Karen Koren: Happy birthday dear me, happy birthday to me

Birthdays come round every year and it is always a dilemma to know how to celebrate.

Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 9:00 am
It's always a dilemma to know how to celebrate your birthday

There was a time where I would go out and party with lots of friends, not so much now. Many people prefer to ignore their birthdays and pretend they are not a year older - that’s difficult these days with Facebook.

It was not so long ago when birthday cards coming through the post was the way to get birthday greetings from friends. It’s still done, but not to the extent it used to be. Facebook greetings are the norm these days and I appreciate how many friends and acquaintances contact me on the day.

I had my birthday yesterday and I was very spoilt by my staff who took me out to lunch, also by my daughter who took me to the cinema to see the wonderful musical La La Land at the Dominion in Morningside, where we could relax in the very comfortable armchairs and just enjoy a very entertaining Hollywood movie.

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We then went out for dinner with close friends. It was a great way to spend my birthday.

This was in contrast to the 60th birthday celebration I went to on Saturday night, when there was a formal dinner at the National Museum of Scotland with a piper on arrival, champagne, canapes and a scrumptious three-course meal, speeches, videos and photographic memories.

It is worth celebrating significant birthdays as milestones of survival of growing up and growing older. I celebrated my 50th and 60th at weekend house parties with friends and family, where we had lots of activities, a treasure hunt for the kids, a big dinner, ceilidh and disco, something for everyone to enjoy.

It creates wonderful memories and I look back with fondness of all the people who made the effort to come to these celebrations.

It’s a few years yet until I celebrate another big number, but when I do I will make sure that I organize something special with lots of old friends.

Whether you celebrate your birthday or not, it’s important not to ignore another year of life.

Let’s face it, life is short and living life to the max is the best option.

n Karen Koren is artistic director of the Gilded Balloon