A 90th birthday is reason enough to ring in a big celebration, don’t you think? Make that day extra special for that special someone who’s about to achieve this awesome milestone.
90 years… whoa! These are people who have lived a long and fulfilling life, and are now at the threshold of a major milestone. They’ve witnessed the World Wars, struggled for employment through the Great Depression, witnessed the first man on the moon, (probably) scowled at the Hippie movement, watched the demolition of the Berlin Wall, survived the reign of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush… wow!
A momentous journey like this calls for an equally grand celebration, if not more. I’d like to warn you that these folks can be a tad reluctant to don their party hats, but a little goading will get them into the groove in no time.
As the event in-charge, it would be safe to assume that you’re familiar with the man/woman of the moment. It is necessary to plan the party on the lines of the birthday boy or girl’s enthusiasm level. It would not be appropriate to keep a low-key afternoon tea party solely considering their age. If he/she happens to be an active 89-year-old, there’s no harm in planning an all-out bash.
Decide the tone of the party. Do you want to keep it intimate or do you wish to bring the house down? You could be planning a surprise party or keeping the birthday boy/girl in the loop, but deciding the tone of the gathering will help you list out the invitees.
Every birthday is special, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have their 90th birthday celebrated. Plan it with all your heart and make it extra special.
You can’t get to your 90th birthday without gathering a lot of friends and well-wishers along the way. Take the effort to dig out contact details of all the people who matter to him/her. For the invitations, you could take an infancy picture, scan it, and use it to make an invitation card, with creative captions like ‘natty at ninety’ or ‘over the hill, but definitely not under it’, under the picture. The inside of the card should contain details of the party.
Handwritten invites are extremely charming, and require efforts. Bring out some handmade paper, use calligraphy pens, decorate them… impress the young and old alike. But don’t forget to consult the birthday boy/girl if you have any doubts regarding the list.
E-invites can be sent to some, and they need not be boring e-mails. You can create an e-card or a video by making a collage of the person’s photographs from childhood till date and include details in the last frame. Use some music (wolf whistles are cheeky!) in the background as well.
Hosting the party in a garden can be a refreshing experience, of course keeping the weather in mind. Put up a nice, long table and decorate the area with streamers, balloons, lanterns, or lights. It would be inviting and cozy in equal measure.
You can take him/her down memory lane by putting up memorabilia from important events. For instance you could put up their childhood toys, graduation outfits, prom or wedding clothing, their first watch or jewelry, the first driver’s license, anything that you can lay your hands on. Make it into a mini exhibition of sorts, and try to keep it as a surprise.
If you’ve planned a theme party, the decorations obviously need to be in line with it. Think of themes like pirate, Western or Hollywood if you decide to make it flamboyant. For a quieter party, think of a homely afternoon tea party or an intimate brunch.
A lot of reminiscing comes with being 90, so gifting them a mural of their family tree is a good idea. You could also ask family and friends to contribute towards making a collage in honoring the person at the center of action.
Create a small skit and recreate the memorable moments of his/her life. Assign roles to various family members; you could even think of making a musical. You could act it out live or play a recording at the party.
Gifting ideas for the elderly invariably center on nostalgia, so why not do something different? Gift them something that they can look forward to, instead. Think of things like walking shoes, board games, books or even a holiday if you think they’d love it. Pick up any kind of gift that is high on utility that doesn’t make a person feel his/her age.
Allow the birthday boy/girl an indulgence of their choice for the day. For instance, you could speak to their doctor and seek permission to reverse a sugar-free diet rule or allow them to smoke a cigar, or anything that brings them happiness. Just remember to speak to their doctor before you do it as it could have adverse effects on their health if you aren’t careful.
Birthday parties, above everything else, should be fun; age is always immaterial. The effort that you’ll put into planning it, is by far the best gift you could ever give anyone.