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Jude's avatar

Ideas for my sister's 50th birthday?

Asked by Jude (32167points) May 27th, 2011

My sister is turning 50 in two weeks, and she told me that she doesn’t want a big deal ‘to-do’. It would only be immediate family and it is difficult for my sister to travel (she lives an hour from us), so, it would have to be at her place. I was thinking of having something in her backyard. She’d feel more comfortable at home, as opposed to going out for dinner.

Any ideas? Something special.


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16 Answers

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Bringing in a dinner or providing a backyard barbeque sounds like a great idea.

Coloma's avatar

Obviously, it would be hard to throw a ‘surprise’ party for her, at her home. haha

I’d just go with her wishes, invite the family, a few close friends.

Decide on a menu, maybe split the costs with other family members if that is an issue for you.

Make her favorite meal, bake a nice cake, or order one, give her something she really wants, and maybe a few gag gifts too. lol

You could also hire a psychic or massage therapist (sp?) or some sort of entertainment if you want. A male dancer? haha

I’m not into psychics but, I went to a party recently that had a psychic and it was really fun!

Don;t forget the decorations! Balloons, hats, silly party props!

mazingerz88's avatar

All of the above plus a really serious cocktail bar!

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@Coloma Sounds like a blast – can I come?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I like mazingerz88’s idea. Maybe a pizza party with an real kick ass bar and bartender. If he or she (her preference?) is a hunk, do shots off them. That’d be memorable for a 50th. Anybody can do food.

marinelife's avatar

What about having a catered dinner? We did one in the summer with a Mediterranean theme that was wonderful. We had olives and feta cheese and bread with flavored olive oil for a first course, a salad for the second course and Torta Rustica for the main course. For dessert, the chef made a chocolate pavlova with fresh berries. It was very elegant, yet light and wonderful

Coloma's avatar

Don’t forget the Champagne! I’ll make a few gallons of my champagne/raspberry lime punch. Oooh…let the good times roll! ;-)

bkcunningham's avatar

@Jude, I will be turning 50 in July. Like your sister, I seriously don’t want a big “to do.” I’ll answer for what I’d like and perhaps it would please your sister too since she turning this fabulous page in her life too.

I hope and pray my husband realizes that I’m serious and doesn’t do anything big. I would love just a very nice card that recognizes our relationship. A nice dinner – where we can all relax and laugh and enjoy each other’s company without any big preperation or cleanup – would be sooo nice. I don’t want anything melancholy or sad or sappy or any reminders of my losses or past or where I’ve been. Only where I’m at and where I’m going. I want upbeat and happy. I want the day to be full of making NEW memories.

I would love to have young people around dancing, singing, playing games of any sort. I want lots of good cheer and lots of laughter. Kisses and smiles and hugs. Jokes and smiles and eyes smiling into mine. Good food, good friends and a day of good times. If my sisters could be with me; it would be the candy on the icing on the cake.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

BBQ and friends to stay a bit later to pick up and clean up. If you have a Smart & Final, Costco or Sam’s Club nearby then any of those will have semi prepared foods that are bbq ready and in quantities for 10 peops or more. I love Smart & Final because they have the bigger portions and/or containers of stuff in brands I already like. They also have the serving ware for big stuff.

Bring flowers, every grocery store has a good variety these days and really good prices.

Bring an ice chest and bags of ice because it’s so much more convenient and tidy than clearing out her frig or having people go in and out.

Every grocery will make you a custom cake if you ask, many will do low salt, low sugar, no sugar, etc. too.

Ask the friends/family to bring over a favorite DVD they’re willing to lend out for awhile, books too.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Make the surprise be inviting some of her friends that she hasn’t seen or heard from in awhile…high school best friend, college friends, former coworkers. Invite neighbors that she’s friendly with, your family, etc. Decorate her backyard a la Martha Stewart.

Kardamom's avatar

Have a Hawaiian themed luau. Those are always fun, complete with Tiki Torches. You can get most of the food catered (depending upon where you live) but out here in California they have all sorts of Hawaiian restaurants that do Kalua pork with all the trimmings. Or you could have the meat part catered and the rest of it could be kind of an assigned potluck.

You can get a lot of the decorations right now at Big Lots and just borrow some tables and chairs from the neighbors and relatives, cover them with ocean blue or lime green plastic tablecloths, and decorate each with a big bowl with a pineapple in the middle surrounded by bananas and coconuts and oranges etc (all stuff that can be used and eaten later) Then rustle up some great Hawaiian music on i-tunes (or if your lucky, from a friend who already has a collection. Have everybody come dressed in Hawaiian print shirts or dresses. You can get cheap multi colored paper lanterns (with or without lights in them) to string across the back yard (from Big Lots or the 99 cent stores). Add candles to the tables if it’s at night (Also inexpensive glass candle holders and candles at the 99 cent store) Make sure that you, or one of your friends or relatives either makes a big yummy cake (or buys one) and buy or make her a lovely tropical flower arrangement.

Some ideas for the menu:

Macadamia Coconut Cake

Kalua Pork in a Slow Cooker

Hawaiian Style Macaroni Salad

Hawaiian Rice (or just make a batch of regular white rice in a rice cooker)

Teriyaki Chicken Wings

Aloha Coleslaw

Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce

Hawaiian Salad or other green salad with Hawiian Ginger Carrot Dressing

Ahi Poke or this Hawaiian Tuna Salad or Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Salad

And here’s a couple of things of my own making:

I make a drink called “Hula Brew” that is literally half pineapple juice and half beer (I actually used non alcoholic beer for my drinks, use only light colored beer, though, not dark beer) Stick an umbrella in the side or a tooth pick with a fresh pineapple chunk and a maraschino cherry.

You can also make 2 big punch bowls, one with limeade (float sliced limes on the top) and another with Red Hawaiian Punch mixed with 7UP and float orange slices on top (preferably blood oranges)

And Hawaiian Skewers: use wooden skewers and add a chunk of fresh pineapple, a grape tomato, a marinated mushroom, and a chunk of Trader Joe’s Organic Baked Tofu (Teriyaki Flavor) and lay these out on a platter of lettuce leaves.

And you can serve those thick crunchy Hawaiian style potato chips with my “Volcano Dip”: which is one block of feta cheese, mixed well with one jar of adjvar or spicy eggplant dip from Trader Joe’s (which is the same thing) and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper. The dip is so named because it looks like hot lava, but is not too spicy.

You can also set out bags of sweet Hawaiian bread and bowls of macadamia nuts.

Pandora's avatar

Oh, bring her favorite foods and favorite desserts.

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Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Jude It has been two weeks since the original post. What was the final call?

Jude's avatar

She decided that she didn’t want anything. In fact, she was adamant about it. She has been through a lot the last couple of years, and has distanced herself from extended family. She is trying to “get well” and said “next year, we’ll really celebrate my birthday”. So, because she wanted to the day to herself (she didn’t even want my g/f and I to make a trip down to see her), I got ahold of all of the relatives and they all ended up sending her cards, flowers, ecards, and emails. She received a call from everyone our her immediate family. She said that she had a lovely day.

We bought her a ticket to see Alison Krauss and Union Station in the Fall (she really loves her), so, she is looking forward to that. We’re going with her. :)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Thank you for the update. What you did sounds perfect.

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