50th Birthday

wendy4_2006August 23, 2006

I got this great idea from a friend for my dad's 50th birthday that is coming up. You have 50 friends send 50 items each day 50 days before his birthday. Each person secretly mails it to them on their day and don't put a name. Its funny because they have no idea why they are getting this stuff in the mail and who it is from. The items have to be something having to do with being old. I am sending him 50 black balloons and my sister is sending him 50 suckers with a card that says "50 Sucks". I have heard ideas like 50 tubes of bengay, 50 pairs of old man glasses, 50 asprins etc, but I need some more ideas.

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Honey, please rethink this. Turning 50 is a major milestone. It is something to be celebrated, not ridiculed.

Not to mention, even if you suggest inexpensive items, expecting friends to send 50 relatively useless gifts to your father is simply a waste of their time and money.

Please--do something that honors this wonderful day for him, not something that demeans it. Gag gifts really are not appropriate for a major milestone like that.

I can only speak for myself, but I'd have been absolutely mortified if my daughter had done something like that when I turned 50--so silly and wasteful. Not to mention, at this stage of life, most of us are trying to get rid of the clutter. Adding 2,500 extra little things to the household...... well, it would NOT be appreciated around here. Sorry. But I think you need to look at this from the point of view of what the recipient will appreciate, now what will entertain you. Send him a card or note every day telling him something you appreciate about him. Take him out to dinner once a week for a month before and after. Get him a tree to plant in the yard to memorialize this special occasion. Something meaningful and lasting would be far better. Good luck

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 9:10PM
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I agree with azelea...who wants 50 tubes of Ben Gay?....and who wants to spend that kind of money on such a thing.
But when I turned 48, my DH gave me lots of things than came in dozens...I got a dozen stick pens, and pencils and eggs and lined legal pads...I don't remember what else, but all were useful things to me.
I would not object to you having friends send him small things...like 50 pins and 50 thumb tacks and 50 cookies.
In spite of what you think....50 is not old.....I am many years past that and still consider myself a spring chicken.
I am all for a joke, but espceially one that continues for a while....but skip the black balloons and the bengay.
How about having all his friends send him an anoymous reminder of some time in the past when they had fun with him or first met him or something like that.
Lots more meaningful I think.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 9:43PM
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I agree with the other posters. I don't like mean gifts or most gag gifts, especially those that are wasteful or are a "gag" not by virtue of cleverness but just by making fun of the recipient. As the recipient, even if I weren't offended, I would be disappointed that that is all my family could think of to do for me, and as one of his friends, I would find it a waste of money and time. I also agree that fifty isn't that old that the Ben Gay, etc., makes sense (of course, I am 49, so I may be prejudiced!). And frankly, I don't think that fifty "sucks" at all -- this is a really terrific stage of life -- and on my fiftieth birthday, I don't think it would make me happy to hear someone telling me that my life sucks. And death-related items, especially received from anonymous senders, would give me the creeps. What if three people in a row decide to send him fifty miniature tombstones or something? Yikes.

I guess I don't the find "fifty" gimmick all that clever -- I mean, he KNOWS he's turning 50 -- but if you really love it, maybe you can think of something that isn't wasteful or insulting. Thumbtacks and pins aren't either, but then, they aren't particularly exciting to give or receive. Perhaps ask friends and family to donate $50 to a favorite charity (their favorite, not yours or even his) in his honor.

Now that I've sounded so harsh, I will tell you that there is one part of the idea I like: the anonymous items in the mail (as long as it isn't scary -- post-anthrax scare, I'm not sure it would still be funny). Many years ago, when my older brother left for college, I asked everyone I could think of, especially in other cities, to send my brother a soda bottle cap (yes, that's how it came then) -- no note, just a random bottle cap in an envelope with a postmark from wherever they were. No particular reason or point to it, I just loved the idea of a question mark over his head when he opened his mail each day. It worked great until he recognized a return address -- I forgot my friend's older sister was his friend -- and he figured it out. He did think it was funny, but again, that was in a less scary time.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 8:11PM
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I just turned 50 and this is about the best year of my life, or one of the best. I don't feel over-the-hill at all or anywhere near the hill, LOL! At this age you begin to clean out the unnecessary stuff you've accumulated through the years. While 50 is often referred to as the "youth of old age", most of the 50-somethings I talk to feel like they're many years younger and mentally can't relate to the number 50.

That said, your intentions are good. You just want to do something fun for him. I'd like to recommend that you not go in the direction of gag gifts (not everyone likes them and for the above reasons). Find out if there is a special gift he would like, and ask the family and friends to contribute toward it, or towards accessories for it, if they wish. Celebrate his age and the era in which he was born with a party with 50s music, or a luau (popular parties in the 50s-60s) where everyone comes casual in Hawaiian shirts and jeans. In other words, really *celebrate* it and make it special for him.

I hope you have a lot of fun and that he enjoys whatever you do.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 8:16PM
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having 50 friends sending an annomyous small gift is a great idea. i'd love it. it would keep me guessing as to who sent the item. but it would be better if the items were about the celebration of life and friendship rather than gag
gifts which could quickly become dismal.
you could have a party at the end of it all, and display the gifts with your dad's guesses as to who sent them be the center of attraction to see how many he gets right.

also try to find photos of your dad with each of his friends to display. and then party

just my 50 cents worth.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 11:17AM
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