Leave it to me.
My sister can't keep a secret. A few weeks ago, we were out shopping and she kept mentioning that I had plans for December 12th. Eventually, it became too much for her to hold in and she spilled the beans. Apparently, she thought the big 4-0 was a big deal and she had gotten phone numbers of my friends and was planning a surprise birthday dinner, including inviting our mother and my mother-in-law.
In my defense, I've never made a huge deal over my birthday. And the closer I get to a hundred, the less of a deal I want to make of it. So I told her this and after much hashing back and forth, she decided we would just have a family get together.
Two weeks later, I told her that I didn't want to make my MIL and her mother drive down here for a few hours for an event that wasn't a big deal to me anyway. Not to mention, my sister planned for us to get massages and the in-laws don't like massages. So now the BIG party is down to my little family, my sister, nephew and our mother.
For the massages, I recommend a girl I know who is a massage therapist and that I've seen for over a year. With my neck and lower back problems, I just don't trust the ones in the salons. Turns out the girl I use is not available that weekend and suggests her assistant. As if.
So now, we are down to a tiny family party and no massages. We are all heading up to my mothers the weekend after my birthday for our Christmas celebration, so I convince my sister that having Mom drive all the way down here by herself doesn't make sense since we'll be seeing her the next weekend.
Now there is no party. Just the way I like it.