Today is your day to be a star
“It’s my best birthday ever, Charlie Brown, ” said Linus. We all know the Peanut’s gang really know how to throw a great party, but the storyline usually has an underlying moral to the story such as friends are the greatest gift. Birthdays are always a huge highlight of a child’s year. They dream about it for 364 days of the year. Many adults do not like to think about birthdays since they remind them they are getting older. Yet adults of all ages are always are delighted by a surprise birthday party and birthday gifts.
It’s important to know that not all cultures celebrate birthdays. Birthdays are no big deal in China and most of Vietnam, although they often honor their grandparents’ birthday. Parts of Africa also do not celebrate birthdays mainly due to economic reasons. There are several religions that choose to be excluded from observing birthdays, so it’s always prudent to respect the rights and beliefs of other people in a sensitive manner.
The first birthday parties may have began in Ancient Greece by honoring the moon goddess with the gift of a round cake. The first recorded birthday parties with gifts are those of kings and aristocrats. This may be why the birthday person of today wears a crown at a birthday party. The king’s birthday was declared as a day of feasting and celebration. Guests brought gifts to show their fondness for the king and also to wish him good luck during the rest of the year. It is believed torches were used to ward off evil spirits. Torches were eventually replaced by one candle for each birthday year and noise makers. The birthday song originated in Germany and has evolved into our own special version. Sending birthday cards is a custom that began in England about 100 years ago.
Different people have incorporated different traditions into their own birthday celebration. Children in England open their birthday presents as soon as they wake up in the morning. American children open their presents after blowing out the candles and making the birthday wish. Children’s parties and the cake tend to be decorated around a theme such as a cartoon character, sleep over, pool side party, back yard camp out, pirates, Hanukkah, snow day party or just an outing to a neat place like the zoo. Games are played such as pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs. Giving presents to the birthday boy or birthday girl is still a tradition as well as prizes and favors for the guests. All birthday parties should have balloons.
A birthday party and birthday gifts for adults should be well thought out. Ladies generally like romantic candle light dinners, flowers, tickets to the spa and birthstones. Almost any luxury item is sure to be appreciated by her. Birthday parties for men generally involve backyard cookouts with steak or his favorite home cooked dinner. Men enjoy receiving presents focusing on their interests such as electronics, fishing, golf and gadgets. Gag birthday gifts can add to the fun. A senior citizen’s birthday should never be over looked, especially when they arrive at a milestone such as 80 or 90 years old. We want to show them all of the love and respect they deserve. Selecting birthday gifts for the elderly can be a challenge. They generally enjoy receiving large print books and large print playing cards, music from the 30s, audio books and gift baskets of fruit or other treats. Senior citizens especially enjoy the interaction and fuss a birthday party brings to them. People that are alone on their birthday can rent a good movie and send out for their favorite meal such a seafood or Chinese.
A birthday is the anniversary of your birth. It’s the time most of us reflect over the past year and what we hope for in the coming year. It’s your special day all day long and hopefully at the end of the day, you will say to yourself, “This was the best birthday ever.”
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