Our mantra for birthdays has always been: Family, Friends, Food, and Fun.
As a Numenist, birthdays are big deals, and not having one was always problematic for me. Since no one knew my exact birthday, I often "hitched" my birthday to someone else's. I did keep it to celebrating once in each calendar year.
In fact, I think celebrating a birthday with someone else who's having a birthday makes it better. I speak from nearly 70 years' experience sharing birthdays with someone else. The maximum number of people sharing a birthday so far has been 6 - the more people there are with a birthday, the more guests there are and the bigger and better the birthday is.
We don't think birthdays should consist of things so much as they should be filled with memories, experiences, and new skills. If things are involved, they should relate to a new skill acquired.
The first time I ever celebrated my birthday was the year I turned 20, in Austin TX. There were 3 Numenists who had April birthdays and they just added me in and declared it my birthday, too. So I got to celebrate with them and Eeyore at Eeyore's Birthday in Pease Park in 1966, where we dressed in costumes (we all wore Groucho Mark fake eyeglasses and noses with whatever else we wanted), and had a great time. (That was in April)
One year, Becca, Rick, and I learned to play dulcimer and gifted one another with dulcimers and songbooks, and held a concert for our friends where we ate too much and laughed even more. (That was in September)
Another year, Mike, Robin and I did some cryptozoology, got certified as paranormal investigators and created a logbook for our research. Then we held a crypto party with our friends (where I debuted my Chupacabra Chili, and we devoured BigFoot Cookies, Oklahoma Octopus taffy, Garou Rice, and Ozark Howlerade and we had a stagbunny cake) and displayed our new skills. (That was in May)
Riffing off that, the next year, we learned to hunt ghosts and expanded our paranormal certification, then all our friends went on a ghost hunt with us. We rigged some rather elaborate stage tricks to present the different parts of the birthday treats in the haunted house we used - cake rising from a trapdoor in the floor, wine flowing through the faucets, finger sandwiches appearing on trays "hovering" in the air. It was challenging, memorable, and fun. (Also in May)
Birthdays have never been about presents, and cake and ice cream are only a part of the party, not the focal point. The focal point was having a great time doing something new, different, or exciting.
As we got older, we decided to make our deca-versaries extra special.
Last deca-versary (our 60th), we rented a bouncy castle, water walking balls, a ball pen, and a dozen seqways, and we all got dressed up as zombies and chased each other through the park on the segways, with stops to bounce in the castle, to cross the lake in the aqua zorb, and crawl through the ball pen to get to the buffet to gorge on yummy foods and smear one another with cupcakes.
Then we grabbed the segways and some super soakers to powerwash the bouncy castle and water balls and ball pen balls in the ball pen and each other. (This was in June)
Getting a permit was - challenging. How to explain to Parks and Rec that we wanted to rent the jogging paths, pond, and picnic shelter to do a zombie obstacle course birthday party for 60 year olds?
The next deca-verary is for those of us turning 70. In three years. It's going to be hard to top what we did for our 6th deca-versary, but Plans are underway. We're thinking 1940's Moroccan themed spy adventure with a scavenger hunt, staged car stunts at the race track, a paintball gun chase, and a hot air balloon ride that takes us to a Casablanca style speakeasy set up with Moroccan foods and beverages. There's a restaurant in town that already suits our purposes, all we need is a piano in there and Danny Kaye from the "Secret Life of Walter Mitty". Since Danny Kaye is dead, we'll have to fake it, but it will still be grand.
And we're sort of hinting at what we'll do for our 8th deca-versary...it's got to top our 7th for fun and memorability. Yes, I know we'll be 80. So? We should stop having fun and doing things just because we're old?