While some people never lose the desire to celebrate their birthday with a huge party, some people prefer to keep things low-key as they age. Turning 40 is a big deal for some, while others would rather not acknowledge it. If your partner or friend is turning 40 and would rather keep things quiet, plan a simple birthday party at your home.
You don’t have to worry about getting a reservation or booking space at a reception hall or caterer when you host a birthday at your home. Since you don’t have to rent a room or tip any waiters, you’ll save money having the party at home. The size of your house will also determine the size of your guest list. If you want to keep things small, a party at home is the way to go.
If the weather permits and you have an outdoor area, consider throwing an afternoon picnic. If you would rather have the party in the evening, consider having a small, somewhat fancy sit-down dinner. Before the party, sit down and sketch out a rough schedule, detailing what activities you plan on having at the party, when you will serve food and if there will cake and ice cream. If guests bring gifts, it is generally a good idea to open them after the party and send out thank you cards.
Picking a theme could make planning the party easier. If the birthday person has a sense of humor, the theme of the party could be “Over the Hill” or another age joke. You could also go the opposite route. Instead of making gentle fun of the birthday person, use the party as a way to look back over his life so far. The party’s theme could also be an activity the birthday person likes or the decade he was born in.
The size of your home may limit you to simple activities, such as group board games. If your budget allows, you may want to rent or buy a karaoke machine and have guests take turns serenading the birthday person. Guests could also bring gag gifts instead of serious birthday presents. Spend part of the party laughing together as he opens the gag gifts. If the party takes place outside, and everyone is active, you could try and play a sport, such as volleyball.
Remember that you’ll have to clean up any decorations, so you may want to keep things simple. Hang some helium-filled balloons around the party area and sprinkle confetti. You may want to hang up streamers or a birthday banner. Look for “Happy 40th!” plates and cups or other festively printed disposable dinnerware. If you’re hosting a dinner party, keep things classy with real tableware, a nice tablecloth and some candles.
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