7 Unforgettable Ways To Celebrate Your Birthday

Once a year, our birthday comes round. Once a year, we get the chance to celebrate this occasion maybe by doing something wild, or something low-key.

Next week, it’s my birthday. I’ve never done much for my birthdays and this year will be no different. Part of me simply doesn’t like a big fuss. A big part of me is simply introverted and really does not like being the centre of attention.

Birthdays are a time to have a good time and maybe some sweet treats.

Birthdays are a time to have a good time and maybe some sweet treats.

When we celebrate our birthdays, we treat ourselves to me-time. A time where we do something we want to do and really just have a good time. There are so many ways to have fun on your birthday and make each one a one to remember:

1. Classroom or office (surprise) celebration

Big chances are our birthday will be on a day where we’re at school or work. Where we work and study takes up a sizable chunk of our lives; our classmates and colleagues are usually mild-mannered acquaintances. At quite a few corporate offices where I’ve worked in Australia, whenever there was a birthday coming up my colleagues eagerly arranged special afternoon teas with cake and junk food. Come to think of it, it was a good excuse to get away from work.

If you’ve got great friends at school, they might hype up your birthday with a party in class. My 16th birthday was spent at school in Singapore: during English class (my favourite subject), the teacher got the class to sing Happy Birthday to me. I didn’t know how to react to the song – as I’ve asked, what do you do when people sing Happy Birthday to you? I felt awkward and gaped at my class. Then one of my classmates and best friend handed me a cup full of goodies. I poured out the contents. A rat the size of a matchbox lept out at me – I shouted in horror. The class laughed.

It was fake. I still have that rat today.

2. Getaway trip

Go on a road trip. Climb a tree. Climb a mountain. Ride a rollercoaster. Zip down a zip line. Bungee jump. That is, celebrate your birthday by being adventurous and go on a once in a lifetime experience: go the distance, sweating and screaming at the top of your lungs in exhilaration or fear until you piss your pants and gear up for another round of washing.

3. Go home

Spend your birthday by going home to where you grew up or to the place that speaks to you. Go home to a home-cooked meal or a place where you got up to no good and got away with it. To a place where the heart is.

Last year, the day before my birthday, my parents offered to bring chicken and celery stir fry over to my place. I hate turning down free food and so they came over. After dinner, my parents left – and right before walking out the door, they put a cake on the table.

Birthdays can be a time of indulgment.

Birthdays can be a time of indulgment.

4. Grown-up partying

Hit the clubs. Hit the dance floor and move that body. Paint the town read all night until the sun comes up. Have a round of shots or two or more until you actually hit the floor. This will probably never be me because I’m not a fan of clubbing or drinking and I like to remember moments lived.

5. Do something at home

Nothing like lazing around at home and do the relaxing things that you’ve always wanted to do. Read. Watch TV. Laze about in bed and YouTube and Netflix. Stay indoors if you don’t have much in your wallet. As fellow blogger Christy Birmingham wrote about birthdays and money, if you’re stressed with money, build a fort at home and create a movie theatre experience. Have colouring book parties. Organise ‘throwback parties’ in the backyard involving wheelbarrow races, three-legged race and egg and spoon race.

6.Get silly (with food)

Challenge yourself to eat one hundred chilli chicken wings in one go. Or fifty packets of potato chips. Go on a dumpling-eating binge. Have an-all-you-can-eat cake challenge.

In the month leading up to my birthday last year and the year before, I blogged about the topic of birthdays and challenged myself to put up cake photos together with the posts. I bought and ate fancy-looking cake just for the blog. It was hard – first I had to find cake(s) that was not too expensive, and then position the cake(s) under the right lighting in order for the photos to come out sharp.

7. Stop

Have a day for yourself with no plans, no commitments. Take the day off school or work. Wake up whenever, do whatever, go wherever. Spontaneously call up a bunch of friends or venture out on your own and see where that leads you. Go where the heart wants to be and where the heart is, reminding yourself you deserve to be happy. Of if you are a lazy, often-sleep-deprived girl like me, waking up at noon, having a quick lunch and going back to sleep is not a bad idea.

*  *  *

With each birthday that comes along, there’s the notion of cake, the Happy Birthday song, candles and wishingAccording to history, the first birthday cake originated in Germany in the Middle Ages. The Greeks made round cakes to honour Atermis, goddess of the moon; the lit candles represent a glowing moon and smoke from candles carried prayers to the heavens above. The Egyptians and Pharaohs also arguably started the party, whichever part of history you want to believe.

