Oct 19, 2012

Birthday Traditions!

Welcome to this week's Friday's Five Favorites! 

I LOVE birthdays! When I was a kid my mom made sure our birthdays were a day full of fun and excitement.  She planned themed parties with homemade pinatas, games and a special homemade cake that went with the theme.  I always loved every minute of it and it always made me feel very important.  Now, that I'm a mom I also want my kids to feel that they are special on their birthdays.  At the same time I long for simplicity (or maybe I'm lazy) so I've tried to keep the balance between making birthdays special yet simple.  Here are our family's five favorite birthday traditions.

1. Balloons!

The night before the child's birthday we fill their room up with balloons.  This only costs a few dollars and some hot air, which my husband has plenty of. :)  Since he usually doesn't do much with the cake and hates wrapping presents the balloons are his job.  The next morning the special kid wakes up to their room full of fun.  It always makes for a great morning for the whole family.  To see more pictures and details on this fun tradition go here.

2. Birthday Book!
I love scrapbooks but I'm not on top of it enough to do a scrapbook for each of my kids, documenting their whole lives.  When my oldest was a baby I decided I would do a ABC Baby Book for each of my babies and then a family scrapbook, which mainly includes holidays and special vacations.  Then when my son had his first birthday I decided I had to add one more book.  I keep their birthday book very basic but something that is all about them.  Each year around their birthday I update their book with just a few pages. 

It includes a simple collage showing my favorite picture from each month during the last year.  It's so fun to watch them grow.

 I do a simple page showing their birthday celebrations.

An interview page.

 This book is also where I store the 8x10 photos I have of them that go on the wall after they get outdated.

And last but not least a I slip in a special letter to that child, one from me and one from their daddy. We keep the letter fairly short but tell them some of our favorite memories of them from the year and how much we love them. This doesn't mean much to them now but I know it will someday

3. Hunt for Presents!
This tradition is extremely easy but such a big hit with the kiddos.  We take the presents that family and friends have sent ahead of time and then the few we get them and hide them in the house.  We then make a very simple scavenger hunt and make them find their presents. 
 After all the presents are collected they can open them.  They LOVE it!

4. Food!
It seems as human beings we can't have a celebration without food.  In our house on someones birthday they get to plan the menu.  I ask them ahead of time what they want for their birthday breakfast and dinner.  They also get to eat off the special birthday plate that just joined our family this year. We often add candles to the breakfast and sing happy birthday to them in the morning. 

Of course it wouldn't be a birthday without cake.  Whether we have a friend birthday party or not I make the birthday cake.  I let the child pick what they want and I do my best to create it.  Thank goodness for the Internet!

5. Party Time!
My mom spoiled us by doing a big birthday party every year when we were young enough to want it.  My husband did not grow up that way and thought it a little too much.  We compromised by doing a friend party every other year.  I did a party for my son when he was three but I think that was a little young.  We have decided to start friend parties at age four from now on.  Last year Jaxson had a bug party with a few of his buddies and we all had a blast.

For more on his bug party you can go here.

On the years that we don't do a party we decided to make their birthday memorable for them by having them do thoughtful things for other people.  This was our first year doing it and it turned out to be awesome, even Jaxson thought it was great.  Since he was turning 5 we had him pick five nice things do to for someone else (with a little help from us.)
We ended up doing things like taking candy to our local firefighters.

And taking cookies, candy or flowers to other people that Jaxson chose.  He was so excited about it and loved every minute.  I love our new tradition!  I would also love to hear about your families birthdays traditions.



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