Years ago, my husband and I decided that we wanted to change how we were celebrating birthdays and Christmas in our home. Birthdays were always fun; with a party and one or two presents from Mom and Dad, but never anything big. We tended to buy the “bigger” gifts for Christmas.
Christmas had become all about, “How many presents are under the tree for me?” and less about the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
After some thought, we decided to make a switch. Big birthdays to celebrate our kids! A day just about them, to let them know how grateful we are that they are a part of our family. Christmas would be small; just one meaningful gift from us to them.
So, how did we do this? We created some fun traditions that our kids look forward to each year.
Breakfast in Bed
Usually the week before their birthday, I find out what they’d like for breakfast. Frequently, the request is for crepes with whipped cream and berries (probably because I forget to make them the rest of the year!). But we’ve also had breakfast burritos, puffy oven pancakes with buttermilk syrup and pop tarts. I get up early and my other two children help me make and assemble breakfast on a tray, which we take to the birthday child for breakfast in bed. We serenade them with “Happy Birthday” as we enter, in our most
terrible beautiful singing voices. The rest of us, sit on the floor and join the birthday child in eating their yummy breakfast of choice!
Presents after breakfast
After the yummy breakfast, we bring in the gifts. Usually, there are about four gifts. I don’t necessarily plan to buy four gifts, it just ends up that way. I think it’s fun to open a bunch of presents and be spoiled once a year. It doesn’t always matter what’s inside. Sometimes it’s just about the opening! We try and get them things off of their amazon wish list that they keep throughout the year. I also keep a running list of gift ideas for each child in my phone. As they mention something they really want, I jot it down.
We have a rule that determines the number of party guests that can be invited. If they’re turning seven, they can invite seven kids for example. However, we cap the guest list at eight children. With my three kids and eight others, that’s more than enough for this only child (me!) to handle! I love doing a themed party with decorations, cupcakes and games. The kids really enjoy it and the games and activities keep everyone occupied. I won’t lie-this is a bit of work. It takes some planning and lots of pinterest surfing (that’s the fun part), but in the end, it’s all worth it. In the past, I’ve done a puppy party, spy party, halloween-themed party, garden party, spa party and more.
Pick Your Dinner and Cake
In addition to choosing what they have for breakfast, I let the kids pick the menu for dinner. Yes, they’re getting spoiled, but it’s only one day a year. Usually, their request is something like mac n cheese, hot dogs or burritos. Easy peasy! The odd time they want to go out for dinner, but it’s typically a request for Denny’s or Sonic, which are pretty cheap. The best part is that if we go out, I don’t have to clean up!
Then comes dessert! My favorite =) I prefer to make cupcakes, but sometimes they really want cake. This past year, K wanted a key lime cheesecake. I found a copycat cheesecake factory recipe that was to die for!
Take Lots of Photos
I know, this is a given. Sometimes though, in the midst of all the celebrating, it’s easy to forget to take pictures of the amazing day you’ve created. Not only is it great to have photos to send to relatives or get inspired for future events, but your kids will love looking back on the fun birthday memories they’ve formed from year to year.
These are just a few simple birthday traditions to your make your child’s special day one to remember, and make them feel like a king or queen for the day. I don’t know about you, but that’s all I want on my birthday! Good food, some gifts to open and relaxing time with my family. A perfect day in my book. Well, as long as chocolate is involved in there somewhere.