Milestone Birthdays

Milestone Birthdays

It has been a while since I have posted. July was a little depressing with everything going on. I trust you are all staying safe and pray the world heals itself soon. Although we have experienced more virtual events during this difficult time, smaller parties are starting to emerge. Today I want to discuss the ever- popular Milestone Birthdays. Even with pared down get-togethers these ideas can help make that something-0 landmark special! Although younger milestones (1, 16, 18 & 21) are important we usually begin focusing on age markers starting at 30.

AT 30 you bid the 20’s goodbye. You are in hopes that all those stupid mistakes you made in your youth can be forgiven and you are independent and, on your way, now. Some may have started a family; others are working at their ambitious careers and yet others are exploring the world. AT 40 you are on the brink of middle age, perhaps starting a new chapter or just dealing with the challenges of your life. AT 50 you’ve made it half a century on the planet! Your circles are flourishing, with friends, colleagues and family, some of whom have flown the proverbial nest. It is time to focus on you. AT 60 and beyond your life is full, a rich tapestry of love, experiences and memories. You have much to celebrate and so many people to celebrate with. AT 70, 80 & 90 you’ve witnessed so much change; technology and science have made huge leaps, the world has become smaller, our ambitions bigger. Families have spread further afield, yet we’re more connected than ever. AT 100 you need to give yourself a cheer, this doesn’t happen often. Only .02% of the population find themselves at this momentous milestone! You have been gifted with time and love.

Starting off with an invitation to your party, this idea can be done on Photoshop if you or someone in your family have expertise with the program. Otherwise paper and a pair of scissors will due. Find photos of yourself throughout the years. They can be with your significant other. Then cut them out into silhouettes and arrange them in order on an 11″ x 14″ piece of paper. The plan is to fold the paper as a four-panel accordion style invitation. The front of the invitation would be copied on the backside and folded over to be the front of the invitation. The text is printed on your computer and arranged so that it fits in-between the folds of the paper. Use a spray adhesive to glue the text and the photos in place.  Then take the original copy to a business that can make the 11″ x 14″ color copies. Hand fold and mail them in brightly colored envelopes. A smaller version of the same idea can be done on a standard 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper. The invitation would then be a tri-fold brochure type. The printer can fold them for you too, for a minimal charge.

When choosing a theme for your event be selfish! Do something you want. If you choose a humorous approach there is plenty of “Over the Hill” décor available commercially. You can always crack out your Halloween stash to mock a funeral party. You can also decide to go with your hobby or interest such as fishing, hunting, gardening or sports. Choose a favorite place you have traveled to. Perhaps a tropical paradise or foreign destination. There are many international theme decorations available too. Celebrate “The Best of Times” by creating a pictorial timeline of the special moments in your life. You may choose a particularly happy decade of your life and plan the party around that, like the 50’s (Rock & Roll), 60’s (Hippie, Flower Child), 70’s (Disco) or 80’s (Dance, Digital). Have everyone dress in a decade costume. Last but not least is a focus on a certain color scheme that puts a smile on your face. This can make your party decorations very personal.

Balloons are a must for a milestone age. There are the large and small foil numbers that can be incorporated into the balloon décor. Match whatever colors work with the theme you have chosen. Air-filled Columns and centerpieces make great additions to the festive environment. And if you are doing the party virtually, they make great backdrops.

The food should be something you want too! It is all about you, anyway right? If you are having a specific theme try to choose the appropriate ethnic blend of food and drinks. But remember, it has to be stuff you like! If it is a generic motif pick your favorite foods to serve. Have your favorite restaurant(s) deliver the meals, individually is best with social distancing. (see my post on Covid-19 Party Guide https://pjspartyrentalandessentials.wordpress.com/2020/06/15/covid-19-event-party-alternatives/ )

Some terrific party favor ideas for your guests is candy bars with your photo and information on them. You can find an assortment of styles here https://www.whcandy.com/ You can also have labels made for wine bottles. Pick your favorite flavor of wine at a discount outlet and paste the personalized label on them. They are a perfect keepsake. Find the labels here https://www.personalcreations.com/ You can also find personalized M & M’s on their website. Plus consider personalized napkins or bookmarks from Carlson Craft here https://viewonly.carlsoncraft.com/ Another cool idea is to make cd’s or maybe a flash drive (cd’s are becoming outdated) of the American Top 40’ #1 song for each year of your life, as well as a few faves thrown in. It will be quite lengthy and interesting for the 100-year-old! Ask your family and friends to mail you a great memory they have of your relationship with them. You can put these memories in a scrap book. Remember to ask for pictures if they have them!

