indoors – that is if your hobby isn’t outdoor gardening!
The best hobbies are the ones you can do with other people. That’s one of the reasons 1-800-Flowers.com is collaborating with a company called Yaymaker, which turns hobbies like painting into fun group activities in bars and restaurants across the United States.
Paint Nite is one of Yaymaker’s most popular offerings. During each event, an instructor shows attendees how to paint a picture while everyone enjoys food, beverage, and conversation. It’s an artistic twist on an ordinary night on the town.
For more than a decade, Paint Nite has helped people of all ages and skill levels come together for an evening of fun, drinks, and painting. Dan Hermann co-founded PaintNite.com in 2012, after taking part in a social painting event. “It took me back to some of that childhood joy — being creative, doing something purely for fun, and being at play with other people,” he says. “I saw a path to bringing this alive for people everywhere.”
Paint Nite attendees routinely praise their experiences as “fun,” “upbeat,” “awesome,” and other such glowing adjectives. “I strongly recommend going — no matter age or skill level. You will not regret it!” says Dennis Casto of the Paint Nite event that he took at Jake Rooney’s Restaurant in Harwich Port, Massachusetts. “It was a diverse group, and we all had fun and laughed.”
For Leeyan from Tillonsburg, Ontario, these events hold deeper meaning.
“I have terminal cancer. When my best friend asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told her that all I wanted was more time — time to spend with my loved ones, time to make memories, time to laugh. That year she gave me our first Yaymaker experience. It was just what I wanted and needed.”
Calling all artists: It’s your turn to shine
Are you creative with passion and inspiration to share? Then PaintNite.com and 1-800-Flowers.com have an exciting opportunity for you. We want to see your original flower paintings, and the public will pick their favorite.
Submissions are being accepted through Oct. 20, and voting will take place from Oct. 21-24. The winner will be announced on Oct. 25.
Finding hobbies at Alice’s Table
Another avenue for exploring new hobbies is Alice’s Table, which joined our family of brands last year. Throughout the year, its talented hosts hold engaging virtual and on-demand workshops on a variety of pursuits, like flower arranging, cooking, and entertaining. Admission includes all the ingredients needed to join in on the fun.
As winter approaches, hobbies are a great way to keep busy indoors. Alice’s Table is a great way to try something new with family and friends without having to leave your home. Check out upcoming workshops on creating autumnal flower arrangements, Thanksgiving centerpieces, and holiday wreaths.
We hope that fall brings you the opportunity to create some wonderful memories around your hobbies. Or, if you don’t have one, we have helped provide you with some ideas on how to start a new pursuit!
All the best,
Chris & Jim