A camouflage theme can be a great way to personalize a 40th birthday party for someone who has served in the military or who is a military enthusiast. Not only can the camouflage theme be implemented in the various decorations and food for the party, but military props can be used as well to add to the celebration. If your guest of honor has made a career of military service, the 40th birthday might even come at around the same time as retirement from the armed forces, making it an even better occasion to celebrate those years of service.
Place handheld transceivers, commonly known as walkie-talkies, in each room. Someone in the living room can signal to someone in the kitchen to bring a beer or some more snacks. Someone at the door can also send transmissions throughout the rest of the house when other guests arrive. Handheld transceivers can make for a fun toy or conversation piece, adding to the military theme of the party. Find walkie-talkies with a camouflage look (several brands are available).
Invitations for the party can be mocked after recruitment posters or draft notices. Try to find an image of a recruitment poster from around the time that your guest of honor was born or from when she first joined the armed forces; or use the classic picture of Uncle Sam's "I Want You." On the inside, cut the number 40 out of camouflage-print paper. Opposite the 40, give orders for the invited person to report to command base (the place of the party), and the date and time given in military time. Consider suggesting that guests wear camouflage if they have it.
Serve Meals Ready to Eat, or MREs, as snacks. They can often be purchased from the local military supply store. To keep from disappointing guests, make these a supplement to traditional party foods like chips and pretzels. To get a laugh out of the guests, pretend that the MREs are being served as the main meal for the party. Decorate the cake in camouflage by using various shades of brown and tan frosting. If your guest of honor is a veteran of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan or the Gulf War, see if you can create the specific type of camouflage that was used.
The Surprise Attack
Some 40th birthday gatherings are surprise parties. If this is the case, consider conducting the surprise as a military matter. Have one or two people stationed in the driveway with walkie-talkies, sending transmissions to the people inside as the birthday honoree approaches. The guests stationed outside can wear camouflage military fatigues and use camouflage walkie-talkies. This can be a fun activity for the guests, and can make it a more memorable experience for those who attend. You can also ambush the guest of honor with confetti in multiple shades of brown and tan.
Add to the ambiance of the party with camouflage decorations. Use hunting blinds for table cloths or window shades. Hang streamers and balloons of different shades of green, brown and tan. Cover the furniture with a camouflage tarp. Use paint or markers to create a giant number 40 in a camouflage theme and hang it on a wall. The local army supply store may have many camouflage items that can be placed around the house. The local recruiter may offer promotional items that could be useful, such as camouflage mugs.
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