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Birthday Surprise: Celebrating 70!

 

70_birthday_partyIntroBirthdays are meant to be celebrated. And milestone birthdays are even more special. One of our extremely talented Art Directors, Alison, has a knack for party planning, and she does a pretty amazing job. This past Spring, Alison’s mother was turning 70, and she knew she wanted to celebrate in a really special way. We had to share how everything turned out, so here’s Alison with the details….

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My mom was turning 70 this year and I didn’t want another birthday, especially a milestone, to go by without an unforgettable celebration. What better way to honor someone than to throw a surprise birthday party?

So back in February, my brother and I started planning. We wanted to invite as many people as possible–friends, family, classmates, and co-workers. I designed the invitation around her stunning engagement picture, my favorite photo of her.

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I wanted the colors to be classy and fun. Gold, black, pinks and polka-dots to represent the 50’s era my mom grew up in. I turned black paper fans into records, using song titles that went with my mom’s name, Sharron, like “My Sharona” and “Sherry Baby”. To continue the theme, I used records as table centerpiece mats as well.

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Each centerpiece was a gold Mason jar that contained  a Happy Birthday tag, black paper fans with her picture, gold flags with “70”cut outs, and black or pink polka-dot balloons and flowers. Flowers were incorporated into everything. I made pom-pom flowers, cupcake liner flowers, and small and large tissue paper flowers.  Each table featured different titles for her—“mom,” “daughter,” “sister,” “wife,” “grandma” and “friend.”

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Ah…the cake!  I continued with the flowers and created a topper for it that said, “70 Years Loved.”  I also served polka-dot cookies with gold “70” and black “S” for “Sharron,” that people could take home with them.

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As you can see from my mom’s expression, we got her!  She was beyond surprised. Hugs went on forever and everyone had a great time. Best gift of the evening: as my mom hugged me she told me, “It’s an honor to be your mom.”

All the planning, stress, and flower making…totally worth it.    Happy Birthday, Mom!

Click here to see more pictures from the party.
All Photos Courtesy of Kelly Kutsko
Cookies by Chris Carolin
Cake by Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes

 

 

 

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The History of Birthdays (Part II)

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Since our readers enjoyed our first post all about the history of birthdays, we thought we’d share even more fun birthday facts that you may not know. Isn’t it funny that we all do similar things on our birthdays without any thought about how or why we do them?             For instance, where did the idea come from to wear pointy hats? Why do we give gifts? And who came up with that birthday song in the first place? Read on for some fun and interesting information regarding the special day each one of us celebrates.

Pointy Party Hats

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Though there is no one origin of the pointy party hat, this distinctive headgear has been around at the very least since     2800 BC, and was recognized as a symbol of power or status:

  • In ancient Egypt, only the nobility were allowedEgypt hat      to wear pointed hats as a symbol of their elevated status above their subjects. The different designs made individual pharaohs identifiable to their subjects.
  • In medieval Jewish traditions, some people started wearing cylindrical hats secured around the chin to distinguish themselves in Christian Europe. These hats were higher and more pointed than the traditional Jewish Kippah of today.
  • It was believed that witches and wizards wore pointed hats because the hats   were representations of the cone  of power.HarryPotterWicked Witch

 

  • CaPrincesstholic princesses and noblewomen                                   in Medieval Europe would wear                                             cone-shaped hats intricately decorated                           with long veils, precious jewels, and even                         intricate butterfly and flower detailing.

 

 

 

  • The party hat can also be traced to the dunce cap, worn by misbehaving or poorly
    performing schoolchildren from the mid-19th century to the dunceearly 20th century, signifying that the wearer engaged in frivolous and foolish behavior—naturally what we all expect of the birthday person on their special day!

 

 

 

Overall, these cylindrical birthday hats continue to be the proud tradition in many different cultures, with the point of the hat elevating the wearer to the status of royalty—which, we all agree, a person becomes on their birthday.

Giving Birthday Gifts

One theory regarding the giving of birthday gifts dates back to early Europe, when people believed that evil spirits would seek out and haunt someone on his or her birthday, most importantly the king.Presents Therefore, on one’s birthday, people would gather to protect that person and would bring with them good wishes. These gatherings later became our modern day birthday parties, and over time, people brought more than just good wishes to ward off evil spirits; they brought presents, too.

 
Who Wrote The Birthday Song?

HappyBirhtdayAccording to the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records, “Happy Birthday to You” is the most recognized song in the English language, and its lyrics have been translated into at least 18 languages. But where did it come from?

In 1893, sisters Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill wrote a song they called, Good Morning to All,” which was part of the book Song Stories for the Kindergarten and was intended to be sung by students before classes began. As the song caught on across America, it developed a number of variations, becoming “Good Morning to You” and then, in 1924, Robert Coleman published a songbook and added a few extra lyrics that would quickly come to overshadow the original lines and came to be the rendition we all know today, “Happy Birthday to You.”

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