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Mom's surprise birthday party
Old 01-25-2009, 09:04 AM   #1
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Mom's surprise birthday party

I've been planning a surprise 85th birthday for my Mom since October. Her birthday is Saturday the 31st, so it's getting close. I didn't think I'd enjoy the task of organizing the party, but it's been a blast.

I sent the invitations out right after Christmas. On the back of the RSVP, I asked people to write what they loved about my Mom. It's been so fun to get them back and read what people wrote. I compiled them all into an album which I will wrap and give to her after the party.

I rented a reception room in the Holiday Inn. There are about 65 family and friends coming. There will be a buffet and two photo cakes, plus punch and coffee. I ordered centerpieces of the Queen of Hearts (my Mom loves to play cards) with my Mom's head as the Queen (it's three sided). I will have balloon bouquets coming from the centerpiece. I also ordered a Happy Birthday banner to be suspended by balloons so it can float around the party.

My Mom is a groupie (well in that she follows the band to gigs) of a little band that plays at senior centers around the area, so I hired them to play for 45 minutes. She first heard them at the nursing home my Dad was in. My cousin and his family are musicians and they are going to play after the other band finishes.

Then, I have a slide show that I will run on auto. My Dad took a bunch of slides of my Mom's family over the years, some of these slides are 60 years old. My Mom's side of the family have never seen them.

My Brother and his kids are going to video the party and make a DVD for my Mom to look at. I think she'll enjoy being able to watch the party afterwards.

I couldn't have done this with out the internet. The party is in Michigan and I am in Oregon. Hopefully the weather will be kind to us.

I'll post after the party and let you know how it went.

-helen
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:15 AM   #2
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Yes, let us know how it goes. My Mom would kill me if I gave her surprise party. She would say she didn't have the proper clothes on or something.
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg54 View Post
Yes, let us know how it goes. My Mom would kill me if I gave her surprise party. She would say she didn't have the proper clothes on or something.
I thought long and hard about this. I don't think my Mom really likes surprises either. I did surprise her with a limo and had her friends pile into it for her 70th, she liked that a lot. They had a nice dinner and my Dad gave her a corsage. I'm buying a corsage for my Brother to give her this year.

I told her there is a special guest meeting us for lunch. I wanted her to have something to look forward to, plus, I don't want to scare the crap out of her.

I told her I bought a new outfit for her birthday so she would dress up too. She knows I hate to dress up, so I'm sure she knows something is going on.
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:46 AM   #4
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Helen, what a wonderful gift you are giving your mother for her birthday! Sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:40 AM   #5
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Helen, you're a good kid to be doing this! I bet your Mother has a ball. I wish I'd thought of doing that for my Mom.

Coach
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:11 AM   #6
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Good stuff Helen - probably too late, but is there a local radio station your Mom always listens to that does birthday announcements? For the gal's Mom's 90th she got Gary Daneu (sp - a 29 palms radio jock) to do a birthday shout out and Huel Hauser ( a California travel/broadcasting celeb) showed up at her party & gave a bit of celeb glitter to the affair. Also did the slide show on cd thing and it was a big hit - the Momma ate it up & loved the attention, though around her 91st she was just sorta wondering if Prez Bush would make an appearance...
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:24 AM   #7
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Helen, don't worry, your Mom will be tickled pink!
You are a good daughter to go to all the trouble of organizing a long distance party.
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:34 AM   #8
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Sounds great.

I'm sure you've considered this, but I've seen some videos of surprise parties on AFV, and the recipient can be pretty shocked. I've seen some people faint.

My family has always been into surprises and jumping out and saying "boo." A few years ago two of my sisters (age 52 and 55 at the time) were out walking. I jogged up quietly behind them and made a wild-animal roaring sound.

One of them turned very pale and the other peed in her pants. That's the last time I surprised anyone over 50.

So perhaps you'll want to minimized the SURPRISE!!! moment(?)
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:14 PM   #9
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Thanks for your concern, TromboneAl. While my Mother is very healthy, she's still going to be 85. I have to remind myself how old she is as she doesn't seem even close to being 85. She lives by herself and drives (though not at night) well. She gets out and goes to social functions either by herself or with friends. I'm so proud of her (my Dad died five years ago at the age of 96).

I'm going to let her know there is a party before we walk into the room. Then I'll walk her to the table and let her sit down if she wants.
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:20 PM   #10
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Your party sounds lovely. So you'll be "taking her to lunch" and instead there will be whole party waiting for her--she will already be dressed nicely and in a social mood, so she will probably be thrilled.

I am so impressed by all the special touches you've thought of, too!
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:46 PM   #11
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The party sounds great. You're a wonderful daughter Helen....
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:47 PM   #12
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It sounds like a great party . We had one when my Mom turned 70 . Then we went on a cruise when she turned 85 . Then another party when she turned 90 . She just keeps going and going !
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:58 PM   #13
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It’s a good thing you are letting her know you are meeting someone. One of my friends was told that for her 60th so when they walked into a roomful of friends and co-w*rkers, she wasn’t really surprised but pretended to be.

But another friend didn’t have a clue for his 40th and turned beet red when everyone jumped out, “surprise.” We were afraid his heart would give out. Very good parties, otherwise.
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:55 PM   #14
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We had a surprise 80th for Mom as well. Friends, family and some close co-workers from back in the day, totaling 50, of which about a third traveled. We used a private room at a local spanish restaurant, had tapas and paella – and a bit of sangria. We even hired a mariachi band for ˝ hour. It was a blast – her friends are still talking about it 2 years later. I organized with one of my daughters. It was really fun getting in touch with the relatives (every call was a half hour long) , and they all enjoyed the surprise. My daughter told her we were going to have lunch in a restaurant with the local family members, just to give her a reason to dress nicely. Worth every penny, and a memory we all will enjoy forever.

Michael
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Old 01-25-2009, 03:45 PM   #15
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We had a party for my mother's 80th that sounds very similar to your plans. One of my brothers was very worried about her ability to withstand the surprise -- but she had a ball. She worked that room like a pro.

We had a time when anyone could stand up and speak. Some of the stories were just hilarious. My mother then asked for equal time. She said that it felt like she was at her funeral because so many nice things were being said.

I'm so glad we did it. She is now slipping away into dementia and it is so nice that far flung relatives have the party to remember.
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:04 PM   #16
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That party sounds so nice, Helen. I hope that everything turns out perfectly and that your mother enjoys it tremendously. You are a good daughter!
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