There are so many things we can do on our birthday...like any other day.

There are so many things we can do on our birthday…like any other day.

Why celebrate your birthday? Is it one year older, one year wiser? With each birthday comes a milestone – another year gone by, another year of history behind us. We are history and we are the stories of our lives as much as the stories of someone else’s lives and this world’s. With each birthday, it’s a chance to celebrate milestones of where we’ve been and where we are right now. Celebrate the fun that is in the now.

Sometimes your birthday and the days before and after it can be the most exhausting time of the year, and also the most social. More often than not, those around you will have different ideas in mind on celebrating your birthday. You might feel like you’re celebrating your birthday not once, but many times over with different people at different places. It can be hard saying ‘no’ to such well-intentioned people who literally go out of their way to make time for you.

And so, a birthday is not only about celebration and not only about receiving gifts but also the thought behind it all. Even if it’s a Facebook message from someone you haven’t spoken to in years – while Facebook reminded them it’s your birthday, they took the effort to write you a few words. I do respond to all of them on my Facebook wall but however, can never tell if the well-wishers are just being polite.

Celebrate each day as it is, celebrate the moments.

Celebrate each day as it is, celebrate the moments.

A few days before my birthday last year, my friend and blogger Rebecca Rossi from Peace.Love.Veggies took me out for dumplings dinner. She tried to pay for my share of dumplings but I beat her to it (haha…). Also, CL from RealGunners somehow got hold of my address and sent me a present from across the continent. On my birthday last year my biffle VioletStirling texted me and said let’s hang out – I wasn’t very happy about being awoken early by her buzzing text. But we had a great time later that day drinking iced chocolate and circling the shops at the shopping centre.

This year my birthday falls on a weekday so presumably the day will be a typical weekday day. Also things of late have been rather busy and I almost forgot to write this post. A good kind of busy though, and I like it. Each day is a day, a birthday is a day, and every day should be a kind of celebration and more importantly appreciated in some way.

How do you celebrate your birthday?

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253 thoughts on “7 Unforgettable Ways To Celebrate Your Birthday

  1. Thank you Mabel.. and its so cool we share the same Birthday.. 🙂 And loved reading about your previous ones.. Especially the food your parents brought over and left you a cake as they were leaving.. 🙂
    I had a super one too.. family and friends over at various days before on and after.. So it lasted three days instead of one with it being a bank holiday.. And chilled out..
    I hope this one was extra special for you ..
    Love and Hugs Sue xxx ❤

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  2. Happy birthday. I could see if a giant rat – fake or not – jumped out of a box, I probably wouldn’t like birthdays either. Last year, I didn’t take off my birthday. I will not make that mistake again. Birthdays should be about you, not work.

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  3. Hope your Birthday was awesome Mabel – full of peace, love and cake 🙂 I have had so many birthdays that I usually keep them pretty low key and usually spend the day at home reading or writing or maybe having fish and chips at the beach with Lyne (my wife) and Yopi (our dog)… unless it is a birthday that ends in a Zero, then we plan to spend the year overseas – somewhere we have never been or somewhere we absolutely love – next year is a Zero year for me and I’m thinking a month in Iceland will be perfect 🙂 Have fun and enjoy cake even on a non-birthday day. Take it easy Mabel, remember you’re getting older hahahaha

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  4. I’m a huge fan of not making a fuss over my birthday. Usually on my birthdays (if I remember and realize the date on that day), I would spend all day through some sort of an ordeal, like trying to be as anonymous as possible and not draw any attention to myself, and seriously hoping nobody brings it up or try to celebrate with me. I am particularly put off if people who has not kept in touch all year decides to wish me Happy Birthday…

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    • Heh. It is just another day. This year I didn’t even realise 1st May was my birthday until people started wishing me Happy Birthday. Well if you are an introvert, then you would have no problem with that ordeal hiding yourself away 😀

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  5. Liebe Mabel da hab ich ja was verpasst wünsche dir alles gute nachträglich zum Geburtstag mit ganz vielen lieben Grüßen Klaus in Freundschaft schönen Sonntag heute

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  6. Fabulous post Mabel, and wonderful reminders. Often people shun their birthdays because they’re afraid of getting older. But getting older is a fact of life, and without birthdays, well, the alternative isn’t inspiring.
    Wishing you a Happy Belated Birthday, hope it was great! 🙂 ❤

