Remember all of the birthday parties your parents threw for you when you were growing up? Do you remember how much fun you had and how much you loved them for it? Well, why not return the favor and doing something for them. Even though only one will likely be the guest of honor, it's nice if you make the party special for the both of them. That's why it might be a nice idea to not only have a wonderful birthday party in mind but try making it a family reunion as well.
The first thing you should do is try and keep this from your parents, especially the one who is having the birthday. Then you need to get a hold of everyone that you are considering inviting an see if everyone can agree on a date that might work for all who are invited. You should however, try to make sure that the date is their actual birthday. If it's during the week though, this would be when you would try to make sure it's a weekend date that people can be there and celebrate with everyone.
Something that could be really helpful is if you set up a simple website that everyone can access where you can do the planning. You can also find free sites that actually allow you to plan family reunions on and they are guaranteed to be private because they will come with a password that can be given to those who are involved.
Make sure that you either have someone who wants to volunteer to take the photos or if you are going to have to hire someone to do so, because you are going to want a lot of pictures that can be shared with everyone.
You will also need to take some sort of poll on what kind of an affair it should be, if it should be a formal catered event in a rented hall or can it be done in your church social hall or can it be done in someone's home who may have enough room to accommodate all of the guests. This will all depend upon what your budget is for the birthday reunion. After you have decided where you want it, make sure that if it's not in a home that you reserve the place right after you decide on the venue so that you don't run into any problems at the last minute.
Make sure that you ask for financial help from other relatives in a manner that does not make them feel like they are being forced to contribute so that they will be more than willing to pitch in a few dollars here and there. Remember this is suppose to be a fun family time not a time for there to be problems between relatives. Some people may not be able to afford to donate anything but their time and if that's the case, graciously accept that donation.
The party doesn't necessarily have to include family members only so you need to figure that out before you plan the activities and the food. Are you going to include people from their church, their neighbors and or their close friends? The amount of people can get out of control so make sure that you set limits for yourself when it comes to invitations.
If this is a surprise party, you might want to designate someone to pretend they want to take them out for their birthday so that they can get dressed up and ready to go out so that they aren't caught off guard having a bad hair day or something of that sort. Then instead of taking them out to lunch or dinner they can be taken to the location where their party is being held, and surprise!
Make sure that any kind of vendor you may be using are reserved at least a two months ahead of time such as a florist, caterer, baker, musician and all other key people involved. Call of them about two weeks prior to the big day to make sure things are going smoothly and that everyone is ready. Try to do as much of the party prep ahead of time so that you won't find yourself running short on time and frazzled by the time they arrive for the big surprise. After all you want to enjoy the festivities as well.
Note: A nice thing to add to the party is a slide show of your parents lives put to music that has meaning to your parents. This will probably the best gift of all.