Let’s talk birthdays, Mama.
I used to do it all. The big celebration for each child. A themed party, complete with food, games, activities or art, and of course, goodie bags.
Those were fun years…and my kids still talk about some of their favorite parties: the Ninja Warrior one, the Painting Canvas one, the Olympics one, the Lego one, the Musical Instruments one.
Lately though, we’ve scaled back. And you know what? My kids are just as happy with the simple celebration that we’ve continued, year in and year out since they were tiny.
On their birthday, the birthday child:
◦ ~Picks a simple Birthday Breakfast (usually muffins or coffee cake)
◦ ~Picks the Birthday Dinner (they’ve requested everything from shrimp & lobster on the grill to pancakes and even grilled cheese)
◦ ~Picks the Birthday Dessert (a homemade cake, pie or even sundaes with favorite toppings)
◦ ~Receives a few simple gifts from Mom & Dad and their siblings
◦ ~Has the wall behind the kitchen table “decorated” with birthday coloring pages colored by their siblings
◦ Siblings pitch in and do the birthday child’s chores (obviously, the littlest don’t have many chores, but the older ones LOVE this)
◦ Read “The Birthday Book”, a book about birthdays that we’ve had for years and that Dad reads aloud at bedtime on the night of the child’s birthday
Party or no, we’ve done this for all our kids’ birthdays since they were toddlers. Kids thrive on routine, and our kids eagerly anticipate their birthday and celebrating it as a family together. It’s not a huge celebration—but it’s ENOUGH, and they truly love every part of their special day. They talk about celebrating birthdays together when they’re grown up, and how they’ll cook favorite meals for each other.
Will I ever host a big birthday party again? I’m sure at some point I will. But definitely not every year—our kids are more than content with our simple celebration that centers on them (and it’s easier for Mama too).
All this to say…whatever you do for your kids’ birthdays is enough…don’t let the ‘Gram fool you into believing that you have to blow your budget or do something over the top to show your love. It’s the quiet, consistent rhythms and routines that you build, day to day and year to year that your kids will remember—whether it’s waking them up a certain way on their birthday, or that special ice cream place you take them to every year.
How do you celebrate your kids’ birthdays?