Best way to celebrate your birthday
May 28, 2009 9:46 PM   Subscribe

How to celebrate my birthday (without much $). So I turn the big 28 tomorrow and while I am planning on doing some great things, I'd love to start some new traditions as well. I have had a pretty rough year so this birthday is welcomed and I want to do it right! Any ideas? Ive looked though older posts and had a few tips but I thought ya'll might have some insight.
posted by Meemer to Society & Culture (14 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Get up really early and take a walk or read a book. It's hard to get up early, but I think it's nice not to have to start a special day with work and other responsibilities.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:56 PM on May 28, 2009

Take yourself out to breakfast or coffee. Read the day's paper front to back. Write your future self a letter, or a special journal entry, about yourself and the world on the first day of your 29th year on earth. Maybe throw in a few memories of past years.

If you make something like this a tradition, you and future generations of your family could really appreciate it in years to come.

Looking at your past questions--I think it's really neat that you have a yearning for ritual and tradition in your life. Some of what you come up with could end up being recreated over generations!
posted by padraigin at 10:05 PM on May 28, 2009

Take pictures of all the best things in your life right now, go for a walk and take pictures of your favourite places, have a party and take pictures of your most beloved people. Do that every year, and you'll have an amazing record of your life.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:11 PM on May 28, 2009 [3 favorites]

Every birthday I write a quick letter to myself in the future, thanks to I stagger the years and every year I am happy to wake up with an email from 2003 wishing me the best and asking how awesome I'm doing with that super sweet undergrad degree in English Literature with a minor focusing on creative writing!
posted by banannafish at 10:15 PM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

My last birthday I started a journal, made a list of things I wanted to work on in my life, kind of treated it like new years, with the resolutions and stuff, a chance to start over. It was nice :)
posted by Chrysalis at 10:18 PM on May 28, 2009

One of my favorite birthdays:

Several friends and I were planning on heading to downtown Denver to see if we could score last-minute student prices for a show at the Performing Arts Center.

The night of the performance, everyone showed up at my apartment dressed to the nines. But no one really felt like going downtown anymore: traffic, parking meters, tromping several blocks, and then waiting around for tickets we might get.

So we went to the dollar theatre instead. It was inexpensive; it was ridiculous; it was a ton of fun.
posted by litterateur at 10:18 PM on May 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

For years and years I made it a point to send flowers to my mother and my father on my birthday. I found it very satisfying and it seemed to please each of them quite a bit. In leaner years, I would go out and handpick wild flowers or make paper flowers or just take pictures of flowers with a polaroid.
It was a nice way to step outside myself and give back to the people who brought me into the world.
posted by Brody's chum at 10:31 PM on May 28, 2009 [3 favorites]

okay, so the other answers in this thread are way more poignant than mine.

a few years ago we celebrated a good (male) friend's birthday by buying a few 30-piece box of super inexpensive china on clearance (from walmart or something), going out to one of the industrial sites where there were piles and piles and piles of building-rubble (broken concrete, rusted girders, wires, loads of gravel) in a rock quarry and just throwing all of the china against the rock walls. the shards all ended up in the piles of junk that were being shoveled out anyway, and it was the silliest, most random, weird birthday thing i've ever taken part in. you really haven't lived until you've broken champagne glasses and dinner plates for the hell of it
posted by anthropomorphic at 11:05 PM on May 28, 2009 [5 favorites]

oh, also: happy birthday!
posted by anthropomorphic at 11:07 PM on May 28, 2009

I turned 40 last summer. This is what I've been doing since I was about 23 or so.

I try very hard to not have to work on my birthday. That alone is nice, if it happens to be a workday. I like to sleep in some, so that's typically what I do.

My big thing: Comfort food with my favorite people. I'm not talking about cake, because I don't like most sweets. I make sure I have some sort of favorite food meal that day that I wouldn't normally splurge on and try to spend it with my most special people. Last year, my husband made a lovely crab leg, shrimp, potatoes, sausage, corncob, and carrots boil. Friends and family grubbed down. After the kids were in bed, we had margaritas. Other years I've cooked the meal myself, which is fun because I like to cook, and I made exactly what I wanted. I remember a great brunch party that turned into a happy round of flea market shopping afterward. Still other years, I picked the restaurant and a gathering happened there. I never much cared about presents, so a meal and happy time with my friends WAS the present. Some years, they treated. That was wonderful and still makes me smile. If your friends can treat you to something fun, LET THEM!

Like Chrysalis above, I also treat it kind of like New Year's. My goal is a combination of jolly and introspective and hopeful. It's MY new year!

After I'd had my own kids and lived with a man who sent his mom flowers for his birthday, I started calling my mom on mine. Before whatever late festivities might set in or maybe the evening before, if I knew my schedule was going to be full and likely silly the day of. Thanks for growing me and pushing me out into the world and raising me right. I can hear her grin over the phone.

Happy Birthday!!
posted by lilywing13 at 1:32 AM on May 29, 2009

My friend Ling is celebrating her 28th birthday tonight with a late-night burrito potluck dinner party, followed by about 4 hours of insane, bean-fueled dancing. Twist: all dancing will be done sans pants.

It's gonna be epic.
posted by saladin at 6:30 AM on May 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine created a Facebook event for her birthday. On the page, she said that instead of getting gifts, she would prefer it if everybody did a kind deed for somebody else on that day. She also had everybody meet her at the local watering hole and asked that everybody bring an item for the food bank.

I'm turning 30 in a couple of months, so I'm just going to hang out at home and the door will be open to anybody that wants to drop by and hang out with me and bring me food and love.

A very happy birthday to you!
posted by futureisunwritten at 6:34 AM on May 29, 2009

For my 28th birthday, I had the "pajama party" that I never had as a youth. Got together with about half a dozen friends, we changed into our PJs (some had purchased funny nightshirts and such for the occasion) and served Sloppy Joes and potato chips with Kool-Aid to drink. A friend had a clown cake baked with my name on it, and we had Neopolitan ice cream with it. Then we played some goofy party games, like carrying water on a teaspoon and filling a bucket, and sit-on-the-balloon and see whose pops first, things like that, which was hilarious fun because some of the participants took the games so darned seriously. People in their early 30s playing cut-throat musical chairs is a sight to behold.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:12 AM on May 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

This is more of a family tradition than something to do on your own, but just wanted to share it. Growing up, in my family you did not come down to breakfast until you made your bed. So on birthdays someone always makes the bed for the birthday-person. It was just something really small to do but really special.

Also, I like to pamper myself the night before my birthday, so I don't spend time on the actual day, but have nice nails and feel fresh and pretty on the birthday day.

Might be too late for tomorrow, but organize a birthday picnic/bbq with your friends next weekend. Tell them to bring something to eat and play with instead of gifts. Doesn't cost a lot, and spending a day outside (maybe even barefoot! I love bare feet and grass) with friends eating good but bad-for-you food and playing volleyball and frisbee is one of the best things to do in life.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 11:59 AM on May 29, 2009

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