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  7. Hi Mabel, is your birthday today? Happy Birthday!! Wishing you a wonderful year ahead! Trust you will do something unforgettable on your birthday!
    I did not remember much of what I did for my birthdays in the past. I remember I had great celebrations with friends and also I did traveling on my birthdays. And sometimes the best one could be just doing nothing at all 🙂

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    • Haha, my birthday was about a week ago 😀 It was a good, quiet day and did nothing much at all. It was a good break from the world. Thought about traveling but I was way too tired 😀

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  8. Belated Happy birthday, Mabel ❤ Hope you'd a wonderful birthday!

    The post indeed lists some great ways to celebrate birthday. For me, I would like to enjoy with some close friends and family. I'm, just like you, a kinda introvert. And, I'm always in for some sweet treats, especially Black Forest cake 😀 I LOVE it.

    Thanks for the bit of history regarding birrthdays. I was not at all aware of those facts.

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  9. Happy belated birthday Mabel…
    The cake and ice were really tempting. hahahaha. I usually do some “Me Time” and thinking back about where I had been the whole year. And what might have been.
    I seldom do party for birthdays or new years. hehe.
    Eniwe, how r u doing now? Been a while since I stopping by here… this is my other blog Mabel, blog about blogging.

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  10. Happy belated birthday Mabel. I don’t mean to be dark when I say that I on my birthday I celebrate the opportunity to live another year. Not everyone gets to live another year and I spend time being grateful for my life and that my body works as well as it does. I think you live life as a celebration. It seems that way. Yes, on your birthday make it a day for you. Spontaneous, playful, and give yourself the freedom to do something you wouldn’t usually do. Keep shining your light brightly Mabel. Happy Birthday to you.

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    • Not dark at all, Alicia. Some of us struggle through life each day in the the body we got, and some of us have it easier. So keep on being greatful with what you’ve got .

      I treated myself to a couple of concerts in the last few weeks. So I think you are right in saying I live life as a celebration 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Everyone’s different. When my birthday is on a weekday, I usually take the day off. I don’t like a fuss and don’t particularly want a birthday cake at work. Quiet does it for me apart from the so-called important anniversary birthdays. I guess it comes down to one’s personality.

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  12. Belated birthday wishes for you, Mabel. I hope your day was just as you wanted it, quiet or busy. It is probably way too late for birthday wishes, but my excuse is that I have been celebrating a few birthdays here. You are so right about it being the birthday season. (Our season started on Anzac day and ends this weekend, with 7 birthdays in all). And how nice that your birthday is between mine and my husbands! Maybe it is the time of introvert’s birthdays? Like you, I don’t usually like too much birthday fuss but then I do like to do something nice with my immediate family. That doesn’t always work out as Mother’s day comes close to my birthday and family members are sometimes stretched between in laws, so it is hard to get everyone together at the same time. (BTW, I would have reacted the same way as you with the song and “rat” in school!)

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    • It was a very quiet birthday just the way I liked it. Never too late for a birthday wish, so thank you very much, Amanda 😀 7 birthdays is a lot of birthdays for you, but it sounds like 7 times the fun! Now that you mention it, a lot of people whom I know and have birthdays around this time of the year, happen to be introverts…

      Happy belated birthday to you and your husband too. Hope it was a good time for you however you chose to spend it. Sounds like you always make occasions and get-togethers work 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I could be better at the birthday planning. It is easy to plan others’ celebrations but I always feel it is harder to plan mine. I think there is not enough reason to celebrate mine so who else would be interested except my immediate family!! There is an introvert for you!!

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  13. Very interesting reading, Mabel and some delicious images too. Hope you had a super birthday. I usually find that my birthday is quite disruptive, as I have multiple phone calls to answer, which means I can’t get showered and dressed until late in the morning, and then it’s a rush to get ready for the birthday lunch which hubby always takes me out for. Maybe I should plan to go out the day before or the day after. 🙂 My daughter celebrated her 50th just last month, with a trip to Italy. This year I have a ‘big’ birthday and we will spend it with our son and family in New Jersey. I’m sure they’ll arrange a really memorable celebration for me. I remember my 21st birthday very well because I cried my eyes out, saying that I would never be young again. Hubby had to take me for a walk outside to calm me down. 😆 If only I’d realised then that youth isn’t everything.

