Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Dad's 60th Birthday Bash, ie: how to throw a party for someone who doesn't want one!

My Dad turned 60 this past Sunday, and I'd been scheming and planning a little something for my Dad for a couple of months. If you read my blog or follow me on twitter this party was one of two secret things I have been working on this spring and couldn't wait to share! (The second secret thing I will blog about later this week!) First you should know, that except for my paternal grandfather, we do not regularly celebrate birthdays in my family, we will acknowledge a birthday but rarely do we throw a party.  But my Dad turning 60 was reason to celebrate! I'll be honest and say my Dad was nervous about us throwing him a party... but I assured him if there were surprises they would be good ones.  And so I will take you on a little photographic tour of the details of a 60th birthday party!

The Table: we wanted to eat out back in my parent's garden but the rain + humidity kept us in their dining room. The table was set with my Mom's ISIS plates, matching purple linen napkins and purple glasses.

The flowers we scored at Trader Joe's the day before the party- pink peonies, white hydrangeas, and those little green accent flowers (?) and then we mixed in some white hydrangeas from the garden. The flowers cost a little over $30!!! A steal, so Hit Up Trader Joes for your future flower needs! My sister beautifully assembled them in my moms crystal vases and then popped in some silver votives.

My Dad's nicknames for us were a constant theme through out the night and so each guest was honored with a nickname place card! (mine reads "Gush")

Before dinner we served shrimp cocktail and other nibbles. For those that partake in drink- we served "The Double T" a warm, tangy, tart and bubbly drink named after my dad. For those who do not partake in such beverages we made up a pitcher of this tasty strawberry limeade

My Mom and Dad in the living room before dinner. Each guest had a name tag with nicknames given to them by my Dad over the years! (My Dad is wearing nicknames we gave him!)

The first surprise- a bespoke ISIS plate just for Dad to mark the occasion! Deborah of ISIS Ceramics is my Dad's sister, so it felt only natural to have a beautiful contribution from her classic Bespoke line.

No words could convey how touched Dad was- so a thumbs up will suffice. 

His children gather round to check out the plate.

The Bespoke ISIS plate. Complete with his plane and tail number at the top, his current house, The Barn from our childhood, he and my grandfather driving the horses, the Shore, golfers, grandchildren, dogs, music references... So much to look at and love, how could one put food on it!?

And the inscription on the back...

... a line my paternal Grandmother always said.

For our gift, we gave my Dad a photo book of 60 years of memories! I borrowed this idea from A Cup Of Jo and knew that my Dad would love it. There he is in his plane with a line from a Frank Sinatra song on the front- a reference to a music video my Uncle made for him one year.

Inside the book: my Parents during their courtship and at their wedding in '74.

Here he is with two of his grandkids opening the book. I gathered pictures from my Uncle, my siblings and spent a few weeks weeding through albums and boxes of photos and becoming oh too familiar with my scanner! My Sister added her years of photos to the mix and then assembled the collections together and printed it through her Mac. The final result was fantastic and the pages are already well loved.

My Parents with their three grandchildren.

Between Dinner and Dessert we read little toasts to my Dad sent in from his brother and my Mom's brother. We also read "Tom-isms" a list of oh too familiar sayings we grew up hearing! "I thank you all for a very nice day... I'm going to bed." AND "I don't work for the electric company!"

My twin brother finished off the evening with some classic bagpipe songs including Amazing Grace. Not a dry eye in the place!

The Menu: (my Mom offered to help us kids out by having two ladies serve and clean up. Even though we cooked all day, having servers really made the dinner feel like a special party! I recommend it!)

Shrimp cocktail

Beef Tenderloin
Potato Au Gratin
Cucumber Salad
Roasted Vegetables- String beans, Asparagus, and Fennel

Cherry Pie - with pouring cream or ice cream
Strawberry Pie (with a whip cream top)

It was a great night had by all. My Dad enjoyed his party so much, he thinks we have started a new tradition. Oh dear, what will we do next year?

1 comment:

leah said...

Congratulations to the birthday man, and to you all for your work, love and ingenuity in putting together the celebration.


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