My husband and I both have a milestone birthday coming up later this year. It doesn’t start with 3 unfortunately, but I’m pleased to say it doesn’t start with 5 either.
Yes, we’re heading for the big 4-0. And we can’t decide how to celebrate. We always celebrate all of our birthdays in our family. We don’t have big, wild parties. Or any parties at all. But we do make sure we mark the occassion with a day off work, a day (or half day) out, a birthday cake and a meal out in the evening.
So how to mark a milestone birthday? And how to mark two milestone birthdays three months apart? Together? Separately? A bit of each?
When it was just a distant glimmer on the birthday horizon, back when we were about 35, my husband had big ideas for his. He wanted a box at Man Utd with corporate hospitality and friends and family (only a small number, of course, even in dreamland where money is no object). Or maybe a family holiday to New York? Great idea with a bunch of kids that won’t travel. And a wife who isn’t too keen either. I’d like to go to New York. I just wouldn’t want to actually TRAVEL to get there.
As the birthdays got nearer we started being more realistic.
We liked the idea of a joint party between the birthdays – a family-friendly one the kids and select other kids could come to. We knew where we would have it too. But then my husband started thinking he might like another sort of party at another venue. Maybe without kids. And I wasn’t keen on that idea.
Maybe a weekend away? Edinburgh to see the pandas (I’m so desperate to see the pandas). You try fitting a weekend in Edinburgh into an actual weekend, so you don’t have to take the kids out of school. Easier said than done.
A trip to London for the weekend. But I don’t want to travel home on my birthday (a Sunday). And it seems pointless paying for a Friday night in a hotel if you’re only going to sleep there and not spend the day there.
A family weekend in Center Parcs – take my mum and dad and maybe my sister and her family. We’re back to the can’t take the kids out of school problem.
A trip to Snowdon – we could all climb it! Even our 7 year old daughter. My husband and eldest really loved their trip to Snowdon and are desperate to go back.
Or what about Alton Towers? Or Disneyland Paris?
We could celebrate our birthdays in the summer holidays or October half-term and just do something more low-key on the day?
We have NO IDEA. We just can’t decide. We want our birthdays to be memorable and enjoyable for the whole family. If only we could decide what to do.
And what about presents? Don’t get me started. For myself, I’d like the sort of presents that mean something – those necklaces with the kids’ fingerprints or a family portrait session (or both – you only turn 40 once!). These are not the sort of thing my husband would think of himself, so I will have to ask, which slightly takes the magic away.
What to buy him? He’s not exactly the man who has everything, but he doesn’t want for much. And it would be nice to get him something special rather than an ordinary present. So far, my daughter has painted this mug for him, but its not really enough. I just don’t know what else to get. And time is running out…