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When you’re young, apart from Christmas, your birthday is just about the most exciting day of the year. Unfortunately, as we get older, our enthusiasm for birthdays can sometimes wear off as the numbers start to climb. And to make matters worse, just when you’re least expecting it, along comes a big birthday to remind you how quickly the decades are passing.
Now the first couple of big birthdays that come knocking on the door aren’t too bad, 18th and 21st birthdays are great fun, but then you hit the 30s, 40s, 50s … and it starts to become a bit scary. Yet, love them or loathe them, your birthday will happen once a year – or twice if you happen to be the Queen.
Use your birthday as a great excuse to be the centre of attention for the day. Let your friends and family spoil you rotten and enjoy every minute of it. And when it comes to a big birthday celebrate in style. Use the philosophy of the bigger the birthday, the bigger the celebration and at least you’ll have a fantastic time to look back on.
It’s all very well celebrating your own big birthday but how do you go about celebrating your mum’s 60th, your friend’s 30th or your granddad’s 80th?
Plan in advance. Throwing them a surprise party can be a great idea, but this will take a huge amount of planning to pull it off properly.
It’s also not a good idea if the person in question likes to be in control and detests surprises. In this case, you’re better off approaching them to see if they’d like you to help them plan their birthday. But why not throw a party that the birthday boy or girl knows about, but then add an element of surprise to spice it up?
You could book some entertainment that you know they’ll enjoy or arrange for the ‘magical’ appearance of a long lost friend or relative. Alternatively present them with an amazing gift that you’ve all clubbed together to buy. The options are endless, but just make sure that the guests know how to keep a secret. It’s also a good idea to nominate a capable friend as the photographer, so that they can be on-hand to capture that look of shocked amazement on the birthday girl or boy’s face.
You might also want to circulate a guest book - preferably at the beginning of the evening while everyone is still sober enough to write, and present them with a record of their friends’ personal messages.
Even if a party isn’t their style, most friends and family will be touched by thoughtful, private surprises. Bake them a birthday cake or suggest that you both indulge in lunch or mid-morning coffee and cake on their birthday.
Perhaps you could treat them to something different, like a day at the races or a relaxing spa day.
It’s nice to buy close friends and family something that they can keep or will remember for years to come. While weekend trips to New York might be out of most budgets, there are plenty of other ideas that can be equally special.
Jewellery or watches are usually cherished gifts. Especially if you go that step further to make them personal, perhaps by having the watch engraved or choosing jewellery that features their birth stone.
If your budget is low, why not club together with friends? If the birthday boy or girl has always had a burning desire to do something wild, then an experience gift might be the answer. It’s not unknown for first time skydivers to be drawing their pension!
Whatever you choose, plan in advance to make sure that you can present them with their gift on the day. And always remember, creative gift-wrapping can turn a great gift into a fantastic gift.
If you’re still stuck for inspiration, why not check out these articles?
Our final piece of advice is to have fun and embrace your birthday with open arms. At the end of the day, they’re just like our birthday balloons – they’ll jump out and hit you between the eyes anyway… and if you let them, they’ll put a great big smile on your face.
Is a milestone birthday looming for a loved one? Surprise them with a big birthday balloon delivered direct to their home or work place (so they can't hide how old they really are any more!).
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