Most of my circle of friends will have some sort of gathering for a birthday. Generally speaking, it’s just a dinner somewhere, and typically, other people will pay the way of the birthday girl/boy. Gifts tend to be optional for most of these gatherings, as the dinner is usually considered the gift.
I do have two or three friends who tend to be more elaborate about their celebrations. For example, earlier this year, I went to a party where the celebrant had reserved a private karaoke room for her birthday. No one was asked to contribute, although most people contributed something to the cost of the room and/or drinks for the celebrant. Some people brought gifts. This weekend, I’m going to another party (coincidentally, the roommate of the person in the first example) which will be bowling, karaoke and drinking. Most people will probably bring gifts. If someone is doing something I’m not really interested in being a part of (for instance, some friends like to celebrate at a club, which holds no appeal for me at all), I will probably decline, but offer to take them to lunch/dinner at a later date.
Personally, I generally have some sort of dinner every year. If I decide to do something more elaborate (which I do sometimes – I’ve spent at least two birthdays at Dodger Stadium), I pay for the expense of the event and just have people come celebrate with me.
Mr. Athena and I celebrate each other’s birthday’s. Not with a party, but usually a nice dinner, a good bottle of wine or champagne, and gifts.
I also almost always get together with my parents for their birthdays. Once again, either a dinner or lunch. Small gifts.
Occasionally I’ll see one of my siblings or their family members on their birthdays, not every year. But it’s not at all uncommon to get a call like “It’s X’s birthday, come on over for dinner on Friday!”
I don’t understand why you’d NOT celebrate, if you had an occasion. Life’s short, why not have parties whenever you can?
Eww…no. I hate birthday parties (for me). I can’t remember the last time I had one. I think I might have been 9 or 10.
My boyfriend’s family has actual parties for the kids; parties where people come to the house at the same time for presents and cake and ice cream. But for the most part, we just hang out like a normal family visit.
My mom just turned 60 on Sunday. She came to my house. I made her a personalized cake (6 thin layers to make a rainbow, bright pink and purple fondant, pink and purple glittery stuff, and pink sparkle candles). My boyfriend made his chili (she asked him to). Other than that, we just hung out around the house like we normally do and watched Mythbusters.
Actual planned parties specifically for one person’s birthday aren’t common for adults in any of my circles of friends.
There’s a group of my friends who get together pretty frequently during the summer. Two women have birthdays very near eachother in July, so at the Saturday gathering nearest that we’ll have a cake, but it’s definitely not a birthday party for these ladies.
I share a birthday with one cousin, and her brother’s birthday is 3 days earlier. When we all lived in the same area we’d try and get some folks together, but we haven’t had an actual party, with invitations and presents in many many years.
Milestone birthdays do get some notice. A close friend of mine took a group of about 12 people out to brunch for her 40th birthday. I’m hopeful that if I start planning now I can do something nice for my sister when she turns 50 in a couple of years. “Regular” birthdays just get a call or a card.
I have a fairly large circle of female friends, and often we meet at a restaurant for each other’s birthdays and have a meal, and we all chip in for the birthday girl. That’s about it. We don’t have big parties or anything.
For the last few years I’ve sent an email saying basically “We’ll be at X bar on Tuesday, stop by if you feel like a drink after work. and BTW it’s my birthday again!” Last year it was on a Friday, my boyfriend made dinner and we invited people over. One couple brought little gifts from another friend’s etsy store. For the bar night some people bring a cards, but most just bring themselves.
But yeah I’ve done something every year for the last 8 or 10 years or so. Lately I’ve done something on the birthday itself, not the next Saturday. Even if it’s a weeknight, whoever shows up shows up. One year I had maybe a dozen people out bowling on a Thursday, that one was pretty cool.
I don’t do parties for myself and none of my friends really do either. I’m actually a little suspicious of any adult that must have the anniversary of their birth recognized by friends and coworkers- why do we really need to celebrate the day? What have you done that we should be congratulating you for?
Back in the day I can see that you’d want to celebrate making it another year without being eaten by a saber-toothed tiger or something, but I find the office luncheon where we all take the birthday man/woman out for lunch a little self-congratulatory and childish. And I don’t participate.
My father died on my birthday some years ago and I haven’t felt like celebrating on that day since. Sometime during the month my family members will show up with gifts. We go out for a meal or someone makes one for me.
And I never forget to buy myself a gift. Usually I get something whimsical that costs more than I’d spend on something whimsical.
I’ve thrown a party for both my children for 38 and 35 years respectively. These days it’s usually just the four of us and the gift is money most of the time or something they can’t afford. They always get to tell me what they want on the menu. We’ll all party at the drop of a hat. Especially if there’s someting good to eat.
I have a birthday party if it happens to come at a time when I fancy having a party. Otherwise I’d probably go out and do something or other, or at least have some friends over - it wouldn’t go uncelebrated. Most of my friends are the same.
This is in marked contrast to the few years I spent living in a small town, knowing nobody and not having any real way to know anybody; one birthday (my 24th, I think) passed me by completely for a few days.
Adults in my family rarely have big family parties, as thay have lives/friends. In fact, I was recently chided for not being invited to my brother’s 30th b-day party. Was explained to me that it was spur of the moment, and his house isn’t exactly spacious and wheelchair friendly. My sister has her b-day this weekend, and party is TBA.
Oh, mine aren’t family parties, and neither are my friends’. If any of their relations go, it’s because they happen to also be friends.
I’m seeing a lot of different definitions of ‘party’ on this thread. FTR, the definition I’m using is that it’s either at home or at a venue that you’ve hired out, not at a pub or restaurant where anyone can walk in, and has to include at least 8 or so people but likely a lot more - a higher number than you’d have round for dinner.
A few weeks ago we celebrated a friend birthday by drinking and smoking cigars in a Manhattan bar. That was a lot of fun.
These two grils I know had their birthday around the same day and always threw the party at some Manhattan club like their the freakin Kardashian sisters or something. It’s fucking annoying because it’s always crowded and you have to argue with some idiot doorman for 20 minutes to figure out who or even if they put their name in for a private party. Then you finally get in and its so crowded you just want to beat the crap out of the next person who bumps into you.