Crafts with a grown-up twist

A friend of mine just turned 40. I’m the type of person who, whenever possible, likes to give birthday gifts that are tied to a person’s age. For example, every one of my daughters’ friends gets a Magic 8 Ball when they turn 8. Pink princess color, if available, but otherwise the classic black one. Because really, it doesn’t make sense to give them one at age 7 or 9 or 15.

By that reasoning, my friend–who likes to imbibe as much as anyone I know–seemed like a prime candidate for a 40 ounce beer on his 40th birthday. Again, it wouldn’t make sense at age 38 or 41, but for the big 4-oh, what better way to embrace it than with a cold bottle of Magnum?

So I went to my neighborhood liquor store on his way to his party, picked out his “present” and insisted they put it in a paper bag. I’m not sure why, but I’ve never really seen a bottle that size without the bag over it. It just looks funny, like a dog wearing a sweater.

So with the 40 now encased in brown paper, I started off toward the party. And then an inspiration hit me: why not personalize the bag? Adding the name of the recipient, along with his age, will help to remind everyone of why he’s drinking out of a paper bag in the first place. So after a stop at the store to pick up some glittery stickers (can’t have too much bling, you know) and a few minutes’ effort, he had a bag to call his own. What could be better than that?

To his credit, my friend drank from the bag all night long. And people got a good laugh when they saw it too, which is always good. So when you have a friend approaching this milestone in life, go ahead and have some fun with it.

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