birthday cake

birthday cake

Next month I’m turning 30 (!), and for the past few weeks, both my husband Max and friend Angela have been asking me the same question: “What do you want to do for your birthday?” And I’ve been giving them the same response: “I don’t know. I’ll get back to you!”

I haven’t committed to party plans because I get weirdly nervous about celebrating my own birthday.

Picture this: It’s the eve of your birthday, and you’re finishing up a group day trip. You’re at a pizza restaurant, eating a pepperoni-and-mushroom slice and laughing with friends. You scan the room, and for a moment, everything feels perfect. But then a question pops into your head: “Wait. Is it weird that we’re celebrating my birthday before my actual birthday? And is everyone getting along? Cassie doesn’t know many people, is she feeling left out? Is this party over the top? Do people even want to be here? Should we do an icebreaker? IS IT HOT IN HERE?!

That’s the inner monologue that almost derailed my 24th birthday party. Since then, I’ve tried to figure out which kinds of gatherings help me feel at ease. Turns out, simplicity is key. Small dinner parties with easy meals, like spaghetti and meatballs. A bar hang with friends, talking while nursing glasses of Merlot. A games night at home, where I’m trying to guess who killed me in a round of Mafia.

I love attending and planning big events for other people, but when it comes to my own, I’m learning to say, “Good for her! Not for me.” To ring in a new decade, I’m envisioning dinner at my place with close friends. Our counter will be peppered with taper candles and salty snacks. We’ll play one or two games and end the night eating cake around our fire pit, gazing at the stars and feeling the brisk December air. But I’m curious…

How would you throw a fun yet easy birthday party? Would you recommend any themes, recipes, or overall tips? Please drop a line below, where I will be taking all the notes!

P.S. Thoughts on aging, and two birthday revelations.

(Photo from Rose & Crown.)