Celebrate 100 years of life with a fitting birthday party to honor the centenarian. Living through an entire century has likely resulted in magnificent memories, stories and special relationships that should all be celebrated. Plan a birthday party that will reinforce how special the occasion and the birthday celebrant are to you and other guests.
Surprise parties are common for major milestone birthdays. Avoid a surprise party if the centenarian doesn’t like surprises or tends to be reserved. If you have a large guest list, which you likely do, consider renting a large banquet hall or hosting the party outside. Outside parties should be avoided in harsh weather or if the sun bothers the birthday celebrant. Keep the party casual if that’s more his style, or host a completely formal birthday party if it suits his personality. Invite all the friends he’s had throughout his life and the entire family, making it a reunion of sorts. It’s likely there could be five or six generations spawning from the birthday celebrant that rarely all come together at the same time. Having the entire family present might mean more to the birthday celebrant than any gift you could buy.
Decorations should match the theme, colors and style of the party. A formal 100th birthday party could include black and gold, black and white, silver and black or the centenarian’s favorite color. Simply use the number “100” as the theme and decorate with various items in bunches of 100. If the birthday celebrant loves roses, decorate with 100 roses. Jars full of 100 small items, such as the birthday celebrant’s favorite hard candy or colorful pebbles. If she has a favorite type of music, hobby, sports team, TV show or anything in particular, use that as the theme and decorate with pictures and items that complement the theme. Pictures of the centenarian, documenting her life, will serve as sentimental decorations and reflect the reason for the party.
Celebrate the birthday celebrant by creating a time line of his life. Include major events in his life, such as his wedding, when he bought his first house, the birth of his children and grandchildren as well as historical events. Invite guests to create a scrapbook or memory book for the birthday celebrant highlighting their funniest or most special memory with him. This would likely mean more as a gift than any little trinket you could purchase. Set aside some time for each guest to toast the centenarian and share something special. If there are too many people to allow each person a time, ask the second oldest and youngest person who can talk to share a story. Anyone else who would like to share a story should be given an opportunity, if time allows. Consider a roast if he has a good sense of humor.
Consider the dietary needs of the birthday celebrant along with the vast age range of guests when putting together a menu. A buffet or pot luck might be ideal as both offer a variety of choices that can appeal to guests of all ages. A restaurant birthday party is also ideal as each guest can order her own meal.
Play birthday bingo where the items on the cards can represent some of the 100-year-old’s favorite hobbies or historical events she witnessed. Instead of balls, use slips of paper that correspond with the items listed on the bingo cards. Trivia games can focus on historical events or specific facts about her. Whoever gets the most answers correct should win a special gift. Keep children entertained with coloring books, clay or other simple crafts and games.
The time of day and length of the party should be the most convenient time of day for the birthday celebrant and the amount of time that’s comfortable for him. He may tire easily, which would make a long party–even in his honor–feel like torture. Consider cutting the cake and opening gifts early in the party so he can retire early if he needs to. Simple gifts, such as trinkets, might not be the best option. Instead, consider meaningful gifts, such as housekeeping, meals, magazine subscriptions, a wine-of-the-month club or something useful that fits his lifestyle and interests. If he enjoys golfing, collectively purchase golf clubs or get him certificates for the green fees to his favorite courses. Consider sending him on a vacation with someone special.
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