Most of us grew up celebrating our birthdays with fun-filled birthday parties and special family traditions. The day was marked with sweet surprises we would look forward to all year long. We felt special on our special day with each passing year. As the years have passed, perhaps we have also been given the message that birthdays are to be dreaded with age … that our special day is instead a day that should be ignored and avoided or played down. Instead, what if birthdays were opportunities to celebrate our friends in a way that affirms who they are and shows gratitude for the role that they play in our lives. Here are a few tips to enhance the art of celebrating birthdays in our adult age.
A friend’s special day should be littered with details that are “so her.” Everything from her favorite foods to her favorite activities should reflect her tastes and the person that she is. Thoughtful elements such as a favorite meal and special time together with her dearest friends will surely make her feel known and loved.
It is important to not only celebrate with personal touches, but to affirm the person that your dear friend is to you. Whether written or spoken, an element that shows appreciation for her many beautiful qualities gets to the heart of what birthdays are all about. There is only one rule … no punch and patch! It can be easy to throw in little digs when we are uncomfortable … even if we mean it as harmless fun! Sometimes comments—such as “when I first met you I didn’t like you very much, but now you are one of my favorite people”—are confusing and come across as more mean spirited than we mean them to be.
Make a Day of It
Now that workdays often get in the way, it is extra special when we can throw in small surprises throughout the day that might be more unexpected. Gestures such as kidnapping your birthday girl with a few of her closest friends for a special breakfast or sending her a beautiful bouquet of her favorite flowers at work can be special surprises that are more unexpected
Give a Little Something
Perhaps I’m a gift person but I remember treasured gifts and the people who gave them to me and for which occasion they were received. We tend to downplay gifts as we grow in age, but the truth is that gifts are one of the many ways to communicate love for our friends. Here, nothing fancy is required. Sometimes the most special items are gifts that include personal photos or mementos from your friendship.
Though we may be past the days of princess cakes and pink balloons, birthdays are still important and well worth celebrating. As adults, we are wise to seize every opportunity we can to celebrate the special people in our lives. Celebrate big for the people that you love!
Image via Babble