One of the most frequent keyword phrases leading searchers to my blog includes the words "40th birthday"; googlers land on my "Fabulous 40th Birthday Gift" post, and truly, if you're looking for a memorable, meaningful gift, it's something you should consider (it doesn't have to be a 40th gift, it could be ANY milestone birthday or even wedding anniversaries).
My husband falls into the camp of "hates surprises"; while, normally I respect his wishes, for his 40th birthday, I decided a surprise party was just what he needed (by "he needed" what I really mean is "what I wanted"). Pulling off a surprise party is always a bit tricky, but this is how I managed it:
The cover story was friends invited us over for a quiet dinner to mark the occasion (not to do "anything" would've been even more suspicious). Because my husband is a snooper and a sniffer (he'll lift the pot lids to see what's simmering), Theresa actually had bullion boiling on the stove to give the illusion of something cooking; I can't remember now, but she also had "fake food" in the oven. The real stash–a spread I had snuck and spent two days preparing in our church's kitchen–was hidden out of sight.
After what seemed FOREVER, it was time for "dinner"; about that time (and on cue), the front doorbell rang. In walked a motley crew of party hat-wearing, noise maker-blowing, balloon-carrying well wishers.
And yes, he was surprised :). Later, he even admitted he was a bit disappointed a few more couples hadn't been there when we arrived to join us for "dinner", confirmation the party–reverse or otherwise–was a good idea after all.
I don't have photos from the actual party, but I've included some scans of his "40th Birthday Book" that weren't included with the pages published on my previous post.