Our series “Celebration Inspiration” is all about bringing you top-notch advice and creative ideas to make the most of life’s special moments. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is stretching well into its second year, and there are still an unknown number of months before we see our way clear of this threat that has affected so many lives. Fortunately, more people are signing up, waiting in line, and taking the vaccination step that protects loved ones and communities. 

Something else people are doing? Celebrating. We spoke with people far and wide to learn why and how they’re rejoicing because of getting the vaccine. Although the reasons are distinct for each person, there are common threads that unite us in caring for each other.  

Celebrating with a road trip 

Blue and green quilt
Margaret’s quilt.

Family visits are at the top of people’s vaccination celebrations. Some are in the planning stages, while others have already happened. Retired teacher Thomas Hamilton and his wife Peg were thrilled to get their vaccines and head south in their camper. “We talked with our daughters about getting together in early spring,” he says. “They picked South Carolina and flew in with our granddaughter from out west. The weather was warm, and the girls had rented a house. This gave us time to relax together, as the vaccine has added to our peace of mind. It meant so much to sit around the table, once again enjoying family meals together.”  

Chasing one’s passions 

Registered nurse Margaret Hourigan and her husband Nick are combining a road trip and family visit with side trips to places linked to their passions. “There are many reasons for being relieved that we got our vaccines,” she says. “We feel safer traveling to the Midwest to visit my 85-year-old brother. I’ll then visit Quilt Town USA, a spectacular destination for quilters. While I’m there, Nick plans to peruse the archives at the Genealogy Center at Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne.” She says she sees the vaccine as a gift that’s letting them take a meaningful and well-timed trip. 

Creating everyday magic 

Eben Tracy, a direct support professional for adults with disabilities, loves to garden in his free time, and he’s celebrating his COVID-19 vaccination status both near and far. His valley home in Oregon has views of Mount Hood and a long, rich growing season, encouraging the flowers and veggies covering his once-bare plot.

Backyard with flowers and artwork
Eben’s yard.

“There are intensely amazing garden centers here,” Eben says. “The vaccine makes me feel even safer in a place that is quite socially considerate. Plus, I’ll fly in September to visit family and friends. That means seeing my garden at Mom’s and going to an old-time agricultural fair.” 

Writing new life stories 

Two black dogs
Heather’s two dogs.

High school English teacher Heather Ahern Huish says she feels a sense of relief knowing she’ll be able to see her friends and visit her favorite restaurants. “I’m looking forward to returning to school and being with the upcoming seniors who will hopefully get to enjoy the usual celebrations,” she says. “We welcomed two puppies and their bounding joy and energy to our cozy home. Along with these growing sisters, we’re looking forward to our annual upcountry vacation. And before our kids are completely on their own, we plan to have a family tour of the British Isles. The vaccine offers a sense of hope.” 

Reliving memories 

Registered nurse Sarah DeCato’s excitement is of the contagious type that people feel after getting their COVID-19 vaccination. “We’re fortunate to live where we can get outside as much as we wish,” she says. “Our big celebration of receiving the vaccine is coming up soon when we take a weekend trip to New Hampshire. A highlight will be chugging up Mount Washington on the Cog Railway, something we did a few years ago. Our kids are old enough to thoroughly appreciate the trip, the spectacular views of the Presidential Range, and maybe a visit to one of the three Grand Hotels in the area. Like the one where we’ve celebrated several of our anniversaries!”  

Woman smelling pink peonies

Send flowers to celebrate 

If you have a friend or family member who just got the COVID-19 vaccine, sending them a bouquet of flowers is a nice way to celebrate. Most people enjoy the surprise of a bouquet delivery and the beauty of fresh-cut flowers.

Even if you don’t get a bouquet of flowers from someone else when you get the COVID-19 vaccine, you can always treat yourself with some flowers. You’ll add some color and great smells to your house — an excellent way to celebrate getting the vaccination. 


Joyce is a writer whose professional interests center on wellness and community enterprise. Her work has been featured in Coastal Style, an eastern shore publication. She also contributed a chapter to an award-winning holistic nursing text and has presented at national conferences.

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