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Special birthday and anniversary

(75 Posts)
magshard20 Sun 05-Jul-20 15:14:41

Could I ask how people feel about telling family that they don't want a fuss for the above? I really, really don't want anything out of the ordinary for my 70th birthday at the (very) end of the year, or our 50th wedding anniversary next March ( OH is not really the outgoing type either, so he is all for a fuss free time). I have told my OH and my 2 daughters all this and hope I got my message across, not told son yet, as he probably hasn't even cottoned on these events are happening!
I don't want to sound like a killjoy, but with the way 2020 has turned out I am dreading them trying to organise something ( I'm usually the one that does the organising in the family)
Your comments would be very welcome xx

jane1956 Sun 05-Jul-20 15:27:39

we are coming up to 45th anniversary just wanted to go out for meal, have organised cake but you cannot get 45th anniversary serviettes so have to have plain blue. Also want a blue dress for sapphire but some are really long or strappy just want a simple dress. Hope you got the message to your family xx

shysal Sun 05-Jul-20 15:33:37

Perhaps you could organize a quiet couple of days away on each occasion, which might discourage the family from doing anything else.

I hate a fuss being made on special birthdays etc. but fortunately DDs feel the same so no danger. However, on DD1's 40th some friends gave her a surprise party in a local hall, despite knowing how much she would hate it. I had promised that I would tell her if anything secret was happening, so at least she was forewarned. It was her 50th this year and she held an 'at home' day when people dropped in for a non-alcoholic cocktail and a few bought nibbles. This went well and caused no stress.

Namsnanny Sun 05-Jul-20 15:42:17

Your not a killjoy!!
I think you should do as you see fit. It is your day after all.

Provided you havent decided to play it down to suit others (you do sound sure, so I'm just clarifying) then be firm and smile a lot if you have to repeat your wish to them.

Just like to put forward a suggestion, maybe others would like a memory of the occasion, so would a group photo be appropriate at some time in the future?

Namsnanny Sun 05-Jul-20 15:42:41


AGAA4 Sun 05-Jul-20 15:43:49

I have never really enjoyed parties so for my 70th I organised an afternoon tea at a hotel for just family.

It was an enjoyable afternoon and very low key so just right for me. Some of my family are extroverts and love parties but this was my day!

V3ra Sun 05-Jul-20 15:56:56

The secret to having the sort of celebration you want, and will enjoy, is to organise it yourself.

We both turned 60 and had our 40th anniversary the same year.

For our birthdays we treated ourselves to a really nice holiday.
Later I invited our immediate family to a meal in a local restaurant.
They each bought us a birthday present. My son asked what I'd like and I said a bottle of perfume, I'm still using it now. I assumed his partner helped him choose but no, he'd taken himself off to Boots and chosen it himself. Very special.

For the anniversary we booked self-catering accommodation and paid for flights for our children, other halves and one granddaughter for a summer holiday and arranged a meal in a local restaurant on the anniversary, other than that they did their own thing while we were away. It was lovely to spend time together as a family. We'd done that for our 30th anniversary as well.

Between the three of them they bought us a voucher for a river cruise and lunch on the Thames and tickets to the Shard. That was a surprise! We arranged a weekend to go to suit ourselves.

I didn't want a big party, or "stuff." I'd much rather go somewhere nice. I arranged things I knew we'd all enjoy and we all did.
Looking forward to the next decade now!

Hope you have the celebration you want as well.

Witzend Sun 05-Jul-20 16:02:10

Good luck with that!!

I told dh and dds very firmly that I didn’t want any fuss for my 70th - just a meal with them would be fine.

They went ahead anyway and booked a huge barn conversion in the Cotswolds for a weekend - various other family came too, about 16 of us in the end.

I didn’t ask how much it cost - I didn’t want to know! But it was very low season and there was snow, much to Gdcs’ delight. I really did enjoy it in the end - it was certainly nice to see family who live quite a distance away.

Kate1949 Sun 05-Jul-20 16:02:11

I was 70 last year and it was our 50th anniversary. We told the family we didn't want parties or fuss. They accepted it and bought us some lovely gifts and that was that. We said we'd take DD, SIL and DGD out for a meal but then lockdown happened
We will do so at a later date.

justwokeup Sun 05-Jul-20 16:06:13

You said you are the one who usually does the organising. Is this what is putting you off as you're not in control and may not enjoy what they plan? If so, trust them and let them get on with it. If not, and you really would not like a big celebration, why not invite them round to your house and ask them to bring food and fizz so you're not hostessing? Or think about what low key celebration you would really like and tell them so they can organise it? Low key is good but I think you'd be disappointed if they ignored the events altogether.

Judy54 Sun 05-Jul-20 16:20:55

Do what is right for you and your OH. I absolutely do not like big parties or surprises either. As others have suggested perhaps a few days away for the two of you and then on your return you could always invite family for a meal or an afternoon tea at a nice hotel/restaurant. Whatever you do enjoy it and have fun!

Brownsgirl Mon 06-Jul-20 10:42:12

My brother and sister in law surprised me yesterday on my 65th birthday. I was late and the weather was horrendous . Everything went wrong and I was not comfortable. Ended early due to weather . I do not like surprises and hate being fussed over even by family. My own son and grandkids all live abroad and saw them via video link .
Do what is right for you . Go away on anniversary or birthday and do what you want and see people important to YOU. I think yes You would be disappointed if no one acknowledged the event but think low key celebration better.

