Birthdays are a must for celebrating. Don’t let any of these marvellous milestones pass you by without having some fun. Birthdays have different significance for different people and cultures. Whether you choose to have a party or just a quiet celebration, here’s how to make them memorable for all the right reasons!
1st Birthday - First birthday parties point to the future. Inscribe a copy of a favourite childhood book of yours, for him or her to enjoy in years to come.
18th Birthday - Turning 18 officially marks the end of childhood. Now you’re an adult, you can make your own decisions, you can vote and you can drink down the pub! Traditional gifts, such as keys and tankards, symbolise this new stage of life.
21st Birthday - Twenty-one was once the age of majority, and although this changed to 18 way back in 1969, the 21st is still the ‘important’ birthday for many people, as Prince William’s much publicised bash at Windsor Castle demonstrated. As a gift, buy the birthday boy or girl a copy of the newspaper from the day they were born.
30th Birthday - Thirty is an age when many of us have started to ‘settle down’, making fancy household items a good gift choice. Why not throw a 1930s party to celebrate your new decade, with big band music and classic fashion styles. Base it around a Chicago gangsters theme, or get your dancing shoes, Fred and Ginger style.
40th Birthday -You’re only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely! A great gift idea is to club together to buy the birthday person an ‘experience’. It could be a weekend at a health spa, hot air ballooning, or a day’s go-karting. Give them something they’ve always wanted to do.
60th Birthday - For many, turning 60 means swapping full-time work for full-time fun. Why not learn a new skill to celebrate your new-found freedom? Try dancing, art, cordon bleu cooking or a language - anything you’ve always wanted to do, but never found the time for before.
You don’t have to slow down at 60. Playing to a crowd of 80,000 fans was part of famous granddad Mick Jagger’s 60th birthday celebration. Proof, if any were needed, that you’re never too old to rock ‘n’ roll…
70th Birthday - Jenny Wood Allen started running at the age of 71, broke the London marathon record for the oldest female over 70 and took part in the race at the age of 90. Her achievement shows that it’s never too late to take up a new experience.
80th Birthday - ‘Youth has no age,’ said Pablo Picasso, and he should have known. The artist produced 140 canvases in his late 80s and carried on painting right until the end of his 91 years. Why not splash out on an art course for an octogenarian?
90th Birthday - Reaching 90 is a major achievement. The average life expectancy in the UK is 75 for men and 80 for women. Ninety years of memories means an enormous collection of photographs. Some elegant photo frames could be just the thing. Or how about compiling a family tree?
100th Birthday - Congratulations! Don’t miss out on your message from the Queen! To receive yours, you need to complete a form and send it no sooner than three weeks prior to the anniversary date to: The Anniversaries Office, Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA. You can download the form from the Internet at www.royal.gov.uk.
How ever many years you’ve got, we hope you always feel young at heart!