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  14. Mabel,
    These are all wonderful ways to celebrate birthdays. I have danced a few into the morning light.
    Now, I’ve slowed down a bit but still enjoy viewing others dance. I’m not sure what I’ll do this year
    as it is a milestone birthday but one thing I know for sure is that I apprecaite still being here to
    celebrate a birthday.
    Isadora 😎

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    • Maybe you will dance and dance and dance away many more birthdays to come…fast or slow, doesn’t matter 😀 Happy Birthday in advance Isadora. Perhaps have a nice meal and time out with the family 🙂

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  15. I have already greeted you on IG but I’ll do it again. Belated Happy Birthday, Mabel!

    I have actually have a sad story when it comes to this topic. I never had a birthday celebration until I was 19 years old. Thanks to Ms. Wonderwall who facilitated the all the works involved to make it happen. I’ve never forgotten that “ube” cake I sliced after blowing the candles.

    I came from a financially-challenged family where celebrating “my” birthday was the last thing that could be thought of. That’s how I used to feel. The truth is, among us, the seven children, I was the only one who never had a birthday party or even a simple celebration. Now that I’m a grown-up, I understood that it was not my parents’ intention to do that; it’s just the circumstances. I didn’t know what happened back then but my birthday just fell on my parents’ most broke (if there’s such a word) days. You get the idea I’m trying to put across.

    The bad consequence was even after I had birthdays because of Ms. Wonderwall and friends’ efforts, that drive for me to voluntarily celebrate it never crossed my mind. But if I were to celebrate one though, I’ll definitely choose a getaway trip. The least on my list, if I were to make suggestions about how to celebrate a birthday, would be hitting the clubs. I’m so with you on that one.

    PS

    That story about the (toy) rat was both amusing and scary. Hope your friends or colleagues won’t think of a similar idea. 🌹🌹🌹

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    • Now, facilitating a birthday celebration behind your back is one grand gesture. Ms. Wonderwall is certainly a keeper 😉 It sounded like an unforgetable birthday for you. No idea what an ‘ube’ cake is but is sounds delicious.

      It seems like you learnt the value of appreciating what you have when you were younger, and I think your parents wanted you to learn that too. A celebration is a moment in time – and they probably might have guessed in the future you’d have many opportunities to celebrate 🙂

      Maybe you will have a sun-filled, beach getaway trip at some point for your birthday. It is very humble of you to not think about celebrating your birthday these days. You know you can. But as you already know yourself, each day is already worth celebrating.

      Thank you for the well wishes again, Sony 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. First things first, hope you had a great birthday 🙂 sorry for missing it and know that I wish the best for you. Always!
    Second, such awesome pictures. I was drooling all over.
    I am an ambivert. I love birthdays but I want to do things my way without having to share with others what I want. Writing about my birthday has been a ritual on happiness and food 😉 You should check out when you get time!

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    • Haha, I had a very nice and relaxing day. Very quiet 😀 Ambivert! It sounds like you can be anywhere and do anything and be happy. Always looking forward to your blogs, Parul. Amazing how you fuse your profound messages of change in your words.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. This post made me incredibly hungry. Lucky for me we are 15 nm from Penang and I know where to get cupcakes in Georgetown . I loved your birthday stories – especially the rat 🐀😱. As an extrovert, I used to make a HUGE deal over my birthday – it would have been impossible for anyone to miss it…. but at sea, I find myself quite hapoy with a day of ‘nothing’. 🤗✌️❤🐒

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    • I hope you get some lovely cakes from Georgetown soon. Haha, that rat was not pretty to look at…and it is still not very pretty today 😀 If it’s your birthday and you’re in town, let’s go out. Mr Wobbles will get the cake 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Belated happy birthday, Mabel.

    Since I got married, I celebrate my birthdays with my family. My husband bakes my birthday cake and cooks my birthday dinner. When I was single and working, I had birthday celebrations in the office and get -togethers with friends. I was not one for a big, formal party though. Being the center of attention was an awkward thing for me.

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    • It is very nice of your husband to bake a birthday cake and make dinner for you. Such a nice gesture that can take a lo of time. I think those around you like to show how much they appreciate you on your birthdays.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Maybe I will go on a trip for my birthday. All these years I have just lazed around waiting for something to happen. Maybe this time I will make it happen. Your birthday prank was hilarious. I would have gotten a heart attack though 😛
    Nice list you have here. 🙂

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