Another year has come to pass, and it’s time for a birthday celebration. For many of us, a party at home with friends and family is the perfect, relaxed answer. Whether it’s a surprise party for an occupant of the home, or a catered affair in the home-owner’s honor, a house celebration can be a great time. But how to plan one? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
When drawing up your guest list, keep both the size of the home and the available parking in mind. If your home is small, consider renting an awning so that guests can be comfortable outside. The garage can also be emptied of cars and used as a storage area for gifts, coats, and shoes, should the birthday fall during the winter months. If your house is large but parking is a problem, consider having guests park at a nearby landmark, such as a grocery store, and carpool to your home.
Gifts are another consideration. Some people are notoriously hard to shop for. If guests are unsure of what to bring, you may consider donations to a favored charity, gift cards, or gasoline cards. Practical, thoughtful gifts are best for the person who has everything.
When planning the food offerings, don’t be afraid to be different! Not every celebratory gathering has to include the obligatory cake emblazoned with ‘Happy Birthday’. Whether the guest of honor adores crepes or fudge, cater the food offerings to the honoree, as well as popular cuisine. Be cognizant of common allergies such as nuts, eggs, or berries when planning your celebratory meal. Be sure to coordinate closely with the caterer if any allergens must be avoided.
Decorations for the gathering are also important. Colorful signs directing guests to the home are helpful. Inside, small flotillas of balloons, a Happy Birthday banner, and plenty of disposable plates and utensils are a must. If you have a pool, consider floating candles for a nice touch. Even for adults, silly hats can make for some hilarious photo opportunities.
To entertain your guests, local custom and personal style come into play. For a child, animals, clowns, or a magician can add to the festivities. For adults, music, wine tasting, or parlor games can add to the fun. Make it unique! If the honoree is a dancer, consider the guests doing a poor dance routine. For a gourmet chef, a sampling of the guests’ efforts may be in order.
The whole point of a birthday get-together at home is to enjoy a relaxing event with friends. No matter if it’s a pot-luck or an elegant catered affair, close attention to detail will make your next celebration a success.