If you didn’t already know, my dad is a twin. Him and his brother celebrated their 60th birthday on Wednesday October 16th! According to Japanese belief, there are certain years that are “unlucky years” for men and women. On those years you have a celebration. It seems a little odd to celebrate on an “unlucky year”; you would think you would celebrate right after you survive that year. At any rate, 40 and 60 are unlucky years for men. We had a party for them when they were 40 and I didn’t want to break tradition so I planned one for their 60th too! BUT.. How do you plan a surprise party for two men who hate parties?!
OPERATION: Ultimate surprise party for non party lovers!
- Choose a venue that can hold at least 16~20 people
- Pick the menu because I am hosting the party
- Choose favors – this is a party after all!
- Choose decor – this is a party after all!
- Figure out how to get them there without questioning it
1. Venue – With the help of my sister, we decided to have the party at Shokudo Japanese Restaurant & Bar. It has a great atmosphere, a small private room (which ended up being a small obstacle to overcome – more details in a bit), great food and drinks and friendly staff. Now about the room.. my sister had her wedding rehearsal dinner in their private room, which I thought would work perfect for our party. Unfortunately, when I inquired, they had just renovated the room and somehow it became smaller and only fit at most 14 people! Gah!!!! Now the decision to stick with Shokudo or find a different location. I decided to keep the party there since they were very accommodating and said we could take the upper tier level of the restaurant. Although it is not private, which I’m sure the birthday boys would have preferred, it was still semi private so I figured a little embarrassment won’t hurt! Executive decision made: Shokudo it is!
2. Menu – The menu was probably the hardest decision – picking the largest dishes with the best price, picking enough dishes to feed everyone and making sure there is a little something for everyone – what a task! Then the question is do we host the drinks too because that can get expensive if you drink like a fish, which the birthday boys do (probably where I get it from). Finally after much debate and contemplation, we fixed the menu and decided to cover all the birthday boys drinks! If people wanted to order drinks and/or food outside of our menu, it would be at their own cost.
3. Favors – Right off the bat, I knew I was delegating this task to my cousin, Kristi, who is my dads brothers oldest daughter. She is so talented at baking cupcakes, brownies, cookies, cakes you name it! For a baker, she surprisingly does not like chocolate. Her and my other cousin (her younger sister) stayed up late the night before finishing them and let me tell you, they came out perfect!
4. Decor – Well, typically you would dress a party up with balloons, streamers and all kinds of other colorful things. In addition, for these types of parties, you would dress the guy up in a red vest and red hat. This would definitely not fly, but I still wanted something small so we could take photos. A little embarrassment on such a big year is a must, right! I ended up making a simple DIY chef hat out of red tissue paper and my sister bought them leis!
5. How to surprise them – The biggest question was – how do we get them to the restaurant? Moms bright idea was to use my cousin who lives in San Francisco as the bait. The last time he visited we all got together for dinner, so this was the perfect idea. Aunty called both my dad and uncle to let them know Clinton was in town and that we would be getting together for dinner. Uncle was even talking to Kristi about Clinton right before leaving because they were excited to see him. Well…. they were in for a BIG surprise!
We entered the restaurant and they there was a little commotion of where to sit. We told uncle and dad to sit next to each other. They saw the two red hats as they got in their seats and still didn’t think anything. I was trying to think how to say “surprise” but that wasn’t needed since the server came up and said, “I hear we’re celebrating two birthdays!” Surprise surprise!!!! They looked around thinking this can’t be and at that moment we all knew they wanted to kill us hahaha! So we put on their red hats for a little more embarrassment. After that they had their food and beers, at least 3 pitchers, and calmed down. Need-less-to-say, they were shocked and really had no clue, but I think they had a great time. I shall deem this party as a *SUCCESS*
Happy 60th Al & Mel!
Cheers to many more birthdays to come~
I seriously should think about becoming a planner …. dun dun dun …