J52 Mon 06-Jul-20 11:01:52

When DH was 70, I knew he wouldn’t want a big fuss or do. So I organised a variety of treats spread over 2 weeks. These included a weekend away with our DCs and their families, DHs brother and SIL to stay for a few days over the actual birthday, with a NT house visit, all meals out inc. special dinner. Then at the end of the 2 weeks we went abroad for 2 weeks.
Lots of lovely things to make it memorable without any big fuss.

BassGrammy Tue 07-Jul-20 09:48:27

I’m another who doesn’t like big events, especially surprise ones! For my hubby’s 70th we rented a big house in the country and took all the family. For my 70th the following year, I decided to take the family to Spain for a few days. It all worked well and gave them all an opportunity to spend time together too. Probably didn’t work out much more expensive than a lavish party!

Flakesdayout Tue 07-Jul-20 09:50:30

I'm quite happy with a meal at a local restaurant with my family. Then a separate event with my close friends, probably a girlie meal out and catch up. Sounds terribly boring but I am really not into big 'do's'. Of course I take lots of photos.

grandtanteJE65 Tue 07-Jul-20 09:50:48

In my experience the only way you can avoid well-meaning family and friends making a big fuss about these occaisions is by not being at home on the date.

At the moment, saying this is about the most unhelpful advice you could be given, but I hope going away on your next wedding anniversary might be possible, even if it isn't on your birthday.

You say your birthday is at the very end of the year, so could you combine celebrating it with seeing friends and family either at Christmas or New Year?

Davida1968 Tue 07-Jul-20 09:54:56

IMO it's best to be proactive and to plan ahead for whatever you want. For our "big" birthdays DH and I have usually gone away, booking something months ahead. We tell everyone, and this has worked out well, with us enjoying a quiet meal out somewhere on the day itself. Obviously this is harder in "shutdown": I had a "big" birthday last month & we should have been out of the country, seeing DS & family. So I simply announced that we couldn't do anything because of the current restrictions. In the event, at fairly short notice we arranged to see two close friends in their garden, taking our own picnic - and this was lovely.

SueEH Tue 07-Jul-20 09:57:05

Oh I do so agree! It’s my 60th in November and my cousin suggested many times that we book a show but although I love any kind of theatre I hadn’t heard of this one and really didn’t fancy it. Then lockdown happened and I was thankful I hadn’t booked it. She’s now asking what we should do and says it has to involve food and drink and music. Plus I visited my nonagenarian parents this weekend and there were lots of comments about my birthday.
Tbh I hate being this age and really don’t feel the need to celebrate... I’ve agreed to go to mum and dad’s for that weekend but that’s enough.
My three children and I have booked a long weekend away on thr north Yorks coast a couple of weeks before to spend time together and I’m truly happy with that. And then I’m stopping counting!

jaylucy Tue 07-Jul-20 09:57:42

Quite frankly I don't blame you -I had "surprise "parties for both my 50th and 60th and they were awful!
For my 50th, my son arranged for me to go and have a facial, pedicure and manicure. I was an hour late going home as the polish on my toes wouldn't dry - it was winter so not able to wear sandals to walk home - got in the house and my closest families were there. We had a glass of fizz, I blew out the candles and they went home ! (School night so children had to be up in the morning) . Ended up sending them all out with boxes of food and cake!
My 60th, son again organised a party - this time in the village hall. Just close family again and we all sat round in a circle, no heating on so we all wore our coats. As soon as the food was eaten, thy all left!
Take others advice - book a few days away for yourself and DH and miss it all - or be radical and tell them that if they organise anything beyond a family meal, you won't be there!

SueEH Tue 07-Jul-20 09:58:24

PS my original plan was to book a holiday on my own and escape, but this that’s been kyboshed now smile

SueEH Tue 07-Jul-20 10:00:42

And jaylucy my children do know better than to organise a surprise party... they know I would leave!

NotSpaghetti Tue 07-Jul-20 10:02:09

We had a "surprise" party for our 25th wedding anniversary. I have told my children that if they organise anything again I just will not be there.
I mean it.
They now get it!
I really don't think they'd do it!

frue Tue 07-Jul-20 10:04:10

For my 60th, I asked family and friends to give me a copy of a book which was or had been important to them. So have a small shelf of very diverse books to remind me of a happy event. Jilly Cooper one end and Nassim Taleb the other

Sparklefizz Tue 07-Jul-20 10:05:39

I once went as a guest to a surprise birthday party - the birthday person hated it and had even wondered if her husband was having an affair because she had walked in on him having so many whispered telephone conversations.

When I was approaching my 70th, I said to my son and daughter that there was no way I wanted any surprise party ...... and judging by their totally blank faces, it had never even occurred to them!!! confused

annifrance Tue 07-Jul-20 10:06:00

What a dilemma. I would reinforce your desire for no fuss. Then perhaps compromise. As someone else suggested arrange things to do for the two of you on appropriate dates.

They probably want to celebrate it themselves because you are their mother and parents, so maybe take the family only out for a dinner. Let them pay if cost comes into it!

Insist you do it your way!