Andreas turned 40- a unique birthday celebration!

Andreas Högvall, one of my colleague at ATG shared his interesting birthday story with me and I thought why not to share with you all. Life is an event and we should try to make best out of the celebrations. Andreas has celebrated his birthday with fun and engaging game revolving around his journey until 40 and not to forget there was a winner in the end (there was a tough competition among his wife and brother). The beauty was further gratified by fine and delicious Indian cuisine. It was fun to know how the guests planned the gifts using Giftwhale though he didn’t wanted any gifts – but you know what no wants to go empty hand to a birthday party- that’s the truth. Here is excerpts of my conversation with him. Just to be clear, it’s me who is asking the question and Andreas answering them.

Credit: Andreas Högvall

How you feel celebrating your 40th Birthday in 2020? Can we know little about what were the thoughts before the birthday celebration?

At first I was just going to let things slide. Not bother having anything at all. One reason would be that it was closely after Christmas and new years, so I was a bit fed up and the party light had just faded. But then people started asking if I was going to have a party, and I ended up changing my mind.
As a sidenote – being born on 1980 is mathematically perfect.

The year 2000, I was 20, in 2010; I was 30 (20+10), and finally in 2020- I am 40 (20+20). 

He mean to say he is very good at mathematics (Just kidding ? )

How you prepared the guest list for party?

I celebrated the birthday with my family and a group of friends who I´ve come to know during my life so far. Some were new friends and some had been there since I was 5 years old. I sent out an invitation on Facebook and I was amazed by how many that wanted to come. (In the beginning I almost hoped for a tiny group).

Can I know little more how you planned the game and what inspired to choose this particular game?

From the beginning when I was planning the celebration, I want it to be little different. Not just dinner with Swedish fika. I came up with the idea of having a random object for everyone – a golf ball, a law-book, a diaper bag and a construction helmet which they received after the welcome drink. But although they would seem quite random they had a connection towards a few other objects in the house. It was all part of the game and guests got engaged as soon they started to have their welcome drinks. The diaper should be with the doll and the pregnancy test. The bitcoin was supposed to be with the piggy bank and the safety box. Before the game kicked off, I instructed to make their own teams.

First Event was – a kahoot. In Kahoot they have to guess the the correct name for their group (3 or 4 letter word). Remember the gifts after welcome drink they signified the name- Golf, law, baby, bank etc. Further in Kahoot, we asked multiple questions related to life and events. My wife’s team referred as ‘baby’ was leading closely followed by the team ‘bank’. Some also made fun about my wife’s particpation in the game as she might know all the answers. But she didn’t knew anything honestly. There were some technical questions related to my wifi configuration that she didn’t knew and it was my brothers team – team Golf that ended up being the winners.
After the Kahoot we had dinner.

The Film: My other “event” of the evening was a film about me. I had made the film to portray a journey showing how I´ve come to know all of the guests, which put some pressure on me having to find footage of these people and I had something of almost everyone. The movie was much appreciated and just long enough to keep inside everyone’s attention span

The Social Frames: My last “event” was that I had prepared a couple of cardboard frames – Instagram and Facebook. The frame was prepped with a metallic clip for where the avatar picture and hashtags would be. On a whiteboard I had prepared the avatars (taken from their Instagram accounts) and each with a funny hashtag (eg. #sopaoftheyear, #dethärkommerblistökigt, #nithittarmigpågotland)

How you thought about serving Indian dinner?

My brother’s girlfriend curiosity in catering companies and once she owned her catering company too led us to Indian dishes. She promoted the idea of having an Indian dish, a stew with rice, vegetables and bread. It easy to make, does not require anything more than heating up. We got great remarks and the chef even had to hand out the recipe later to some.

What was the reaction from the guest after the part?

The guests were amazed by the amount of effort I had put in and they really liked the concept. As a host it was nice knowing that it did not go in vain.

How about the gift? You must have got so many gifts ? .

I came across a website called Giftwhale. This was to help those who find it difficulty in deciding what to buy and I emphasized that the need for presents was not really necessary but most of the guest do not want to show up empty handed. I enlisted my wishes on Giftwhale in a wide price range (stretching to a humorous 7 million SEK house ?). Giftwhale has a nice feature that you can “book” the present so that no one else buys the same object and you can post links to the specific item, making it very easy for someone to just click and buy the present. It was a fun idea – some of the guests used it and I can definitely recommend it. The only thing is that you need to keep it on a friendly level. Stating that you have a list of things that you would like, but using the list is not mandatory.

Is there anything you want to recommend to people who want to copy your birthday idea?

If you want to copy my setup – figure out something that´s unique to each guest. It will make them feel special. If you have the time to do a movie you need a lot of time finding old photos or clips of each guest. I almost had something on everyone. I started weeks before and got everything in place just a few days prior to the party.

I would like to thank Andreas for sharing his fun moments with us and wish him a very successful year ahead. Hope you liked the long reading of the fabulous birthday party and will plan your next birthday with some ideas from Andreas. Stay Safe and Stay home !