Do or don’t: Surprise parties

My darlings, I have a question: Have you ever had (or thrown) a surprise party? My mom’s 60th birthday is next year, and I’m trying to figure out whether we should throw a surprise party or tell her the fun plans ahead of time. Personally, I wonder if surprises are overrated; I like having months of giddy anticipation before an event, and I think walking into an unexpected party might feel surreal. But am I nuts? Would it be totally amazing? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!
P.S. My mom is on vacation right now so she won’t read this post! :)
(Top photo by Sharon Montrose; bottom photo unknown)

  1. I’m throwing a 80th birthday party for my dad next weekend. Gave my parents a surprise 50th wedding anniversary party a few years ago… my dad was in a daze the whole afternoon. He probably will be this time too. I still think surprise parties are great! The couple I’ve received both made me feel very special and loved.

    The worst thing ever is anticipating having a surprise party being thrown for you and then it not happening. I hope everyone gets at least one surprise party in their lifetime.

  2. we did a party for my dad’s 60th birthday and he did not knew anything about it until the end.
    we also asked all the participants to bring a bottle(s) of wine which they’s have to personalize.. and this was absolutely the best idea we could have.. all his friends and family were just so great and had so nice ideas!!
    he loved it, go for it.
    (i know i am answering quite late but i just saw this post!)

  3. I have always wanted a surprise party to be thrown for me. As a child, for about a month each side of my birthday, every time I came home I half expected everyone I knew to be hiding behind the sofa.

    We threw a huge surprise party for my dad’s 50th, which it turns out he knew about. Mum says she knew he knew because when he got up that morning he made the bed for the first time in thirty years.

  4. Anonymous says...

    When I turned 16, I was surprised to receive an invitation in the mail… to my own birthday party! My mom struck the perfect in between – I knew that a party was being thrown for me, but all of the details were still a surprise!

  5. I feel like throwing surprise parties are the most fun for the people who are doing the throwing – they get to plan, anticipate, see the reaction. I have fun throwing surprise parties, but I do not like them thrown for me. I have had one big surprise party thrown for me and a couple of small moments that were surprises and I felt mostly uncomfortable, though still grateful. On my last birthday, my friends surprised me with a cake and expensive present at what I thought was just going to be a “friends hanging out” type get together. After they surprised me, I realized that I kept inadvertently thwarting their attempts to surprise me (asking for a ride to the party when all the party materials were in the backseat so they had to make two trips; taking up someone’s time when they were supposed to be shopping for my present, etc). When I found that out, I spent the rest of the party feeling incredibly stupid and guilty, even though I know they wouldn’t want me to and after all, I didn’t know that was happening! But I still felt that way. So anyway, I say if you are having doubts about whether your Mom would enjoy it, I would just err on the safe side and not do a surprise.

  6. i just received my first surprise birthday party in august (26, so definitely did not see it coming). i was shocked and delighted, but i was really surprised at how emotional i got! i would never have guessed, but it was one of the most touching moments of all time, to suddenly realize that everyone i love had been going to so much trouble to plan and execute (and hide) and show up to this party and to make something so special all for ME was overwhelming and makes my heart swell every time i think of it. my family also threw my dad a surprise party for his 50th. thinking back, i can tell he felt the same sense of emotion, especially for friends and family who came into town for the occasion. bottom line- i think everyone deserves to have a surprise party at some point in their life, it’s a whole new feeling of being loved! (and the anticipation can happen every other year :)

  7. Yes! I have thrown sooo many that…very time I invite my pals over…they think it might be a party for them!
    I gave my father in Law a 60th…it was sooooo much fun…His 3 children and spouses gave it. We had all of his friends give speeches…He was so excited! We held it at the Natural History Museum in Atlanta…Huge Dinosaur in the middle of the party…We made a move of his life…band…cake…gifts…A fav…I gave my sister in law a party…she thought she was going to a honduras mission dinner..she brought her own cake.
    I gave one a few months ago…I had it so secret that a few people didn’t find it! I LOVE…and no…not over rated! Go 4 it! My Aunt Turned 80 this year…we flew to Chicago for her surprise…so awesome …again…Do it!
    So fun!