Turning 21 is, for some reason, a big milestone in a person’s life – or at least this is what society is telling us. Personally, I think that your 21st birthday shouldn’t be any different to any other birthday but I also know that I will make a big deal out of it when my daughter turns 21 (simply to keep up the tradition). 21st birthday gifts, therefore, tend to be more extravagant or more symbolic.
Answers.com states that the giving of a key “dates from an old tradition that at 21 years old, you were considered old enough to be a key holder to your family home, and thus hold a symbolically ‘senior’ position in the family. It’s an old tradition that has long since become irrelevant and obsolete, but the symbolism of the key on the 21st birthday lives on”. So, for those of you that are more traditional then I guess the key is the way to go for 21st birthday gifts. But then for those of you that want to step off the traditional path, here are some gift ideas to inspire you.
Celestial Gift Experiences offers so many unforgettable experiences for the young at heart. Some of the experiences include a quad bike safari, horse back safari, an introduction to kite surfing, outdoor karting, lion encounters, tubing and lunch for two, an introduction to microlight flight, sand boarding, canopy tours, motorcycle school, rally hot lap and tandem paraglide flights. 21st birthday gifts by no means have to be traditional and it is always great to start you own traditions too.
If you take someone to do a tandem paraglide on their 21st birthday and you both really enjoyed it, you could end up making it an annual event (even if it’s not on a birthday). I think it is wonderful to create occasions to celebrate being alive and having survived another year, whether it’s on your birthday or not. I also feel that turning 21 years old is almost like a fresh start – you are turning over a new leaf or maybe starting a new chapter in your life’s book – so why not create new traditions as part of this ‘new beginning’.
Someone posted this question in Yahoo Answers – Where does the tradition of the celebration of one’s 21st Birthday come from? And the first reply said, “21 is when we are legally right to do what a kid cannot”. Although this doesn’t sound grammatically correct to me, it does sound about right. In many countries this is the age where a person can start doing many things legally (not that they would’ve been doing illegally before they were 21 years old). I guess in America 21st birthday gifts will mainly consist of alcohol (and then a hangover).
21st birthday gifts should be personal, traditional or symbolic (or all three). There are so many gift options out there, that you really can give a gift, whether it’s traditional or not, and make it just as meaningful as an enormous gold key.
Written and prepared for by Klara Loots
Connect with me on Google+ Odette Butcher