Milestone birthday

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…


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. For some reason or another, a 40th birthday (there, I said it!) have become this enormous thing with loads of pressure attached to it. I felt exactly like you do…wanted to do something special but nothing too grand or lavish. I didn’t want a party either. We opted for an event for my OH (indoor skydiving as a family) and then he and I went to Ireland for the weekend. The next year it was mine and we didn’t go for one big bash, I just did loads of smaller things instead…a girlie weekend away, posh meal out with my other half and some family time too. Oh and there was a big night out with lots of school mums too….hmmm, too much?!

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  2. I’m already past that stage and I didn’t want any fuss so we just had a nice family meal out and it was really lovely. My hubby isn’t there yet but I imagine his family will want a party of some kind. When you are busy it is really hard and whilst I know you shouldn’t take the children out of school, I don’t think the odd couple of days really would do any harm if you want to go and do something special. You deserve to do something

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  3. Mr B chose to be in Hawaii for his (with me of course), I had a Chinese banquet at home with croquet between courses, for 12 friends and family. Neither of us did presents. But recently been to two very different parties – one Thai buffet and 70s disco, the other a joint party at home with fish and chips and all fall down at about 2am. The children were asleep upstairs. Our next celebration will be silver wedding anniversary ….
    My advice, have a huge party with lots of presents 🙂

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  4. My husband and I buy a joint wedding anniversary present for ourselves each year – that way we buy something special we both enjoy toghether

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  5. My husband and I buy a joint wedding anniversary present for ourselves each year – that way we buy something special we both enjoy toghether

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  6. Suzanne – I think I may go with lots of little things too, although as the birthdays are so close it would seem nice to do something bigger.
    Our school wouldn’t even let us take the kids out, Nikki! It’s worse as I’m a governor, we’ve got no chance.
    All of your ideas sound good Lesley – yours, Mr B’s and your friends’ dos. Shows that you can have a good time however you choose to do it. Huge party, lots of presents sounds good! 😉

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  7. Does a school holiday fall near your birthdays? If so id opt for a few days away!

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  8. I reckon a a big party with lots of presents or the trip to Snowdon. From reading your blog it sounds as if that would be a lot of fun for you all. I want to go to New York for mine I think!! 🙂

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  9. Mine is coming up very soon. The day before britmumslive! Guess how I’m celebrating 😉
    My Hubby went to France for a golf week for his, but that was 9 years and less children ago!
    I don’t want a fuss but everyone else is so, aside from britmums, I have opted for a family meal, they are ny favourite people to spend time with xx

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  10. Thanks very much, ladies 🙂
    Nice idea about the joint present, Kath.
    School holiday is fairly near, Vicki. But we’re going on our annual holiday then anyway, so it’s not quite the same! I want my family weekend away, but it’s not going to happen!
    New York sounds good, Tas. What is it with New York? Everyone wants to go there.
    I’m sure you’ll have a fab celebration at Britmums, Joanna! Mine is two days before the Mad Blog Awards finals. Surely that means I should win?! 😉 x

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  11. I have asked for new converse, mine are in bits! Am spending my birthday with Andy, and having a meal out with my close girlfriends on the Saturday after. We are having a weekend away, but it will have to be later in the year as not sure Syd is ready for the absence of both parents yet, June sees me leaving him for a night for the first time, and that will be with his Dad so hardly counts as abandonment! Hope you find something you are both happy with! And let’s kick 40s arse!! 🙂

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  12. I think you should do two things (but together as a family), after all you are celebrating two birthdays! A party is a great idea, friends and family – hire a photographer so that you can have fun and let someone else capture the moments. Also, a really lovely thing to have at a party is a photo-booth. There are companies that you can hire that bring the booth and all your guests go in at some point throughout the party and have a pic taken – these are then stuck in an album and the guests write a message to you and hubby – lovely keepsake and such fun! They had it at a wedding I went to last weekend. The Snowdon trip sounds great swell – two completely different ways of celebrating. xx

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  13. I’m sure however you decide to celebrate will be perfectly awesome and memorable for you both – I suggest big-assed cake!! 😉

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  14. I think a party 🙂 simple idea but still nice and I bet the kids would like it.The Snowdon idea is also cool,I suppose you could always have matching tattoos done…perhaps each others initials entwined round a 40,what do you think?

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  15. Arr its no so bad 🙂 I cant wait to here what you decided to do?

    Thanks for linking up to welcome to the weekend blog hop 🙂

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  16. This is also the year of the 40th for me, and I won’t be doing much as I’m in the States and all my close friends are in the UK. I have so far been invited to six parties that I can’t go to! I will go for the quiet,family day I think 🙂 To be honest, it’s just another year really… Isn’t it?! Although, a weekend in New York sounds good – I’d only have to travel about 200 miles 🙂

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  17. Thank you all for your comments and support 🙂
    Yep, let’s kick its arse, Sonya!
    Xandi, I love your ideas! The photo booth sounds ace!
    Big-assed cake is essantial, MNS. Currently trying and failing to fine perfect one for husband.
    I like the tattoo idea, Jess, but there’s no way my husband would go for that!
    No doubt I’ll be writing far too much about what we do in the end, Clairejustine!
    True, it is another year, Sara! I just like the idea of doing something special as it’s a good excuse! Once you’ve had your wedding and your babies, there aren’t many excuses left for a big celebration! A weekend in New York sounds VERY easy for you! Like me going to Cornwall!

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  18. What about something mad with the kids like zorbing and then an adult party? xx

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  19. That sounds like fun! Thanks very much, I’m loving everyone’s suggestions. I so need them!

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  20. 40 is cool and definitely a party. I’m loving my 40s and throw a party at any excuse, this is a big excuse!:)

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  21. I had a massive party for my 40th two years ago and I chose ALL the music that was played. I also chose the theme as purple and pink. We had an amazing time, loads of fun 🙂 xx

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