18th. 21st. 30th. 40th. 50th – all these are just important birthday milestone rehearsals for the real big one: the 60th birthday.
And if milestone birthdays are often associated with poking fun at the guest of honour’s age and making a big deal of the fact they are getting older, that gets a little bit insensitive when they hit ripe old 6-0. So when it comes to 60th birthday parties, you should definitely avoid poking fun at the guest of honour’s age.
Not offending everyone and the guest of honour is one thing, but how do you go about planning a party for people of this age? Here’s how I planned mine.
Along with the where, when, and RSVP details, use appropriate greetings for the front cover of the invitation indicating the specific party theme and consider some of the classic headlines, such as: “Aged to Perfection”, “Sexy Sixty” or “Sweet 60″. I personally went with “The Big 6 – Oh!” to add a bit of personal humor. But remember, sixty is the beginning of retirement stage, and most people consider turning sixty a significant turning point. So the idea is to be respectful and help them look forward to their senior years in a positive way. This can be done by focusing on their vitality and celebrating their accomplishments in life. So be sensitive of appearing too rude.
The obvious and popular theme is to take a trip down memory lane and style the party in a particular decade, like the 50s, 60s or 70s. One thing I will say is that if the sixty-year old/s were born towards the end of a certain decade, it might be best to theme the party in the following decade, as it’s likely the guest of honor has better memories of that time period.
I personally went with a sports theme. My dad has always been a massive football fan so we started with a good bit of food, with my new smoker as the centre of early festivities. We then all congregated inside to watch Saturday’s big game, before rounding off the night with music and drink. Which leads me on to the next point…
What’s a party without good music? Think of the special person turning sixty and you’re sure to come up with a good playlist. But remember, don’t stress the age aspect. The last thing most women want to hear when turning 60 is that they are turning 60.
If anything, take the focus off of age. Play upbeat music and dance. Have fun. Put the focus on something that the person is looking forward to or on things they enjoy. Maybe something like Donny Osmond. Everybody loves Mr Osmond, don’t they?
Gift-giving at a 60th birthday party doesn’t take a lot of imagination – whether it be 10 six-packs of beer, 5 dozen roses, or 60 lottery tickets.
If you want to be a little more creative, why not do something more personal by arranging a memory book or scrapbook filled with favourite photos and keepsakes. Ask friends and loved ones to e-mail special birthday wishes well in advance to be included with the photos, or print-out the e-mails and pin them up separately on a decorated bulletin board.
And of course…food! I wouldn’t recommend teaching your kids how to make cake or cookies for an important party – my sugar cookie disaster says it all!