If you’re like me, you dislike birthdays because when you were younger your birthday was celebrated with elaborate parties each year.
And then once we became an adult, it all goes away. Every birthday becomes a dud. No one pretends to be as excited anymore. You’ve had enough birthdays, they aren’t special anymore.
Each year, I expect something special to happen. Then my birthday comes and goes and NOTHING.
But if you’re like me and want to shake things up, let’s celebrate your birthday so that it doesn’t suck!
How to make your birthday special
In my mid-20’s, I realized that no one is going to make my birthday special unless I do it for myself. It was a harsh reality, but I had to accept it.
So I started planning. I asked myself, “What are the things I love to do and want to do that will make me feel special?”
I started by going to the beach. I used to live an hour away from San Francisco so this, to me, was an adventure. It was exciting.
Why the beach? Because I wanted to connect with my Maker and the beach has always been that special place for me.
It’s quiet and waves make the perfect natural white noise for staring and contemplating my goals and dreams for the next year.
After spending half an hour to an hour at the beach, I would go try a new café and ordered something new.
I’d drive home feeling fulfilled and happy. I know, nothing I did was out of the ordinary. But adding something that made me feel special and good made all the difference.
Gifts for picky birthday celebrants
I have family members that are picky gift receivers. They are very particular and growing up, I never knew what to give them. I never felt I was giving the right gifts. So, I just gave up. 🤷♀️
With people that are picky, giving gift cards are perfect for them. Find a store they love and get them a gift card. They can get whatever they want.
If I’m being honest, I, too am one of those selective gift receivers and I LOOOOVE gift cards.
However, my husband is the opposite. On his birthday during our first few years of dating, we went to a furniture store and he saw a statue that he liked so much. I
bought it for him and he received it with much joy and excitement. That’s when planning birthdays became fun for me.
At times, I plan out his birthday shortly after this last birthday. That’s because the ideas flow to me and I love seeing his bright, smiling face.
Gifts for enthusiastic birthday celebrants
Be attentive and take down notes on things your someone special enjoys and loves. These notes are important later when you are figuring out the perfect gift.
For example, he talked about wanting to be a pilot when he was younger and loving the movie “Top Gun”. I scoured some flight lesson deals online and booked a session for him.
When the day came, we went to a plane museum and later presented to him his flight lesson.
He was so excited and loved it. It’s still his favorite birthday experience.
When selecting gifts for an enthusiastic gift receiver, make sure it’s something thoughtful. Adding little touches of your conversation or memories for them would make it extra special.
Ideas to celebrate your birthday
Here are ideas to celebrate your or someone you love’s birthday:
1. Take the day off – Put yourself first on your special day
2. Pamper yourself – Get a spa day and allow yourself to relax
3. Try something new – Trying new pastry or exploring a new place or new clothing
4. Take yourself to someplace you love – Do you love nature? Go hiking or somewhere outdoors
5. Do something adventurous – Go on Groupon and see if there’s anything that sparks your or their interest
6. Have a themed birthday party – Do a Superhero, Princess, glow stick pool party
7. Go to the casino – Have a budget and play until your chips are out (do not go over your budget)!
8. Have a slumber party – Invite your girlfriends and have a sleepover
9. Eat some guilty pleasure food – It’s okay, no one is watching or counting 😉
10. Go to a water park – If it’s not too cold!
11. Have a photoshoot – Commemorate the day by having a photoshoot for yourself
12. Go on a winery tour – Try some tasty wine from a locally sourced vineyard
13. Travel somewhere – Plan a trip to Europe or to the nearest city and explore!
14. Go to a sports game or concert – Root for your favorite team or rock out to your favorite band on your special day
15. Go on a bike ride and head to the farmer’s market – Buy something wonderful to cook for your birthday
16. Send gratitude to your favorite people – Let them know how much they mean to you
17. Attend a ball – or an event that’ll make you dress up – because it’s fun to get dressed up on your birthday!
18. Buy yourself a gift – Lavish yourself with something new. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Try a new lipstick or a face moisturizer.
19. Have a movie marathon – Watch your favorite movies and snack on.
20. Start a new hobby – What better way to start your year by taking up something new
At the end of the day, birthdays are a way to celebrate being alive and being thankful for what we’ve been given. Celebrate in a unique way that matters to you or someone special.
How I’m celebrating my birthday
I’ve always wanted to have a “close out the year” celebration for the last year. This year:
- Ate fancy Chinese takeout aka Panda Express
- Have a movie marathon
For this year’s birthday, I’ve decided to do:
- Spend some time by the beach – it has become an annual thing 🌊
- Get a haircut – new year, new ‘do 💇🏻
- Attend to a Barre class – my first time 🧘🏻♀️
- Get a massage – oh so relaxing 💆🏻
- Happy hour – celebrating on a discount 🥂
- Go to the movies – it was a feel-good movie, of course! 🎞
Here are resources for other ideas
- 33 Fun Things To Do On Your Birthday To Make It Special
- 17 Things to Do on Your Birthday When You’re Out of Ideas
- Groupon or Airbnb Experience