All families have special holiday traditions for Christmas, Hanukkah or Thanksgiving, but what about birthdays? We found a few families that have the coolest birthday traditions ever.
If there is one day that is extra special in the life of your child, it’s his or her birthday. From the moment he or she wakes up until the hours just a wee bit later than regular bedtime, your child is the star of the show. Sure, there’s usually cake and candles and the same old familiar song, but we wondered what other fun traditions people have for celebrating birthdays — and we got a few moms to share.
Breakfast to die for
What was your favorite breakfast as a kid? If you are one of Nichole Beaudry‘s kids, the answer will most likely be birthday morning pancakes. Beaudry uses regular pancake batter, then adds sprinkles and tops them with whipped cream (and more sprinkles, of course). “When I was a child, my mother made me feel like I was the center of the universe every year on my birthday,” she remembers. “From the moment I woke up to the moment my eyes closed for the day, she filled my day with love, tradition and joy. I have carried that into my own experience as a mother and I excitedly start my children’s birthdays with birthday pancakes, a tradition that they love!”
A special treasure
Dr. Marian C. Fritzemeier, Ed.D., shares her family tradition and how she continues it even now. “We bought our girls a ‘Growing Up’ figurine each year from 1-year-old to age 16,” she shares. “The figurine is placed next to their birthday cake. We did the same for our niece and now with our granddaughters. For our grandson, we’re purchasing the Precious Moments birthday train figurines, but not until he’s 16,” she adds. “I don’t think a teenage boy would enjoy this tradition.”
Day? Why not a month!
Kristen Brown, author or What Didn’t Kill Me, is a single mother of three who has Asperger’s syndrome. “We like to take our time in celebrating another year of life, and really enjoy the occasion to the fullest,” she shares. “We do not celebrate our birth for a day — we celebrate it over a full five weeks. Rather than wrapping gifts, we put them in secret places while the recipient is asleep. When they wake and are surprised to see the gift whenever they happen to encounter the secret place it’s been hidden. This could take just a few minutes or all day, depending,” she adds. Adding to the fun, friends are invited to some celebrations, while others are family-only events. “I’ve raised my kids to appreciate doing things that will create happy memories over having objects that will be forgotten in time,” Brown adds.
I can’t remember exactly when we started one of our birthday traditions with the kids, but as they have grown, it gets harder and harder to make it happen. The “balloon fairy” visits while the child is asleep on the night before his or her birthday, and leaves balloons all over the birthday child’s bedroom, to be discovered when he or she wakes up. The number of balloons equals the number of years old the child is turning, which is fun at 5 or 6 years of age but gets harder as they get older. And now that they are teens, the balloon fairy has a hard time sneaking into their rooms because they are rarely asleep when the fairy wants to go to bed these days.
“I have done this every year for my daughter since her first birthday,” shares Tangela Walker-Craft. “Before her first birthday I bought a small, inexpensive treasure chest from the craft store, about the size of a jewelry box. My husband stained it so that it looks like an authentic treasure chest. At a certain point during all of her birthday parties I have all of her party guests write a short message to her on a piece of paper about the size of a Post-it note,” she says. Even smaller kids can include a note, and it’s fun to watch their handwriting change over the years. “The message can be a favorite Bible scripture, a serious personal message, a favorite motto or quote and I always have the guests date the message. I collect all of the messages and keep them in the treasure chest,” she says. “My daughter and I enjoy looking over these messages annually, and it’s a nice way to reflect over the years that have passed.”
Full of thanks
“This is a small thing that goes a long way,” shares Carrie Le Chevallier, writer at Cinco De Mami. “We are a family of seven. On each of their birthdays we go around the dinner table and talk about why we are thankful that the birthday child was born,” she says. “We are an adopted family, so this tradition promotes the idea that they have an entire family that is thankful they were born, regardless of their birth story.”
Elizabeth Flora Ross is a writer at The Writer Revived and mother of one. Her daughter’s birthday falls just after the holiday season — so what better way to celebrate than a birthday tree? Ross removes the Christmas ornaments the night before her daughter’s birthday and replaces them with number ornaments for the age she is turning. She adds balloons and other decorations that fit the birthday theme her daughter is having — the most recent tree had a safari theme. “SB [her daughter] tried hard to stay awake this year to sneak a peek at her tree in process,” Ross shared on her blog. “It has become something she really looks forward to, which was exactly what I hoped for when I started the tradition.”
What special birthday traditions does your family have? Share them in the comments.
More family tradition fun
Starting your own family tradition
Establish your own Thanksgiving traditions
Monday Mom challenge: Define your family traditions