If you’re planning a party for someone who is approaching a milestone birthday year, like 40, 50, 60 or beyond, you want it to be fun and memorable. Forget the “over the hill” theme. That can be funny when you turn 30, but loses it’s humor when you get closer to the top of that hill. Instead, commemorate the year the guest of honor was born with a stylish party he’ll remember for years to come. Here’s how:
Set the tone with party invitations that highlight events, prices, movies and songs from the year the guest of honor was born. You can buy ready-made invitations by birth year or order custom birthday invitations online. Some will even feature a photo or two, including a baby picture and a current one of the birthday guy or gal. Or you could use your computer greeting card program and a little internet research to create your own original invitations that you print at home.
Hang old movie and music posters from the guest of honor’s decade. For example, if someone was born in the 1950’s, posters of Elvis, Buddy Holly and movies like South Pacific and Rebel Without A Cause would be appropriate. You could also download pictures from the internet depicting that year’s President of the US, World Series winning team, fashion trends and news photos. These can be glued to poster board and displayed with the movie posters. Add some enlargements of baby photos of the birthday man or woman to complete the decor.
Make copies of a whole bunch of old photos. You can go with just baby photos or photos from every stage of the guest of honor’s life. Cut away the background, so you all you have left is your subject. Glue a toothpick on the back and stick each photo into individual cupcakes.
If you don’t want to use cupcakes, then here’s another option. Glue heavy gauge wires of different lengths on the back of those photos. Spray paint a medium size flower pot to match your color scheme. Fill the flower pot with styrofoam, insert the wires and randomly arrange the photos in varying heights.
If you really want to go all out with this theme, make his or her favorite foods from their childhood. This may require a little research and gathering of family recipes. You can end up with an unusual party menu. But it’s something that guests will not soon forget.
For party favors, you can order all kinds of items that feature events from the year your birthday guy or girl was born. Everything from magnets to notebooks are imprinted with these fun facts. You can even get custom year you were born bookmarks and other things that are personalized with his or her name, birth date and a photo.
Another great favor idea is to order candy that was popular in that era. Run a search under vintage, nostalgic or retro candy to find companies that specialize in these treats.
Here’s where you should depart slightly from the year you were born theme. The birthday guy or girl won’t really remember the songs from their birth year. Instead play music from the guest of honor’s teenage or college years. If you are putting the music together yourself, your public library is a good source for all kinds of music, including music from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. They have CD’s and tapes they will lend you at no cost, as long as you have a library card.
If you want to have any activities, try a timeline history quiz. Once again, this takes a little research, but the internet makes it easy! An example of a question would be: Bob asked Jeannie to marry him: a)the year the Beatles broke up, b)the year Woodstock took place or c)the year the Viet Nam war ended. Make a list of questions highlighting significant events in your guest of honor’s personal history. Then print one for each guest attending the party. The person who gets the most right could win a door prize.
A year you were born birthday party celebrates the history of a person’s age, without making fun of it. It’s a great way to honor a milestone birthday man or woman. And it will be an unforgettable event that will be a big hit with everyone.