1. Order pizza and drink Champagne. If you think you’re just too busy to do anything this year, think again. Pick up a few bottles of bubbly and have a few pizzas delivered. Easy, cheap, quirky, fun. Like you! (Minus the “easy, cheap” part. Hopefully.)
2. Theme your birthday party around ones you had as a kid. Just give the stuff you loved as a child an adult spin: Serve Shirley Temple Blacks (ginger ale with a splash of grenadine, spiked with Johnnie Walker Black and garnished with a maraschino cherry). Fill a piñata with adult treats that double as favors guests can take home (think decks of playing cards, airplane-size mini bottles of alcohol, even condoms). Play Twister!
3. Have an all-day pajama party. Stay in bed all day watching all your favorite old movies. Let family and friends join you, coming and going (and refilling your popcorn bowl) as they like.
4. Do something you’ve never done before. Make every birthday a chance to discover something new, whether it’s paddleboarding, skydiving, going to the track — or whatever’s on your own personal bucket list. Or have a bucket list party where you announce your list and challenge friends to commit to doing one thing with you before your next birthday!
5. Do something you always do. Start a birthday tradition: Think about what you love most in life and spend some time doing that on your big day. Maybe every year you go deep-sea fishing. Maybe you hike to the top of the closest mountain and have a wine-and-cheese picnic. Maybe you do your best Neil Diamond karaoke impression. Let friends know about your tradition and ask them to come along for the ride.
6. Make — and take a cue from — your “New Year’s” resolutions. Every birthday is a chance to reflect on what you love about your life and what you want to do better. Instead of waiting until December 31 to make resolutions, make some on your birthday. What do you want to spend more time and energy on this coming year? Whatever it is — exercising more, seeing more movies, eating more chocolate donuts, volunteering — get your year off on the right foot by starting on your birthday.
7. Host a potluck starring your favorite foods. Make a list of the dishes you love the most (whether they go together or not!) and ask friends to each pick one to bring. Mashed potatoes and pad Thai? Yum!
8. Take a fabulous trip. If there’s one way to make sure you look forward to your birthday, it’s to plan a celebratory vacation somewhere you’ve always wanted to go (or already love visiting). Whether it’s to a tropical beach across the equator or a day trip to your closest big city, there’s nothing quite like the excitement and anticipation of a vacation, especially when you plan it with your closest friends and family.
9. Reinvent yourself. New year, new you — indulge yourself. Get a new haircut, buy a new outfit and expensive shoes — then go out on the town and show yourself off!
10. Sit in a rocking chair on your front porch. Celebrate getting older and wiser by inviting friends over to chill on your front porch with you. Serve hard lemonade and exchange “Remember when…?” stories with your oldest and best pals. (Bonus points: Pay your next door neighbor’s children $5 to hop the fence at some point so you can yell, “You kids get off my lawn!”)
Whatever you decide on, take a moment to be thankful for another orbit around the sun — and wish yourself a very happy birthday!
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