Birthday parties are important parts of contemporary culture. If you want to recognize someone as an individual you need to throw them a great birthday party. There is no other time during the year that you can really show how much you care for someone. All other occasions focus on something else or a different person. Birthdays are the ultimate time to celebrate a person and their history. You know just how important birthdays are if you forget to do anything about them. Forgetting a birthday is a major social mistake. Of the many birthdays a person celebrates in their life there are a few that are especially important. A person’s 50th birthday is extremely significant because it marks a change from one period of life to the next.
This is also why 50th birthdays are so awkward; you want to celebrate a 50th birthday but the person probably feels a bit self-conscious about it. You need to find a way to help them feel good about life without hurting their feelings. For many people this has become mission impossible–the person hates the fact that they are getting older and the party only emphasizes this fact. Described below are some ideas for 50th birthdays that will make the occasion more fun and less stressful:
1. Don’t make the person the subject of the whole party. It can be very embarrassing to be the center of attention in any party. However, it is even worse when you are the person turning 50 as you may feel very self-conscious about your age and the new period of life you are entering. People make rude jokes about approaching death. The best way to avoid this sort of thinking is to focus the attention of the party on something other than their age. Although you want to celebrate the person this does not mean that you have to dwell on their age. You can focus on an activity or on a particular hobby of the person turning 50, anything to take the attention of everyone staring at them and asking them how they feel about turning 50 will do.
2. Ask people to focus on aspects of the person besides their age. Have friends and family come with stories or remembrances that they can tell. This will help the occasion to be memorable but not overwhelming.
3. Avoid emphasizing the cake. At many 50th birthday parties you see huge cakes with 50 candles or more. This sort of arrangement emphasizes the age of the person. A modest but beautiful cake will do just fine.
4. When you send invitations for the party don’t tell anyone that the person is turning 50. Otherwise tell them but ask them not to emphasize the fact. In some cases people actually want others to know that they are turning 50, but in most cases they would simply prefer to spend some quality time with friends and family.
As you can see, there are tasteful ways to throw a 50th birthday party that will not embarrass the birthday person. If the birthday person says nothing about turning 50 you can assume that they would probably prefer not to make a big deal out of it. Use these ideas to build a party that everyone can enjoy. Always think about how the person turning 50 feels–put yourself in their shoes if you can. Remember back to a birthday that was particularly awkward, such as your 16th or your 13th. With a combination of careful planning and sensitivity you can plan a great 50th birthday party.