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Celebrate Your 40th Birthday In (your Own) Style!

Jan 12, 2008
If you are coming up 40, you need to start considering how you want to mark the occasion. This is an important birthday and you've got to do something special, whether it be a wild party, a more peaceful gathering, a trip abroad or a day out. In the past ten years or so, a huge number of people I know have turned 40, and, if you are looking for inspiration, I hope you'll find some here.

In my family, we all love singing and one of the best parties we've ever been to was my brother Dan's 40th, where we sang karaoke all night. He's got loads of disks for his games console, which plugs into the back of the television and makes a home karaoke machine. The game keeps the score and is often quite rude but that didn't stop us singing our hearts out into the small hours of the morning!

My cousin Alex and his wife spent his 40th birthday fulfilling his life's ambition of driving Route 66 (the way to Amarillo). They had a fabulous holiday, full of adventures, and are still talking about it two years later.

Born in 1963, my friend David threw a 60s theme party for his 40th birthday. We all wore groovy costumes - flares, hippy shades, kaftans, garlands, mini-skirts, peacenik sandals, headbands - and had a high old time bopping away to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Small Faces. He had videos of some TV shows from the Sixties, which we watched when we flagged, and 1960s party food, including a mean prawn cocktail.

About three months before she turned 40, my friend Karen discovered that her partner was seeing another woman. Her confidence took a bit of a knock and, to build it back up, we arranged a lingerie party for her birthday. We all needed a bit to drink before really got into the spirit of trying on sexy underwear but then we had a great laugh!

My friend Sarah enjoys a bit of a flutter now and again and, for her 40th birthday, we organised a race evening for her. You can hire films of races and you bet on the outcome, though in our case we decided it was safer to use play money. We awarded prizes to the most successful punters and a special prize to Sarah for winning the day, as it were.

Because my friend Mark loves magic, for his 40th birthday party, his partner booked a magician. I have to admit, I was a bit sceptical about this but the conjuror turned out to be a true pro, a member of The Magic Circle and capable of doing absolutely anything, it seemed. The highlight for me was when he wrapped an elastic band around a pack of cards and flung it at the ceiling. The pack came down but one card remained stuck to the ceiling: the card Mark had chosen!

In a few weeks it will be my own 40th birthday and I've decided to spend it in New York, with my husband. Although I've never been to America at all, I have a feeling that the Big Apple is an ideal place to wake up 40. We'll do loads of shopping, take in a show on Broadway and visit all the city's hotspots - and cool spots. All this will give me a burst of energy to carry me into my fifth decade.
About the Author
To find further tips and suggestions about 40th birthday parties, celebrations & presents, check out our 40th birthday website.
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