The little sparkles of Dad’s 70th birthday

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I enjoy the preparation and planning of celebrations, big or small. To me life is not about the big, brash displays but events created with love and effort. Today is my dad’s 70th birthday and part of the fun for me was being able to be at his house this morning to start the day with some sparkle. We were able to travel up to my parents’ last night as by some fantastic fluke the children had an Inset day at school today, such perfect timing.

Since we’ve had the children, I love the magic of the night before a birthday, decorating the kitchen table with balloons, bunting and cards and presents. Today was no different, although I had to wake early this morning to decorate as Dad would have spotted the surprise last night as he locked up. Along with the 70th balloons and banners, I had prepared photo table decorations. I colour copied a variety of photos, laminated them and then stuck them to coloured straws and displayed them in glasses. It’s something simple which brings back happy memories and is also a way of remembering those whom we loved. My dad could recall the details of all the photos this morning and told us his memories of the days, some of the stories I hadn’t heard before and it was lovely to hear the history of our family.

Normally I like to make a cake, especially for my dad who has always been a keen recipient of my bakes but I knew it was going to be a really busy week and I wasn’t sure when I would be able to fit in the baking and decorating. Instead I tried a photo cake, I chose a photo of my dad driving a tram, that’s his passion in life and was taken on a recent holiday with his tram society, and wrote a greeting, princie is a family nickname. The cake was delicious and an acceptable alternative to a homemade cake. We’ll be back visiting at half term and I’m sure I’ll take a homemade treat for dad then.

In addition to the decorations,music is important to me, I like a soundtrack to the important events in life, so I had also made a playlist for this morning. As my dad came into the kitchen, Congratulations was played and then over the cards and presents and a lazy, family breakfast we played the number 1 hits from his birthday over the decades, there were some cracking tunes in the list and I might have had a little dance in the kitchen.

Whilst a birthday is for cards and gifts, my dad is a really difficult person to buy for, he is not one for presents, he prefers treats which cannot be bought, for example time with his family. However at a birthday it’s nice to have something to open, so I had bought a Grandad’s special treat box filled with his favourite sweet treats from the children and a clock from Mr S and I, which I chose in a local art gallery to fit in with the style and decor of his study.

I really enjoyed our relaxed, family morning with my little family and parents and I hoped that my dad appreciated the little extras to make his 70th birthday sparkle.

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