87th Birthday Ideas

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Celebrate a special birthday in style.
Celebrate a special birthday in style. (Image: ICHIRO/Photodisc/Getty Images)

An 87th birthday is a great opportunity to celebrate a loved one’s life and enjoy a day or evening of special entertainment. Depending on levels of mobility and energy, choose birthday activities, celebrations and foods that match his interests and tastes. If your relative or friend is in an assisted living facility, consider organizing a special celebration in his home surroundings that includes the other residents. Ask guests to donate to a favorite charity instead of bringing gifts.

Memory Lane

An 87th birthday is an excellent time for reminiscing about your relative’s life and commemorating all she has achieved. Put together a presentation with photos, quotes and scanned documents using a computer program and project it onto a big screen on the day of the party. Add backing music that means something to your loved one. Or put together an audio or video package with personal greetings from friends and relatives, especially those who can’t make it to the birthday event. For a special 87th birthday, host a “This Is Your Life” event where guests talk about special moments and things they remember about your loved one’s life. Decorate the room with pictures and designs from the 1920s to commemorate the era your loved one was born.

Handmade Treats

When your mother, father, close relative or friend turns 87, commemorate the occasion by making a one-of-a-kind gift. Scan and enhance old photos and create a personal scrapbook with pictures, notes and memories, leaving space for him to write his own thoughts. If you’re keen on craft, knit a special shawl or bed cover, embroider a quilt or personalize jewelry, notebooks and candles to match your loved one’s style, personality and favorite color. A personalized CD with tracks from his youth along with modern favorites will please a music fan.

Birthday Bingo

Organize a family game of bingo to reminisce about a long and happy life and create talking points for the rest of the birthday event. Instead of numbers, fill in each square on the bingo card in a different color and hand out large chocolate coins or wrapped candies to use as markers. Make the cards large and bright for 87-year-olds with sight restrictions. Put corresponding slips of paper with colors in a bag. Write down phrases on slips of paper related to your loved one’s life, for example, “lived in Detroit”, “born on a farm”, about life in your hometown, and life when she was growing up such as “remember going to tea dances” or “watched the moon landing.” Put these in a second bag. The host draws a color from one bag and a phrase from the other and asks players to, for example, cover the red bingo square if you remember watching the moon landing on TV.

Card Party

Some 87-year-olds may have reduced mobility and capacity, making it difficult to attend a party or event, and others may not appreciate the fuss of a party. Send out emails, cards, fliers and letters -- the more the better -- to friends, relatives, neighbors, former coworkers and other people who know the birthday girl or boy and ask them to send back cards with good wishes, memories and personal greetings. Open the cards on the occasion of the 87th birthday with a small gathering of close family. Your loved one will appreciate reading the greetings without the stress of a formal party.

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