Occasions 365


Celebrate the birthday of friends, family and significant others

Marking the birthday of a close friend, family member or significant other is a time for togetherness and celebration. Birthday parties are a staple of cultures around the world, with birthday parties and the giving of gifts being the most common ways to honor the occasion.

Planning parties and choosing birthday gifts can be challenging, but they're also worth every bit of the effort. Luckily, there are plenty of resources you can lean on if you need helping coming up with a party theme or venue, or if you could use some inspiration for unique birthday gift idea.

Planning a Birthday Party

Take a systematic approach to ensure all your bases are covered if you're planning the birthday party:

  • Where's the party? Decide on the venue. If you're going to a restaurant, make reservations well in advance. Check for group discounts at popular local theme parks and entertainment venues. If you're going to throw a surprise party, take extra care when deciding on the venue or you may end up blowing your cover.
  • Who's invited? Make a list of the invitees, send the birthday invitations early, and ask them to RSVP so you can keep track of numbers.
  • What's on the menu? This won't be your worry if you're going out to celebrate, but if you're hosting the party at home, the birthday person's favorite foods make an excellent choice.
  • Is there a theme? It's always fun to add a theme to the party, especially if someone is celebrating a milestone birthday.

Collect ideas from close friends and family to help you narrow down your options and plan a memorable and extra-special day.

Choosing Birthday Gifts

The rule here is to let your level of intimacy with the person guide you. Birthday gift baskets are fine for co-workers and casual acquaintances, but you should make an extra effort for significant others, children, parents and other close family members.

The single most important question to ask yourself when shopping for a birthday gift is this: do you want to get something practical, or something sentimental? It's a key distinction, and if you manage to come up with something that manages to be both, then you just may have stumbled upon the perfect birthday gift.

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