Turning 40 is a milestone event for many people. Although many people dislike the concept of getting older, a 40th birthday party should be a celebration and not a mourning occasion. Lightheartedness and fun are important elements for an enjoyable 40th birthday party. "Over-the-hill" jokes are timeless, but keep in mind the sensibilities of the guest of honour and use your best judgment when planning a party or event.
40 Years of History
Forty years of life are full of memories, events and occasions that when remembered can bring lasting feelings of joy. Creating something to capture these memories can make a great gift for a 40th birthday. A classic idea is a photo scrapbook including childhood photos, important life events and pictures of friends and family. A photo scrapbook arranged in chronological order is an organised way to sum up a life story. With advances in technology, other options such as electronic slide presentations or picture DVDs can preserve memories as effectively as scrapbooks and are more entertaining as party viewing with the addition of videos and music.
Just as any actor with an established his career, a person reaching her 40th birthday has enough life experience to be roasted. Before the birthday party date, e-mail or call party guests. Ask them to think up any funny or nostalgic stories to present at the party. At the party, have the birthday person sit in front of the group, and have each guest share a humorous story or experience. Remind guests to use good judgment in the memories they share and the humour they use--to be sensitive to the personality of the guest of honour in the way they present their stories and memories.
Reliving the Past
Another way to celebrate a 40th birthday is by reliving the year the honoree was born. For example, if the guest of honour was born in 1970, plan a 1970s-themed party. As at any theme party, ask guests to dress in attire from the period, play music that was popular on the day the birthday person was born and enjoy games and movies from the time. Rent a limo or other transportation service and visit places that hold special memories, such as the birthday girl's high school or the place her husband proposed to her.
Photograph Guessing Game
Collect photos from throughout the birthday person's life. Once you have gathered several photos from different decades, have party guests guess the age the person was in each picture. It can be amusing to see how the person has changed throughout the years.