A 50th birthday presents special challenges as the celebrant runs the gamut of emotions. Sure, she'll be told that the alternative to growing old is worse than turning 50; however, that bit of humor does little to mitigate the uncomfortable realization that she is getting older, and having to admit it for the first time. Make her 50th birthday one she'll remember by going the extra mile to make it special.
Get Your Groove Back Weekend in Jamaica
What better way to get out of the 50th birthday doldrums than a weekend of fun and sun in Jamaica themed on the 20th Century Fox film, "How Stella Got Her Groove Back"? Make the presentation of this gift spectacular. Print tickets or a certificate, and wrap them in colorful, Jamaica-themed paper. Put a brochure in a Rasta hat. Use your imagination to convey the exciting news: "You're getting your groove back in Jamaica!"
Get Your Groove Back Themed Party
Can't take her to Jamaica? Then bring Jamaica to her with a "Get Your Groove Back" themed party. Plan decorations, food and drinks around a Jamaican theme. Play Reggae music, of course. Invite the guests to dress up in Jamaican-style outfits. Try dancing the limbo. Make it a high-energy, playful event that will remind her that she's 50 years young.
Revisit Her Birthplace
Forget about the future. Take a trip down memory lane by visiting her birthplace or childhood home. Drive past the hospital where she was born and the home she grew up in. Walk through the parks where she played as a child and visit the schools she attended. You will have to do some research. Check with family members to verify the places and addresses. Find out what is still standing and get directions. Look up a nice restaurant in the area or plan a picnic. Make this a day for her to share memories, take photos and reminisce about the past.
She may be 50, but she’s not alone. Buy her a membership in the AARP, the largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of people 50 and older in the United States. AARP is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Americans as they age.
Does it sound like a gag gift? "AARP Magazine" has a circulation of 24 million, the largest magazine readership in the country. Members are eligible for discounts on travel, insurance and other services. Local chapters provide volunteer opportunities, social events and driver safety courses. The AARP website boasts a large online community posting on many topics. Articles cover health issues, grandparenting and politics, among others. A membership in 2010 is just $16 for one year.
Something That Endures
Life seems ephemeral to someone turning 50. Brighten those gloomy thoughts with a gift that endures through time. Plant a tree. Choose a local park, garden or forest that will plant a tree and place a marker. Present the certificate while standing near the tree.
Alternatively, have a native pine, fir or cedar tree planted in a national forest through the Arbor Day Foundation. According to the foundation's website, "Over the course of 50 years, a single tree can generate $31,250 of oxygen, provide $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycle $37,500 worth of water, and control $31,500 worth of soil erosion." The website features printable certificates perfect for a last-minute gift.
- Photo Credit Barry Austin Photography/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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