Cards and Conversations

Observations about life, people and relationships from the card department.

The Milestone Birthday Cards

on July 8, 2014

In the card department the other day, I noticed the assortment of milestone birthday cards. I found myself wondering why these ages in particular have special cards made for them. There’s the first birthday card, the second birthday card, the third…and so on until the 13th birthday. Then we drop 14 and 15 and jump to the 16th birthday, then 18th, then 21st. Why?

Adult birthday cards celebrate by the decades. 30, 40, 50, 60…and then when we hit 70, we insert the ‘5’s with special cards for ages 75, 85 and 95. And of course, the ultimate. The 100th birthday card.

I can still remember when my husband and I made the crazy mistake of having a huge shindig for my oldest child’s first birthday. Yes, it was special, but not because our son turned one. It was because we, the mom and dad, survived our first year of parenting. We invited almost 100 people, rented a hall, catered food, and had family and friends enlisted to help with the party details. What were we thinking?

Our daughter’s first birthday a couple years later was way milder…a few friends at the house to hang out and enjoy a simple cake. Now that’s more like it. We could focus on the reason for the celebration…our daughter.

As an adult, my personal favorite milestone birthday was turning 50. Some people have problems with turning 50, but others, like myself, celebrate big-time. I decided to have a celebration a month, with someone different each time, for the entire year. One month, it was a fancy dinner. Another month included an overnight stay at a bed and breakfast. I celebrated with my husband and children by visiting my favorite city, Philadelphia, for the weekend. We put our tourist hats on and had a ball. Fun!

Not all birthdays are fun, or even funny.

The other day, a mom and dad were shopping in the card department with their three elementary-age children. The mom was looking around and the dad was chatting with the children. The topic was jokes, and what it’s like to try to make other people laugh.

The dad: “Sometimes, we try to make people laugh, but it makes them cry. Remember the time Mommy was turning 30 and I got her a card that say 40 and she cried?”

Not funny!

Milestone birthdays. Sometimes fun, sometimes funny. Sometimes not so funny.

What’s your favorite milestone birthday and how did you celebrate?


4 responses to “The Milestone Birthday Cards

  1. Judy Tomarelli says:

    I still remember when the kids gave me a Mother’s Day card from the Mahogany collection. Lol

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. pkcapaldo says:

    I’ve been trying to figure out what to do for the big 6-0. I love the idea of celebrating for the whole year!

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