When it comes to birthdays, most offices do not have a committee or money set aside to celebrate employees’ birthdays. I believe that each person should feel special and loved on their birthday, so I created The Birthday Club for my co-workers. Every member of the Club contributes and participates in giving that special person an experience they will never forget! We never know what someone may be going through at home, what their financial situation may be, or if they even have someone to make them feel deserving of attention and praise; so for one day, they can come to work and feel like the people they work with truly care about them and that this is their special day.
Here’s how it works -
As the coordinator, I have a list of all birthdays of those wishing to participate, and one month prior to the next birthday on the list, I send out a cute little email to the Club reminding them of the next birthday on the list.
Within the next two weeks, we casually discuss ideas for a theme and food and come to a formal decision.
I then collect $5 from each member to offset decoration costs; all decorations are purchased at the Dollar Tree in order to keep costs fair and cheap so that everyone can participate.
*If the member’s birthday falls on a weekend, we usually try to have our celebration on a Friday, because the mood in the office is always upbeat due to the upcoming weekend. If the birthday falls during the week, we will celebrate on the actual day. Depending on the theme chosen, we will have a potluck style luncheon in the office, or will choose an appropriate restaurant according to the liking of the guest of honor.
After all the details have been agreed upon, an invitation is made, usually using a template from Office, and distributed stealthily to all members of the Club. The birthday theme, lunch location and style is always a surprise to the one having the birthday! We try to mix it up to keep everyone guessing.
The co-founder and I meet up after work during the next 2 weeks after the theme is set and money is gathered to choose the decor.
One week prior to the date, an email goes out to all members from the coordinator announcing an after hours decorating party on the evening prior to the actual event. We then gussy up our co-workers cube or office according to our chosen theme.
The next morning is always fun to see the look on their face when they see their Birthday surprise! Cameras are flashing and we never seem to fail in getting a great response from our guest of honor.
We have had very successful themes in the past such as:
- Hawaiian Luau
- Mardi Gras
- Winter Wonderland
- Cupcake Heaven
- Over the Hill
- Disco Diva
Gifts are not required, although some staff members choose to give gifts. We only ask that if a gift is given, it is left on the desk of the guest of honor with no pomp and pageantry involved. Not everyone can afford a gift in addition to the decoration fund dues, and the last thing we would want to do is to make anyone feel left out.
A card is purchased and signed by all members of the Club and left on the desk of the birthday guest for them to enjoy at their leisure.
We have been very successful with this practice in our office, and it is an idea I am happy to share! If you enjoy celebrating birthdays and would love to incorporate this practice in your office, this may be the blog post to help you get started planning your own special Birthday Club.
Here are some photos from a few of our latest Birthday Club events:
Start your own committee and give some love to your co-workers! It helps to build relationships within your team and makes others feel special on their special day.
Happy Birthday everyone!