If your party includes real live guests you can have a “Roast” for the birthday person. Play Jeopardy! Set up a Jeopardy game board for guests to participate in. Instead of general trivia questions, they can be questions about the birthday guest of honor. Choose a handful of topics about the birthday man or woman, and then create 5-7 questions within each topic. You can either choose specific topics about the person or make each topic a decade of their life (if they’re old enough to have at least five topics). The harder the question, the more points they’re worth. Instead of having individuals play, you can divide your guests up into groups. That way, there’s some teamwork involved.

Whatever you do keep it safe! I am turning 70 soon and am excited about looking up all the #1 hits for the last 70 years! That will be quite a mix! God Bless!

Summer of Love Party

Summer of Love Party

The Summer of 1967 was a turning point, a funky juncture where innocence converged with disillusionment. Music got a little edgier. The music of 1967 beautifully captured the spirit of the Summer of Love, that is what this party is all about. A sampling of the titles that were popular that year are as follows (I got chills just writing this list, the music and Artists are so timeless);

All you Need is Love–The Beatles, Light my Fire-The Doors, Whiter Shade of Pale-Procol Harum, I’m a Believer–The Monkees, The Letter–Neon Rainbow, San Francisco–Scott McKenzie, Dedicated to the One I Love–Mamas & Papas, I Think We’re Alone Now-Tommy James & the Shondells, White Rabbit-Jefferson Airplane, Carrie-Anne-The Hollies, I Can See for Miles–The Who, The Beat Goes On-Sonny & Cher, Let’s Live for Today-Grass Roots, I Had to Much to Dream Last Night-the Electric Prunes, Society’s Child-Janis Ian, Here Comes My Baby-The Tremeloes, Happy Together-The Turtles, Let’s Spend the Night Together-The Rolling Stones, Nights in White Satin-The Moody Blues. Other Artists Popular in the late 60’s were; Janis Joplin, Canned Heat, Buffalo Springfield, The Grateful Dead, The Byrds, The Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Association, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and Sly & The Family Stone. Make sure you put together a playlist of this great music to play in the background and to dance to during the party.

Use the “words of the day” in the invitation like; Groovy, Far Out, Can you Dig it, Hang Loose, It’s a Gas, Heavy or That’s Boss! Remember to tell your guests to dress the part. Decorating can be a lot of fun. These ideas can be used indoors and outdoors. If you don’t own them, Rent Black Lights, Strobe Lights and any other Multi Colored Rotating Lights. Colored Christmas Lights work well too. Brightly Colored Paper Lanterns, Peace Signs, Plenty of Cut Out Flowers and Smiley Yellow Faces can be hung about (walls, trees, fencing Etc.). Go to the thrift store and try to find some albums (Vinyl) from the era and use them to decorate the walls also. Place Daisies in Mason Jars for the tables & serving areas. Along with having enough tables and chairs for guests consider getting lots of pillows and blankets to throw on the floor or grassy areas. You can sew slip covers for the pillows out of random fabrics or pick up pillow cases from the thrift store and Tie Dye them.  Decorate with 60’s Theme Foil Balloons and Brightly Colored Latex Balloons, helium and air-filled designs can be used both indoors and out. Have some large 3ft Air-Filled Balloons laying around for guests to bat back and forth.

If you can find Glow in the Dark body paints or Neon Paints, have a table set up with paper plates & brushes for your ‘Hippies” to adorn themselves with drawing! Have some Peter Max art photos lying around for inspiration. You can set out temporary tattoos also, find them for this theme at party stores. If you have your black lights on in this area everyone will glow under them. Include some coloring books and crayons for doodling as well. This table will, for sure, be a favorite. Fill some wading pools with water and set some garden hoses in case people want to get crazy and wet. Learn and teach your guests popular dances from the 60’s, Examples; Loco-motion, Twist, Swim, The Mashed Potato, The Shimmy, The Hitch-Hike, The Monkey, The Jerk or the Watusi. Play a Trivia Game using the Popular TV Shows from that Era, Examples; Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie, The Munsters, Bonanza, My Favorite Martian, Leave it to Beaver or The Brady Bunch (just to name a few).

Food for this party should be towards the natural side. Raw Veggies, Variety Cheeses, Nuts, Chips and Guacamole, Fruits and maybe a yogurt bar with Granola and other toppings and a Burrito Bar. For a special dessert make sure you make some Brownies (whether you spike them or not is up to you and your guest list,,,,shhhh).