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Special birthday and anniversary

(76 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

BlueSky Wed 08-Jul-20 12:06:17

I know the feeling about being 50,60 and 70! Luckily in this case we have no family nearby so no big fuss but what I like doing all my birthdays: a long week end abroad with DH! Still hopeful for this year even if it might have to be in the U.K.!

Hetty58 Wed 08-Jul-20 11:38:28

magshard20, yes I agree with Belinda, it's always best to make your own arrangements and be unavailable for theirs - I've done it myself.

I'm never too forthcoming with my future plans, either, that seems to help in getting the message across!

BelindaB Wed 08-Jul-20 11:31:01

I got a hint that a friend and my family were planning a "surprise" birthday party for my 60th - this despite ALL of them being aware that I loathed surprises!

I quitely made other arrangements and told them just one week beforehand that I would be going to visit a friend in Dublin for that weekend.

"But you can't!" - oh yes I can. And did. I have never regreted it.

harrigran Wed 08-Jul-20 09:22:14

I empathise, my family like parties, DH and I don't.
My 70th was during chemo and everyone turned up at the house.
The next year was our 50th anniversary, I said "no fuss" because after cancer, chemo and PE we just wanted to celebrate together. Not a chance, sister told us we married in front of the entire family so they should all share the celebration.
No fuss turned into a lavish restaurant meal and then Champagne and cake at home, all organised by us of course because it was not a surprise party.

I laugh when youngsters ask how long, ruby and golden weddings are but I understand there will be few people reaching these memorable anniversaries in the future.

Summerlove Wed 08-Jul-20 02:43:56


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

Have you looked here?

Txquiltz Wed 08-Jul-20 00:55:16

Our 50th was 5 days before our older DS's wedding, he made a sweet toast to us that was followed by brief applause. My GS's later said they thought that was totally Rad! The didn't know "anybody was married that long"! ⌛️ We loved the thoughtfulness our son showed us and happily enjoyed the reception.

GreenGran78 Wed 08-Jul-20 00:33:44

Just tell your family, very firmly, what you would like to do, or not do, on your special days. Make sure that they understand that you will not co-operate with any other plans.

I was 80 last July, and myself, son, daughter and two GC just went out for a meal. They produced a small birthday cake for dessert.
In November the whole family assembled in Australia for my younger daughter’s wedding. A few days after the wedding they threw a belated birthday celebration for me. A barbecue, naturally! I don’t usually like parties, but this was a nice relaxed event around, and in, the swimming pool. It was lovely to have the U.K. and Aussie branches of the family all together there, with the other people that I know.
My 81st, on the 29th, will be a much quieter affair. Hopefully we will, once again, go out for a meal.

tidyskatemum Tue 07-Jul-20 21:11:19

Being a control freak and an introvert I can think of nothing worse than a surprise party! Like many of you we get round significant dates by being away from home when they arrive. On the other hand, I remember being devastated the first year that my Mum, with vascular dementia, totally forgot my birthday,

jerseygirl Tue 07-Jul-20 21:04:45

Explain how you feel and ask them if they would like to contribute to a few days away for you and your hubby. I.m sure you would enjoy that.

Gingster Tue 07-Jul-20 20:13:27

I could be you. You could be me. I’m going to be 70 the end of this month. And it’s our 50th wedding anniversary next year. Originally my DS1 said he would like to host a family lunch for my birthday with about 30 people, at his house/garden. This won’t be able to take place now as rules won’t allow. We planned to go on a cruise next year for our Anniversary, but will have to wait to see how the virus pans out. I think we will have several small get togethers, which will be lovely, as my DH also doesn’t like parties or gatherings that are too big. I too am the one who organises family do’s. The pandemic has probably done you a favour, as large gatherings are a no no. Just enjoy your days how YOU want to spend them. 🌺

Saggi Tue 07-Jul-20 18:12:41

My husband is like this and for his 50th and 60th birthdays he just buggered off to Scotland and Germany....without telling even me til he got there. I think you, like my husband take ‘non-involvement’ to the ultimate degree. Mind you I remember even cooking his tea on my 40th 50th and 60 th.... when I woul actually like a ‘bit of a do’ . I don’t know what today to you about you just arranging s nice meal out in a restaurant. Simple.

Esspee Tue 07-Jul-20 17:31:43

To those who say "celebrate in the way you wish" clearly you don't have family and friends who know better. There are people who want to organise the the kind of celebration they would enjoy and refuse to believe you would hate it.

I have been told in the past "we knew you didn't really mean it" when my express wishes have been overridden. So frustrating!

My solution for my 70th was to go away for a month. By the time we got back my birthday had been forgotten.

Greciangirl Tue 07-Jul-20 15:09:10

Another one here who hates surprise parties and a lot of fuss.

My daughter, on the other hand is the exact opposite .
If I dare to object, I am accused of being a killjoy and she goes ahead anyway.

On my 70th, she organised a surprise party at a posh hotel. She rang all my friend without my knowledge and invited them. I later found out there wasn’t any food or drink included, they would have had to buy their own.

Then the following day she had apparently booked tickets to see a west end show (paid for) by her this time.

In the end we didn’t make it to anything as Dd went into labour the day before and had to have an emergency Caesarian delivery at Addenbrookes hospital. Thankfully, dgs was ok, but it was touch and go for a while.

