I have a milestone birthday looming in the not-too-distant future and have been biting my nails over The Best Possible Way to spend one’s birthday.a
If you’re in the same boat, here are some fun ways to celebrate your birthday:
Borrow a tradition from another culture
Apparently, Norwegian school children pick a friend and dance in front of their classmates and Israeli kids make themselves a crown of feathers. I’m particularly interested in the Russian tradition of a birthday pie with a greeting spelled out in the crust! (I’ll take strawberry rhubarb, please.)
Go to the top of your city’s/states/country’s tallest building at sunset
Take pictures in that perfect golden light, blow bubbles from the observation deck, thrust your arms behind you and holler about being the king of the world. Lots of tall buildings have a swanky restaurant or bar at the top so you can double dip here, getting dolled up and grabbing a free birthday drink.
Do something that makes you feel proud
Hike to the top of a mountain. Purge your closet. Forgive your ex. Reach out to that friend you haven’t talked to in ages. Finally schedule that doctor’s appointment. Chop all your hair off. Attempt that recipe you always thought was too hard. Start the next year of your life on the right foot!
Write a letter to yourself in five years
What’s your life like right now? Right this minute? Where will you be in five years time? A ranch house in the ‘burbs? Opening for Feist? Barrel racing?
What do you hope will be different in five years? What do you hope will be the same? Do you have any advice you’d give Future You? What’s one change you could make today that would be helpful to Future You?
Get a ridiculous manicure and pedicure in birthday-worthy colors
Bright pink? With rhinestone? Or maybe gold with LV decals? I am all over this one, y’all.
Eat all your favorite foods
All.of.them. If it’s not financially (or gastronomically) viable to eat out for three meals, head to the grocery store and stock up on all your favorites.
My perfect Birthday Meals would be:
Breakfast: Mixed berry fruit salad // a cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting from Lunds // bacon (I’m usually a vegetarian)
Lunch: The Bun Chay salad with fried tofu at Trieu Chau
Dinner: Ricotta ravioli // super buttery garlic bread // green salad // chocolate molten lava cake
Go to a live show
Even better if it’s a band or performer you know nothing about. Open your city’s free arts & entertainment newspaper and go to the most recommended event that night, sight unseen
Free admission to Disneyland! Free Video Rentals! Free Sephora Gift! Or you could just go out to eat for every meal and see how many times you can get singing waiters.
Plan a long weekend getaway with your closest friends
Wouldn’t it be great to ring in your new year, on the porch of a beach house, drinking champagne with the friends you loved most? Poking around a little tourist town, going out for brunch and buying sea shell earrings? Or paddling around the bay in kayak, getting a bit sunburnt?
Buy a star for yourself
Name it “Birthday Girl”
Make a list of all the awesome things you’ve accomplished in the last year
Too often we get hung up on what we haven’t done, the items that never seem to get crossed off our life to-do lists. Pour yourself something delicious, hunker down somewhere comfortable, and systemically think through the previous year and list every single cool, impressive, challenging thing you’ve done.
(If you need help jogging your memory, look through your Google calendar and your Facebook events!)
Throw yourself an amazing party
Don’t wait for your BFF/partner/family to throw you a shindig. If you plan it, you can choose a theme, the food, the guest list. Only the best for you, bunny.