THE world seems to be neatly divided into those who celebrate birthdays and life milestones in a big way and those who don’t.

There are certainly many people who relish every “special day” with a lavish party, often involving a large amount of money spent on food, drink, entertainment and trimmings.

There is, of course, absolutely nothing wrong with that and if it brightens your life/gives you a chance to treat family and friends/provides special memories then that’s great.

Unfortunately, you usually need the bank balance to go with it and must be prepared to be the centre of attention — which many people love. Reading about the birthday bashes of pop stars and other celebrities reveals that such events for them are also an opportunity to show off your wealth and turn the day into a publicity opportunity.

Hello! and all the other celebrity magazines certainly couldn’t exist without those fabulous celebrations where everyone looks gorgeous, is dressed to kill and on their worst behaviour.

Some so-called stars even organise huge parties for their tiny tots. Last year, The Only Way Is Essex and Mummy Diaries’ star Sam Faiers threw a big pink-themed bash at an Essex hotel to celebrate the first birthday of baby daughter Rosie.

This was naturally all about the adults — although Rosie seemed to like the cake and the fun — and offered plenty of media coverage for her Mummy. No doubt Rosie would probably have been happy with a big cardboard box and some balloons but, no, she had to have a conspicuously expensive party that she won’t remember but the photos will forever linger online.

Unsurprisingly, Kylie Jenner of the Kardashian family, celebrated her 21st birthday last year with a hedonistic party. Her presents included a 1950s Rolls Royce and a custom-designed Spyder to add to her car collection. Cost of the gifts alone was estimated around $100,000. Ah well, if you’ve got the money why not enjoy it?

Such over-the-top dos may seem out of place at a time when people are living on UK streets and we still need food banks but I guess that more modest birthday celebrations do give us something to look forward to and offer fun.

Personally, having my name in five feet high letters in an overly-decorated room with everyone expected to bring presents and focus on me is my worst nightmare.

I always admire the people, though, who go for something more modest and ask for charity donations instead of gifts from guests. They still enjoy themselves and have a good time but someone in need benefits.

Don’t get me wrong, I love going to other people’s birthdays and enjoy giving presents of whatever kind. It’s just that all the personal fuss makes me feel slightly uneasy.

My ideal birthday is a quiet meal out with family and friends where we can eat, chat and enjoy each other’s company. My birthday then becomes incidental and just a reason for getting together. But then I am amazingly boring!