Winter's cold invites friends and family together in warm companionship and celebration. A 40th birthday is a time to surround oneself with comfort and fun. Winter holidays offer creative opportunities to celebrate a mile-marker event.
Plan your 40th birthday around a general winter theme. Depending on where you live, organise a ski trip with a few good friends or close family. Rent a ski-in, ski-out cabin for a weekend. Punctuate the weekend with a birthday dinner party. Invite friends to make signature dishes. Lay a sumptuous spread and serve buffet-style. Order a rum cake and a non-alcoholic devil's food cake. Serve with espresso and amaretto or any favourite liqueur. Gifts can be optional. By 40, one knows true gifts are good friends and loving family.
Winter birthdays falling close to Christmas can be mixed blessings. The Christmas season sparkles and invites loved ones to gather around winter hearths. However, people are rushed and a birthday on top of Christmas festivities and obligations can feel burdensome. Lighten your and everybody's loads for your 40th birthday party. Throw a Christmas-birthday party. Celebrate at home or rent a rustic cabin for a night. Shed a flickering glow with ivory candles of all sizes. Light an inviting fire. Serve a buffet Christmas dinner, with bubbling champagne and crisp hot and cold apple cider. Fill the air with the fragrances of cloves, citrus and cinnamon. Order your favourite cake with golden frosting and silver beads and holly sprigs. Let your friends and family know that they are gifts throughout the year. If you rent a cabin, invite guests to spend the night. Finish your 40th birthday celebration with a pancake or omelette breakfast.
Many people celebrate Winter Solstice rather than Christmas. Celebrate your 40th birthday on winter's first night. A Winter Solstice party is an imaginative way to mark the season passing with your own rite of passage. Gather indoors for food and drink. If weather permits, though, spend time outside to mark a season of change. Forty is the right age to notice seasons as they pass from fall into winter. Find the beauty in the transition. Decorate your party space with pagan Winter Solstice symbols and colours. Play seasonal New Age music. Indulge in pagan food and drink. Decorate a living Solstice tree with red, green and white ribbons. Adorn the home with sacred herbs and colours. Decorate with red, green and white, colours of the Druids. Place holly, ivy and pine cones wherever revellers gather. For good luck throughout the year hang mistletoe above a frequently-used doorway. Hang a wreath of fresh evergreen boughs, woven through with herbs. Hang the wreath on your front door as a reminder of the cycle of life. Select a Goddess who symbolises winter's advance. Best known is Mary, mother of Jesus, also know as Isis. Bona Dea was ancient Rome's goddess of abundance. Place the goddess's image around. Serve standard appetizers surrounding a Wassail bowl. Wassail is a warm spiced punch. Blend organic apple cider with cinnamon, cloves and sliced lemons. Simmer to blend flavours. Serve with cinnamon sticks. If serving dinner, glaze a ham with sweet potatoes and seasonal fruits and vegetables. As you and your guests gather, take time to voice appreciation for each other. Nothing warms a winter night like the companionship of those you love. Exchange gifts in pagan and Christmas traditions.
Holidays mark winter's passing. If your birthday falls between December and March, you will find opportunities to celebrate your 40th birthday, a landmark year. Fortunately, winter holidays and the season itself are epitomes of inviting thresholds, lively conversations and gatherings of the best people in your blessed life.