Some say that birthdays are nature's way of telling us to eat more cake. If that's true, then a 50th birthday party -- with its oversized cake holding all those candles -- is a real invitation to indulge your sweet tooth. It's also a milestone to celebrate with something beyond "over-the-hill" gifts. Make your own birthday items to provide the tribute and merriment a 50th birthday party begs for.
Break out of the mold right away with the birthday cards: ask guests to make their own. Professional greeting cards can serve up well-turned phrases, but they pale in comparison to personalized work created by friends and family. Birthday cards could start with the phrase "Aged to Perfection," followed by ways he's improved with age, or "50 and Fabulous," accompanied by a list of favorite qualities. Or a group of friends could post 50 birthday wishes on his Facebook wall.
Put together a heartwarming video by compiling vignettes with close friends, family and co-workers that highlight favorite memories of the birthday girl from the last 50 years (or as far back as you can get). Begin with the earliest stories and keep moving through time until you've arrived at a story that's close to her 50th birthday. Before recording each person's account, talk through their narrative and their focus; it'll keep the video to a reasonable length.
Give the Gift of Time
Most 50-year-olds today are still hard at work, but they are starting to place a higher value on time with friends and family. It's time well-spent, too -- a 2008 Gallup poll reports that spending time with loved ones is crucial to emotional well-being. Instead of offering everyday gift cards, apply a new twist by presenting "gift of time" cards. Depending on mutual interests, they could include a bicycle ride, dinner at a favorite restaurant, watching the kids for a weekend, or a spa treatment.
Gifts of 50
There is no end to the different items you can make into a collection of 50 -- just keep it fun and friendly. Put together a selection of 50 microbrews, donate $50 to her favorite charity, give him a basket filled with 50 tennis or golf balls, offer her a teapot filled with 50 select tea bags, or send him a box stuffed with 50 yummy chocolate bars.
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