What's the best way to pull of a surprise birthday party?
I'd say do it on a day that is months from someone's actual birthday.
That is exactly what the Gothic Clan de-I did for me this week. We went to the house we are renting for children for dinner as I was told that I had cooked enough for everyone. They were just going to buy pizza which was fine by me. Daughter #3 who is staying at our house, went over to the other house with her kids early saying she wanted to hang out with her sisters. I said we could come over too to hang out but was told, "no I would just end up chipping in on the work and that would defeat the purpose of having dinner at the other house."
This was all BS for upon my arrival, there were the shouts of "Surprise!" and all the decorations of a birthday party. As my birthday isn't until December, I naturally still was clueless as to what was happening. It took the daughters and Wife explaining that since this was the only practical time to get all the family together, and since this December would mark my 70th year of not getting myself killed by doing something stupid, that they would do it now. This evidently took massive negotiation and discussion over months and months, changing of plans, and nearly cause a breakdown in the whole family, just to pull this off. Kind of makes one pretty F-ing humble that folks would go to such work for you (insert tear dropping here).
We had a lovely evening topped off by son-in-law 1A doing DJ honors pulling up on his Spotify account and playing over his portable speaker all my favorite heavy metal/hard rock hits from the late 60's and early 70's (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, The Who, Led Zepplin for those who are interested).
But best of all was the gift, a book produced under the leadership of #1 that contained personal input from the entire family, from deep long essays by Wife, the daughters, and the sons-in-law to pictures with parental comments from the 3-year olds. What made this so especially nice was the historical perspective it gave me of my own life.
We tend to think of ourselves as a picture...a set piece...with the most recent picture as the dominant impression of who we are. But reading all these impressions from others who talked about how I'd interacted and influenced them over their lives put my life into a different perspective all together...not as the picture but as the story with all the chapters included. It was very beautiful and I'm very grateful.
Thank you family.