One of my favorite things to do is celebrate other people. I love to dance with them when their life plays sweet, sweet music; and allow them to make a big deal of things the world tells them to be humble about.
One of those “big deal” things is definitely a birthday.
I’ve tried searching high, low, and eBay for the perfect gifts, but they never seem to leave a lasting impact. After all, they’re just things.
A few years back, I started a birthday tradition. My best friend was turning 13 years old. To celebrate, she had to name 12 of the best things that happened when she was 12. She wasn’t officially 13 until she had completed the assignment. I was afraid she might find this gift less than party-worthy, but she loved it. She immediately delved into the highlights, lessons, accomplishments, laughter, and conversations that made her year great (she was a cool 12-year-old!). Since watching her eyes light up that day, I’ve held this tradition with anyone who will spend time with me around his or her birthday. And he or she always loves it!
It’s an introspective way to truly commemorate what we’ve gone through. It’s a way to stop before plunging into something new. An opportunity to say, “thanks,” as well as having the freedom to take a slow moment amidst all of life’s chaos to recognize that life can be hard, and but we are victorious.
Once my people reached our twenties and thirties, this game became a little more difficult. It’s not that we are less grateful—those numbers just feel a little daunting on the spot!
So here is a list of 40 questions to ask the birthday prince or princess.
Some quick rules:
- He or she must answer all of the questions.
- He or she may not repeat any answer.
- Start at the age the celebrated one just left behind and work your way to 1!
Feel free to tailer these questions to the person you’re celebrating—it makes it that much more special.
Birthday Victory Lap Questions!
40. New skill you learned.
39. Number of sunsets you watched.
38. Number of mountains you climbed (figuratively or literally!)
37. What is the number one (or two, or three) thing people say they appreciate about you?
36. When did you feel the most alive?
35. An excellently embarrassing moment.
34. Kindest thing someone did for you.
33. Best thing you did to take care of yourself.
32. Your most daring choice this year.
31. A moment that you’ve captured in your memory forever.
30. A superpower you discovered you had.
29. One good thing you realized about humanity.
28. TV, movie, or literary character who has become your best friend.
27. Deepest struggle.
26. Repeated themes of your year.
25. Best meal you ate.
24. Most memorable conversation.
23. Person who inspired you the most.
22. New place you discovered.
21. Grown up concept you now understand.
20. New lifelong friend.
19. Fear you overcame.
18. Decision with unforeseen consequences.
17. Best day.
16. The accomplishment you’re most proud of.
15. New dream you are now dreaming.
14. Story that metaphorically wrote itself on your skin.
13. Your biggest surprise.
12. Most dramatic victory.
11. One word to describe this year.
10. Lyrics that got you through.
9. Time you laughed the most.
8. Best advice you gave.
7. Best advice you were given.
6. The outfit that became your uniform.
5. A new obsession.
4. A truth you discovered.
3. Was this year what you’d thought it would be?
2. What is one thing you hope for next year?
1. What are you most thankful for?