This doesn’t mean I don’t want people to be extra nice to me on my real birthday. Because I do.

19 Jul
by Flickr user <a href=

by Flickr user clevercupcakes

My birthday falls on May 18th, and while I realize that’s not as bad as, say, December 25th, I have been upstaged by my senior prom, my own college graduation, and my best friend’s college graduation valedictory speech. This is a big deal because I kind of really like my birthday. I believe my birthday should be largely about me, and less about other people and events.

On the other hand, my dad recently wrote to me with an idea to have a group birthday party the next time I visit home. I was surprised at how much I like this idea, since it inherently involves sharing my birthday. Even I can appreciate that one shared group birthday party is better than not getting to celebrate at all with family members who live far away. Not only do I think it would be fun to celebrate a year’s worth of family members’ birthdays in one day, I also think this would be a great theme party to have with a group of friends.

Here’s what I think can be done:

  • The invitation should say something like, “It’s Your Birthday (sometimes)!” and should make clear that since everyone at the party has a birthday, all of them will be celebrated, regardless of where they fall on the so-called “calendar.”
  • At the party, have a wall calendar, and flip through the twelve months at evenly spaced increments throughout the party (that’s 15 minutes per month for a three hour event). Perhaps set a timer, and loudly announce each change, and which guests’ birthdays fall during that month. I think those people should get to wear a crown for those 15 minutes. And everyone has to be extra nice to those people.
  • Plan for four “seasons” worth of easy-to-change decorations, and switch it up when the calendar turns to March, June, September, and December.
  • Guests whose birthdays fall in the first three months of the year get to pick the appetizers. April/May/June babies get to pick the side dishes and drinks. Summer birthday folks are in charge of the main dish. And those whose birthdays fall at the end of the year get to select their favorite desserts. Instead of a cake, you may want to have individual cupcakes, each with a guest’s name on it, and a candle for a collective wish-making ceremony.
  • The playlist should include birthday songs (you know the drill…the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Marilyn Monroe, 50 Cent) but each guest should also get to add a favorite song to make a very eclectic birthday playlist.
  • If everyone knows each other well, then each guest can be assigned one other guest to buy a birthday gift for. If guests don’t know each other, than a simple game of Yankee Swap should take care of the present issue.
  • Make everyone feel special…like it’s their birthday!

Any other ideas for a group birthday party?


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