5 Secrets for Planning Awesome and Stress Free Birthday Celebrations

While it could be argued that the only births that should be celebrated end in the numeral "0," people annually insist on having birthday celebrations anyway. While that's good news for the makers of cards, cakes and pointed hats, you can loop some other companies into the mix by following these five easy steps to birthday celebration nirvana. And here's the kicker: They do not require any of that stress that doctors keep suggesting is not good for us.

1. Let them eat pie – a pizza pie cake, that is

The guests at your birthday celebration will hail you as the coolest of cool party planners when you dish up a cake that looks like a pizza. It's simple to create: Just bake a round cake in the flavor of the celebrant's choice, and then decorate it like a pizza. You can used colored frosting and candy to replicate the pizza elements – red frosting for the tomato sauce, white frosting spread about on top of the red to look like cheese, and colored candies to represent pepperoni or olives or whatever. Be sure to take a picture before everyone digs in, so your friends will be jealous.

2. I'll have a "Bubba Light," please

For about a buck per birthday celebration attendee, you can order online personalized beverage bottle labels. The businesses typically ask you to send a favorite photo, along with some notes about the birthday boy or girl, and in a few days you have a bevy of labels to stick on the bevy of bottles of juice or water you purchased for the party. You might want to retain one as a keepsake from the occasion.

3. Say good knight, Gracie

There's something to say about venues that do the heavy lifting. And places that take you back in time, collectively, are particularly entertaining. Think Middle Ages. Think jousting tournaments. Think turkey legs. Think "BEST BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION EVER!"

4. The book is always better than the movie

Invite your guests to create their own "Birthday Celebration" books. You give each one a folded sheet of paper and some colorful writing utensils, and have them use their four-page "books" to chronicle in words or pictures what the birthday celebrant means to them. He or she then has a keepsake that will always make this party special.

5. Story time

This activity is absolutely free – and fun: Rally the soldiers in a circle and read a story of about 25-50 words into the ear of one of the people at the birthday celebration. It can be about anything – if the party has a theme, make something up about the theme. Then tell the first player to whisper what you said to the second, the second to the third, and so on. When the final player hears the story, ask him / her to repeat it aloud. Then read the original. Trust us on this one: The original story will get more plot twists than a great novel by the time it has made the rounds.

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