It’s your Birthday! Let’s plan a party, make a guest list, send out invitations and get excited about turning over another year. Celebrating birthdays never goes out of style, sure there are some of those higher numbers that make us cringe thinking about what that growing number represents. However we soon realize that these annual events no matter how trivial they may become as we get older, can actually become more meaningful as we age, giving us the chance to get together with friends or share these special days with family. The early birthday parties of childhood consisted of inviting school friends over to enjoy the festive of feasts, the iconic monument made of birthday cake. As a child we revel in the excitement of opening gifts, playing silly games like pin the tail on the donkey, although I think the donkey has been put out to pasture and replaced with a swinging piñata, albeit shaped like a donkey. Today, kids’ parties are far from the simple gatherings of years past, with parties held at the local kid centered pizza palace, or hop till you drop bouncing center, laser tag, party buses, on and on there are so many ways to make the event a more exciting experience. The annual celebration may have changed locations but the birthday gifts and cake are eternal. It just wouldn’t be a birthday party without presents, the cake and of course the singing of “Happy Birthday”. We look forward to celebrating with those who are important in our lives, and as much as the party is intended for the birthday boy or girl, it’s a show of appreciation for those who have come to join us for our special occasion.
The simple birthday party may be a thing of the past but I think there are still some revelers out there that appreciate the low key backyard approach to celebrating. Create a theme, get some decorations, streamers and little pointy hats, invite some friends over, prepare some simple snacks and punch, yes punch, come up with a few games and party prizes and voilà you have a party. I am curious how other cultures celebrate birthdays each year, are there certain milestones that are celebrated more than others or are there traditions that carry from year to year? Whichever way you choose to celebrate, we can all appreciate the joy of sharing these special milestones with those who care enough to join us in the annual marking our time here on earth. That in itself is simply enough reason to throw a party…just don’t forget the cake!