As a high school teacher, I found it beneficial (not what you're thinking...exactly) to announce my birthday beginning a few weeks prior. I usually started with "one month from today" announcements.
This past Spring I was thinking about birthdays and eventually got around to mine this year, did the math to be sure, and confirmed that i will, indeed, turn 47 in 2008 as I was born in 1961. Now, for some people the birthdays ending in zero are the significant ones. I may have great memories from my 40th b'day, but it was totally about some friends and a great, gracious surprise and not about turning 40.
Personally, I love the number 47.
Starting back 10+ years ago, a friend noted that I used the number 47 a lot as my exaggeration number. "There were 47 people in line in front of me at the post office today" or "my backpack weighs 47 pounds" or even "I'm going to eat 47 cookies right now." Like that. Once she identified this thing I do, well... I started hearing myself do it. And that was the beginning of what has become a sort of affection for the number 47.
When I went to the Magic Kingdom with some family a couple of years ago, we parked in row 47 and I had to take a picture. I've "been" number 47 at a few different places (like Crispers here in Orlando) where you place an order and they bring it to your table where you display your number so they can identify you. Sometimes I take a picture of that too.
So, for my 47th birthday I have a couple of ridiculous ideas.
First, I'd find it way too amusing if 47 different people posted a comment on this blog. I don't care if the comment simply reads "comment #15" (or whatever one it is) "from mary" (or whatever your name is, of course) "in cleveland" (but where you are). So...I'm counting on a few of you, my friends who are just strangely humored enough to do this and to recruit others to it.
Second, if you see the number 47 somewhere or something that reflects or represents the number 47 even...take a pic with your phone or something and email it to me. Consider it a cheap (but meaningful) birthday card. The new kind of homemade.
Then, if you work in Wycliffe's Orlando office (or live around these parts), I'm going to bake and decorate 47 cupcakes for the first 47 people who come by my office on my birthday (November 7...I should say that rather than making you do the math). They won't be super fancy, but they'll taste good. I suppose that's obnoxiously self-assured that I can even get 47 people to come to my office on any given day -- but for cupcakes, people do odd things.
I wonder what else I might do? 47 is just such a good number.