‘Alt’ernative Birthday Parties

July 13, 2011

It’s a facet of our modernity that as long as we are alive (and eager), there will be birthdays and gifts to celebrate our life.  Through the actions of friends, and my own inventive birthday planning, an evolution of the ‘birthday party’ is gaining momentum.  Why not choose to commemorate our existence in this world by celebrating our presence in a community?  Some of my favorite celebrations take the original intention of gift giving beyond the immediate friend circle, and include more people in the fun. The ‘alt’ birthday, and recent Alt Mother’s Day event, does just that by incorporating charitable opportunities or underserved populations into your special day.

I have a friend who always hosts her birthday party at a transitional group home for kids.  Many of my clients are interested in a multidimensional celebration and have me scout inspired locations for their events, not just birthdays. Turning an out of the ordinary space into a remarkable gathering place is how I integrate thoughtfulness into celebration.  Consider your day-to-day interests or areas of activism.  I partnered with the incredible Tomchai Shabbos for a particular dkkevents party, at which guests packed food with a local shelter, and then anonymously dropped off these presents to needy families; a trapeze lesson and pizza followed.

With many organizations already supporting ways for humans (and animals) to live a happy and healthy life, inspiration for an ‘alt’ event is endless!  My most memorable birthdays were thanks to the company they brought together.  Extraordinary gifts add to the excitement, but believe it or not, these gifts are extraordinary because they are given to someone else…

  • birthdays: http://www.birthdaycelebrations.net/traditions.htm

  • Alt Mother’s Day: http://www.altmothersday.org/

  • Tomchai Shabbos: http://tomcheishabbos.org/

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