Girlfriend Celebrations - Because Girlfriends Make Life Better

Reader Request: 50th Birthday Thoughts!

The 50th birthday is pivotal in a woman’s life. And, judging from the mail we receive, it is not just a milestone that means we’re approaching midlife. Something about hitting the 50 mark also makes us feel reflective, appreciative, and generous toward our female friends! Our reader Erin wrote to us recently seeking input on her upcoming 50th Birthday Celebration. We’ve rounded up some tips for her, which you can read after the jump. But we’d also love to hear from you, and we’re sure Erin would as well. What makes a 50th birthday celebration great?

Erin wrote to us:

“I want [my birthday] to be a celebration of girlfriends who have had a positive influence in my life.

1. I want to do a Sunday brunch at my home.

2. I want to give a small ‘my favorite things’ basket  to each guest. I would like to know if you have any other suggestions for entertainment, simple games, perhaps invitations.”

We immediately thought of another reader, Diane, who had a 50th Birthday “potlatch” for her friends, in which she showered her friends with gifts on HER birthday! She said, “Rather than the focus being me, I want the focus to be on the richness my friends have brought to my life over the years.” We really like this spirit of showing appreciation to the girlfriends who love us for us. After all, we wouldn’t be who we are at 50 without them! We gave Diane detailed suggestions for games, party favors, and activities including:

-Planning an ice breaker based on guests’ knowledge of the birthday girl to help them get to know each other

-Having guests create something together (such as a collaborative piece of artwork) or compete on a creative project to get the energy flowing at your party.

-Hiring a photographer for the event, or at least capture a group photo that can be used later for souvenirs of the big day.

-Pampering yourselves with spa treatments, wine tasting, chocolate sampling, or another fun activity.

See all those recommendations here.

In addition, our “Girlfriend Birthday Bash” article gives tips for theming a birthday party around the decade of the guest of honor’s birth. It’s an easy and fun way to tie together music, food, and decorations. You’ll find creative invitation ideas, activities and favors in that article as well.

So, ladies, what is it about turning 50 that makes a women want to celebrate her girlfriends? Those of you who have been there: Let us hear from you! How did you spend your 50th birthday? Let’s all wish Erin a Happy Birthday in advance, and give her our best advice to make her milestone birthday magnificent!

Image by SadieLouWho via Flickr


  1. Anytime we can make the women and people in our life feel special we should do it. With life so crazy we do not always stop and slow down on a regular basis as we should. However a birthday is an amazing time to do this! Celebrating girlfriends and one another in life is a gift in itself!

    Comment by Sandra Hersey — November 21, 2008 @ 9:15 am

  2. Erin – This sounds like a great 50th. I told my hubby in Oct. ‘07 I wanted my 50th to be a “Girlfriend Getaway” and I love cooking so we took off for a Hill Country Cooking Class/ Sleepover and had so much fun. It was in Dripping Springs, Texas if you are ever in that area. Two ideas you could incoporate are – have all your friends “cook the brunch together” This is so much fun to all get in the kitchen, divide the recipes and buy all ingredients ahead of time and print off the recipes and put the friends in assignments together. For the small gift you can give the recipes & a photo of all of you in the kitchen.
    My friends are still talking about how this was the most fun party they had ever been to, and they used the recipes when they returned home and had cooking parties! Enjoy…and Happy Birthday

    Comment by Jene Hullett — November 24, 2008 @ 5:27 pm

  3. Hi from Erin,

    I just had my girlfriend celebration today!!! The occasion was my 50th birthday, but as I commented before it was all about my girlfriends.

    I had a catered Sunday Champagne brunch in my back yard. The weather was perfect. In California, yes, but it rained last weekend so… You never know. I had a Harpist playing and I had a Caricature artist as well.
    She drew each girlfriend doing their favorite thing or hobby. I asked her to put a tiara on each one and the saying below read” It is about creating yourself not about finding yourself. She was a huge hit! Everyone loved her!

    I also had gratitude boxes. Each person had a box at their place setting and I had paper laid out, some with prompts, such as Thank you for… I admire you because.. My wish for you is…. the idea was to write a message to someone and put it into the box. They will keep them and put them on their desk or night stand and read them whenever the need. ( I got this idea from the Oprah show)

    I also played Get to know you Bingo. Even though most of my girlfriends knew each other.

    Everyone gave a fun fact about themselves prior to the party. I made Bingo cards up with the facts. The girls had to go around finding who’s fun fact was who’s. This was a huge hit. We had a winner but no one wanted to quit the game so they kept playing to find out all the fun facts about everyone.

    I gave out My Favorite Things Party Bags. Each bag had a few of my favorite things in it. Samples of my favorite perfume, lotion, seeds of my favorite flower, my favorite candy etc….

    There is nothing like spending an afternoon with such fabulous friends!!!!

    Thank you for your website. It inspired me and gave me some wonderful ideas!


    Comment by Erin — February 2, 2009 @ 12:57 am

  4. Erin, that’s fantastic! You really created a lovely event. Love the gratitude box and my favorite things bag. Please feel free to send us some pictures, we’d love to post a few and tell your story. Happy 50th!

    Comment by Dawn — February 2, 2009 @ 1:24 pm

  5. 50 is indeed a wonderful time to celebrate family and friendships. At that age, we would’ve realized that the people who are around us are the ones who have stood with us all throughout and will most likely be the ones who will stay another 50 more.

    Comment by Greeting Card Printing — April 29, 2009 @ 12:52 am

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