Gift and party ideas for 21st birthday

minigreenhouseAugust 1, 2006

My son will be 21 next month. What will be a good gift and/or party idea for his birthday?

I was thinking of some money ($500) and a small party or a surprise party by inviting his high school sports team mate. DH does not think the surprise party with his high school team mates was a good idea because he had not been in contact with most of his high school team mate since high school graduation.

He needs a new used car (like 2003 or 2002) pretty soon, how can we incorporate this into his birthday gift?

Any input would be appreciated.

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Buy him a guitar or something, leave it in the trunk of the car you seem to want to buy him. Give him just the trunk key, until he buys his own insurance.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 9:44PM
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I wouldn't invite people to his party that he has shown no interest in keeping in touch with! Invite his CURRENT friends.

Why is he getting a car too as part of the gift? $500 and a party seems like enough gift to me!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 8:21AM
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I thought this one over since I have twin 19 year old sons who will be celebrating this milestone in two years. My thoughts are at 21 years old, the usual rite of passage is to go to a bar and drink with your buddies because you're now considered "legal age". I know that's not what most parents want, and of course depending on where you live, he may have been legal at 18. He also may have no interest in this kind of activity. That aside, I see it as a 21 year old is an adult and should to be treated as one (if not now, when?). They usually have new friends, new interests and they usually need money desperately. If were me, I would forego the expense of a surprise party that could be unwanted with friends that he doesn't care to hook up with again, and instead either take him out for an nice adult dinner to someplace very special that he'll always remember which could give you an opportunity to chat about life, the future, etc. and allow him to leave afterwards to enjoy the friends and activities of his choosing, or, cook up his favorite meal with a cake, and give him the money you would've spent on the party and dinner out along with the $500 and let him "manage" his own money by figuring out how much should go towards his new car and how much can be used to play with. This will ultimately show him that you consider him a man capable of this responsibility and that's a wonderful gift for a "new adult".

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 9:12AM
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I too have a son that will be 21 next month and am searching for a memorable birthday gift. We live on the west coast(as well as his best friends and girl friend). He has recently moved to the east coast, so a get together will not be part of the celebration. He already has enough money to buy what he wants, so money or gift cards are not on our list. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 11:44PM
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Well, to many a clown and a pony would be cute but it might go over rather like the Hindenburg. No offense, but aren't you asking the wrong people? Seems to me the ones to ask are the recipients. My first thought is that if he's not hanging around with high school friends, there could well be a reason, and inviting them without his consent would be quite risky. Likely it won't be a surprise anyway if they're expecting parties and if it's always happened, they probably will expect it whether they want it or not.

Perhaps he'd like the money for a party to go toward the car rather than an expensive party. I too am a bit confused since there's not a lot of 2002-2003 cars on the market for $500. Maybe he'd like a nice dinner out with his GF and have dessert at home with the family & friends afterward? Or maybe wants something quiet?

I'd ask them point blank. What would you like for your birthday? Would you like a party? Small or large? What type of theme, if any? Who would you like invited?

I'm just thinking that he might feel like he's being treated like a 10 year old rather than an adult.

If you're giving money, and if he has a sense of humor, you could take a box and individually wrap some rolls of coins and bills of different denominations, maybe some gas cards or prepaid credit cards, pack them all into one big box and watch him unwrap his money a few dollars at a time. Again, depends on the person.

I'd really suggest getting him involved.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 9:00PM
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Mini, I think Cynic is on to something. By asking him what he wants, you also give him an additional gift--he may realize even more how much you care & how much thought you've put into making his day special. You could say, "I thought about xy & z, but I wonder what YOU would really like."

You sound like you want to make your son's 21st birthday quite wonderful for him. That is very sweet. Best wishes to you both.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 10:12AM
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