There are so many ways to celebrate a birthday. Writer, Willa Hogarth shares her story of creating a birthday ceremony to remember:
“For my two major birthday celebrations – my 60th and my 70th I decided I wanted to do something special. What I valued most about Wendy’s help was having a well thought out program and also a birthday ceremony for each occasion which helped me to decide what would make each event special and unique for me. I could then relax and enjoy the whole event, honour my family and friends in a meaningful way as well as receive their love and appreciation.
The preparation was very enjoyable – Wendy had great ideas which supported me to consider which guests I wanted to invite, the food I wanted; to working out a ‘program’ and a ceremony where my guests could really be involved.
For my 60th birthday ceremony, to help people get to know one another and to start the storytelling, she suggested we ask all the guests to line up in order of the date they’d met me. That was a lot of fun as people told stories as they worked out the timeline. We then went down the line as people shared the story of how they met me.
Then there was the idea of giving ‘a gift’ to each of my guests. So, I wrote what I most appreciated about each guest and read these out on the night and gave the card to each person as ‘a gift’. It was a great way to show my appreciation for each person. Wendy also acted as a wonderful MC.
It makes me smile when I think of how much I also enjoyed the last event, my 70th birthday ceremony – Wendy helped me create a celebration I will never forget. I gave a speech with the theme of ‘Families’ which meant I could acknowledge everyone in all the different groups which have been important in my life, from my family to writing and women’s groups. Then I sat back and enjoyed acknowledgements to me! I came away feeling I’d made a real connection with each person.
Friends have told me these were some of the best celebrations they’ve been to.”