Well, our long national mask nightmare doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon. But my cool and creative friend decided to make it bearable by turning it into family fun.

While disposable masks are easy to use and convenient as they come in bulk, the money spent on replenishing them can definitely add up.

Over the summer, she purchased a black mask on which she ironed on a little red heart that she had found sitting with old sewing material. From there, it became a team sport. Mask creativity had been launched.

An Amazon order and $20 later, she purchased a 10-pack of black face masks. Next, several iron on stickers for around $5 a pack. These stickers ranged from letters, to different shapes and suddenly the whole family got into it and the entire family had custom masks.

These masks gave each family member an identity that a boring disposable mask could not. For example, if they're having a good day, a mask with a smile fits the bill. Soon, everyone in the family started getting positive feedback from random people seeing the clever custom masks. And it served as a reminder: enjoy the little things in life In a time of uncertainty and little control. And if you’ve got to do it, at least make it fun and less of a drudgery for the family.

My friend also has immunocompromised parents so the kids have been separated from their grandchildren for a while. Since the grandparents wear the masks every day, the kids feel connected when they’re FaceTiming them.

My friend told me that she’s trying to express to the kids that there are plenty of ways to find something to smile about despite these times. And that whether it’s a custom mask or the fact that people that you love are staying healthy, you gotta find something that makes you smile.

When I commented on what a cool family project it was, they gifted me one. I thought it was perfect for me. Don’t you?

Judi Franco photo

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

Dennis Malloy's mask collection