Turning 100 is a momentous occasion. Less than 2% of the US population has turned 100. Planning a birthday celebration for any centennial requires sensitivity. It is very possible that they are fragile and have mobility problems. The location of the party must take this into account.
Step 1. Discuss the party with the birthday celebrant. NEVER THROW A SURPRISE PARTY for someone this age. Together, create a guest list of friends and family.
Step 2. Know everything you can about the birthday celebrant. If you are in a wheelchair or have health problems, host the party at home. If you live in a nursing home, please coordinate with the administrator for this very special event. You need to know all the allergies and limitations. For example, if you can’t hear, don’t spend money on music.
Step 3. Plan the meal. There may be rules to follow if you live in a nursing home. If you can host the party in a private home, consider hiring a caterer. An alternative is to ask friends to bring a plate. The hostess only provides the birthday cake and drinks.
Use the dining room table with your finest linens and china for a smaller group. Many centenarians especially like their possessions and will have fond memories at the dining room table with its beautiful china and silver.
Buffets will be difficult for older people. If there is a large group of guests, place the food on a buffet or dining table, but have helpers serve seated seniors, especially the birthday girl.
Step 4. Be sure to have a non-alcoholic punch or soda as the celebrant or older guests may need to avoid mixing alcohol with medications.
Step 5. Bake your favorite birthday cake. Top it with letter candles that say HAPPY BIRTHDAY or place three large 1-0-0 candles on the cake. Western tradition allows you to put 100 small candles on the cake, but you probably can’t blow them all out and this will make you feel bad.
Step 6. The entertainment must be appropriate for the elderly. The boys’ choir is a favorite. A violinist or pianist could provide background music as well as a set program.
Step 7. Consider hiring a photographer or videographer. All family members will appreciate copies of these keepsakes.
Step 8. Decorations make any place festive. Party Supplies – Garden banners, balloons, and signs can be purchased at your favorite party store or online.
Don’t forget the flowers for the centerpieces and the corsage or boutonniere for the gentleman.
Step 9. Get dressed. Work with the birthday celebrant on the outfit for the day. Make sure you have a current haircut or hairstyle. Fix the ladies makeup and choose a great outfit. Buy a tiara for the birthday girl. Party supply places have fun spots with the number 100 prominently displayed. A fun hat for a birthday boy sets the party mood. They want to look and feel good for this special day.
Step 10. Gifts. Happy Birthday from Today and Willard Scott can be obtained by sending a request with a photo to: Willard Scott Birthdays, TODAY Show, NBC News, 4001 Nebraska Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016. NBC requests that this information be in your hands 6 weeks before the recipient’s birthday. They can’t list everyone on the air, but it doesn’t hurt to submit a request.
Get a governor’s list of birthday celebrators, U.S. senators and representatives, and your city’s mayor. Write them down with the details of centenarians approaching birthdays and ask them to send you a congratulatory letter. Most politicians have staff who deal with these matters.
Contact the local newspaper and the church where the birthday girl or boy is a member. They will print it in the newspaper or in the church bulletin. Be sure to say that the birthday will be celebrated with a small private family gathering. This way, you won’t have partiers.
A favorite gift is a digital photo frame with family photos. Collect all the photos, add music, and set it up as a continuous slideshow. It’s a wonderful way to remind centenarians of their extended family. If you have access to photos from your past, please include them as well.
Enjoy this special party! You will make this person very happy on their birthday.
Sample letter to the mayor requesting a congratulatory letter for the centenary
Dated 6 weeks before birthday
Mayor John Doe
City Hall Suite 100
City, St, Zip
Dear Mr. Mayor
I am honored to host a birthday party for one of the newest centenarians in your city. Ms. Jane Brown Smith has lived in her beautiful city practically her entire life. She worked with her husband on their three businesses while raising their two children. She has been active in her church, church name and civic organizations, Kiwanis Club, Rotary, and Boy Scouts. List the awards or recognitions you have received.
Ms. Smith will be 100 years old on April 17 and it would mean a lot to her to receive a letter of congratulations from you, Mr. Mayor. Send your letter close to your birthday to:
Ms. Jane brown smith
123 ABC Street
City, St, Zip
Thank you in advance for making her 100th birthday special.
very truly yours
Ms. Smith-Jones, daughter