Ideas for planning food and surprises for birthdays

For the last week- we are allowed to do free thinking and blogging...I hope you enjoyed the 23 days of food for buffet on the table, taking a break from cooking recipes, this week, I will share a facet of me that is beyond basic food..

Being a planner/ dreamer means 24 x 7 I think about how to infuse the food in the next big or small occasion.
My life progresses in pockets of next 1st Jan each year,when people are coping from the last night's party, I am dream about the impending birthdays of my family members - both parents and younger sister, all of them celebrate theirs within 16 days of each other in first half of January.
Soon as the last birthday is done, there is anniversary, not just wedding, but you know like first date, meet, hello, phone call, home visiting, parents meeting, proposal day and so on  ..

Point is...not every one is crazy (like me!) to invest into ideas all the may be once a year that you feel like making it really big or surprising someone for a birthday or anniversaries...

Today I plan to share some ideas that have occured to me so far to make simple days special.

Before we proceed let me confess...the fact that this is a time consuming, laborious and attention demanding activity. You need to do it only for people or occasions that you strongly feel for going out of the way. 

So, my idea for birthday celebrations is to make it really a big day for the person. Every person as s/he starts getting wiser claims to not get ruffled by any amount of wishes or preparations done by others - however, the truth is that people like to be loved and pampered...


Things to take care for planning birthday surprises
1) There are 2 categories for birthday baby - close circle and distant circle. I can plan for both, but it is important to note that you need to be careful with the latter group. Acquaitances, office colleagues, cousins etc fall in that category- we need to ensure that our plans do not overlap with their near and dear one's. For e.g. you cannot barge into the person's home at 12 AM, as it could be well possible that the spouse or family has also planned some surprise.
2) Do not cut paste ideas - the thing about birth day surprise is that it is unique and special.

Ideas in the order of old / passe to fresh and new..
1) Surprising at 12 AM - wear party caps and balloons and bring in cake.
2) Buy a beautiful gift and put it in the place, the person first visits on waking up - cupboard, near tooth brush and pastes...hidden inside the breakfast etc.
3) Buy gifts equal to the age - it could be anything but works great for milestone birthdays - 18, 21, 25, 30, 40, 50, 61 and further...
4) Ordering bouquet and cake and sending it via someone to unusual place - like office, school or college - ofcourse check the rules.
5) Taking out the person to a place for dinner and invite near and dear one's to make one big party
6) Pretend to be out of town or travelling on the day and then suddenly pop up with gifts or cakes
7) Create a memorabilia for gift
8) Plan a surprise vacation - pick the person from office or work, and drive straight to airport/ station. Ofcourse, seek permission from work place - most would approve when the intent is known
9) Write a personal note - no poetry or proses, plain feelings, and present it in a beautifully wrapped paper
10) Create a short video of old pictures and add in some personalised messages from friends and email it or upload on youtube personal channel
11) Celebrate a month long happy times session - each day for a month before the birthday - do one thing to pep up the person. Small things like, watching a favorite serial with the person and appreciating it - could be a boring football match - but spend an hour asking about the game . Also could be making one favorite dish each day (food!) Or doing a favorite activity like playing badminton or taking a stroll late night...just do it with subtlely, only to inform on the birthday that you wanted to build up the happy really works in today's busy and stressful times
12) Play treasure hunt late night, by dropping hints until they reach the treasure which could be gift or birthday cake....requires a bit of sportsmanship from the person as well...but do it with conviction and you will notice the old or young will happily join in
13) Silently decorate the home during the night, with unusual things - like instead of ballons, use torans and flower garlands, do a rangoli, lit up diyas and wake up the person at dawn- Desi style. Make a cup of masala chai and load the breakfast table with local traditional goodies
14) Create a special cake using elements like indian sweets or fresh fruits
15) Plan a simple lunch or dinner and once you reach the venue, surprise the person by serving special menu, personalised one- like with support of the restaurant staff, make a paratha with Initials embossed on it, or gulab jamun served with candles tucked in. If you find a good place, where they are game for some fun, you can order, someone to play live music or make special announcement at the table...

Gift Ideas
1) If birthday falls near new year, print a calendar, with the person as the calendar model..
2) For milestone birthdays - plan small things like, chocolates or eatables that the person you heard enjoyed as a kid - jeera goli, finger fry yums, lollypops, wind mills whatever you heard about for the first few years , then graduating to bigger things like, pen, tie, watch, gadgets etc...rather than buying one big gift you could buy mutliple different gifts
3) Collection of music and movie CDs is often appreciated by Men
4) Perfumes - unique and rare fragrances if the person likes to indulge and has a taste for it..
5) Young folks love anything to accessorise their phones or tablets.
6) Special things, that you noted the person wanted to buy but delaying for one reason or another - maybe ticket to an upcoming concert or sports event
7) Gift vouchers - works even for the closest friend - everyone loves a bit of choice to buy
8) Food hampers - specially created so that it lasts for a few days and the person thinks of you until it lasts
9) Online picture collage or great praising note made public
10) Spa session, pre booked with flexibility to use any time

Planning food for special birthday
1) Cake is the norm, so if you decide to go with the standard, plan something really special - either flavorsome or great decorations
2) Simple breakfasts that reminds or connects the person to his/ her childhood - go all out to source the authentic ingredients or courses
3) For kids - make jelly boats, biscuit house - infact if you plan this for adults they would love it too
4) Dinner can be traditional indian style, served on a silver plate or banana leaf with whole family squatting on the ground and eating it.
5) If the person is foodie, make unfamiliar fares and recipes from around the world. Move over chinese and Italian and dig into moroccon, hawaian cuisines.
6) Plan a cook all session at a special place - where you get some re-nowned food specialists  to cook a special meal in front of your eyes.
7) Visit a live counter session, which lets you choose food and ingredients per choice.

The list can be endless..and happy to add your ideas into this, so feel free to share it and will happily add and credit you here...

Whatever you do...give it your best surprises have a high chance of failure, that is part of the game, and whatever remains you need to take it chin up and find a way around it...

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 56


Usha said…
Those are wonderful ideas and tips. I like your first gift idea, print a calendar with person as the model. Bookmarking the post
Srivalli said…
Such an interesting topic Pradnya, so many ideas and thoughts..I can come back here for more such inspiration..thanks for writing this..
Srividhya said…
Interesting and same pinch. Initially I thought of posting about baby shower organizing, games and food. But then changed my mind and posted travel tales. Good one yaar
Sandhiya said…
I like your ideas & tips, very useful posts.
Archana said…
Wow I love the ides here. Of course most I will have to comeback for so ....but thanks.
Harini R said…
Lovely post, Pradnya. My husband has introduced the idea of throwing surprise parties, I must say I have thrown quite a few of them myself. But I must say the ideas presented here are very well thought of.
Pavani said…
Wow so many ideas Pradnya. You picked a very interesting topic. I'm a very bad surprise party planner. I get jitters that I might rat out the plan to the person -- very bad, I tell you.
Priya Suresh said…
Mindblowing post, so many interesting plans.. Am sure after going through this post none will go wrong to plan their parties, excellent write up Pradnya.
Suma Gandlur said…
I am lousy when it comes to planning parties and quite opposite to you in that regard. Your post has lovely ideas.

Popular Posts