I know it sounds ungrateful, but I was secretly relieved not to have to go to any of these celebrations. It would have been my worst nightmare. I am basically shy and quiet type of person. But Dd Would have loved it.

magshard20 Tue 07-Jul-20 15:07:11

Many thanks for all your kind suggestions and thoughts for these two special my birthday is on New Years Eve, we usually keep it low key, as everything is so expensive (my father used to tell me I was awkward from the day I was born!). Anniversary we usually go out for a meal with good friends (who were our best man and bridesmaid) and whose anniversary is round about the same time, so hopefully we can still do the same next year (covid 19 permitting). Everything seems so much in the air, not knowing how things will be, but we must all stat safe and hope that 2021will be better that his year. Thanks again for all your input xx

Rowsie Tue 07-Jul-20 15:06:16

I was 70 last year and as it happened we were on a walking holiday in Cornwall (me, my son, his partner and their 14 year old son), so I wasn't expecting anything special. On the day of my birthday my son was reluctant for us to go walking that day and I realised why later when my sister, her partner, her son and his wife and child and my two older grandsons showed up! It was a complete surprise but a lovely one! I am also the one who usually organises family gatherings so this was completely out of character with my family. They were all staying in caravans near by and only stayed the day but it was wonderful that they made the effort to travel all the way to Cornwall for me. Maybe you should just let them get on with it and be grateful that they care.

Harris27 Tue 07-Jul-20 14:56:44

I turned sixty in January and didn’t want a fuss we hadn’t a lot of money spare this year so don’t book anything has the sons and family over for a nice family tea And a meal out with my dearest friends, like Sinatra said ‘ I did it my way’ x

Rosiebee Tue 07-Jul-20 14:54:03

We had already booked a cruise for our silver wedding, balcony cabin as it was a bit special. DH has arranged champagne in cabin which kept arriving on inappropriate days. Since we married, DH kept telling me that he wouldn't make 25 years and I used to do a countdown on our anniversary cards. We'd had lots of health scares over the years inc 2 cancer diagnosis and I was so happy to reach our silver anniversary that I just wanted us to be on our own. We sat on our little balcony and drank our health and good fortune to have got so far. I love my friends and family but just wanted to focus on each other. At parties and meals out for special occasions, you usually miss that focus by worrying about all the other folk who are there.

Susieq62 Tue 07-Jul-20 14:49:27

I am 70 next month and decided last year I wanted to celebrate the day in Northumberland with my partner and daughter at our favourite self catering cottage. I booked it and paid for it plus booked a meal for the evening. At the moment it is systems go but a take away from the restaurant. That is fine. All other plans are either transferred to next year, on hold or cancelled . I had booked afternoon tea for all my lady friends to celebrate friendship but I hope to hold that at a future date when we can sit closer.
My point is that you can please yourself as it is YOUR celebration. Just enjoy it all and be thankful you have reached these milestones. 👏👏

Kim19 Tue 07-Jul-20 14:30:48

I have a little experience of this. Last year I celebrated a '0' birthday. Organised it myself in a regular haunt with lunch for immediately family members (six of us). However.... on arrival at reception I found my 'party' had been gate-crashed by quite a few family members. Now, had this suggestion been put to me in advance, I would have categorically vetoed it. I had a wonderful, unexpected, unforgettable, fun and exciting time. Yep.... sometimes we can get it (and ourselves) wrong. I happily concede I did that.

Daddima Tue 07-Jul-20 14:28:10

Another one here who would hate a party! We always went away for big birthdays or anniversaries, to the extent that we would consider various places, then decide we really wanted to return to Paris! This meant our family knew we were serious about not wanting a fuss, so it might depend on what has happened with you on ‘big’ dates before.

4allweknow Tue 07-Jul-20 14:10:57

With you all the way. 70th birthday for both of us was marked by us going out for a meal. AC did give a bit more extensive present but not extortionate. For 50th anniversary we did nit want any fuss. Booked a couple of nights in hotel where we had honeymoon. AC knew where we were going and had arranged champagne, flowers for our room. On going to settle up on leaving discovered AC had arranged to pay the bill, all without us knowing. Lovely treat.

aonk Tue 07-Jul-20 13:51:59

I think you should think carefully about what you would like and then plan it. Just make sure you won’t have any regrets in the future. Xx

TrendyNannie6 Tue 07-Jul-20 13:31:18

Honesty is the best policy as the saying goes, if it was me I’d just come out with it and say how I felt, I wouldn’t give any excuses, I would say I’m sorry but I don’t want any fuss, and I really mean this, it’s your day do what you want and what makes you happy, not what makes others happy,

Quizzer Tue 07-Jul-20 13:30:41

The surprise party for my 60th was a nightmare. Last year for my 70th we organised a weekend away for the kids and gcs. It cost a fortune! Next year is our golden wedding. I don't think our offspring have realised that yet and i am happy to keep them in the dark.

grannytotwins Tue 07-Jul-20 13:20:53

I’m the same. I don’t want a fuss. I made it clear to everyone for my 70th last November. We had a family cream tea in my house. It was lovely with just my children, grandchildren and my sister. These huge celebrations for birthdays are relatively new. My parents and grandparents never had them.