As soon as our first started approaching the one year mark, my husband and I started talking about how our family would celebrate birthdays. We wanted to meld our favorite parts of celebrating from childhood and add our own family spin to the day. Not only would be it be a day to celebrate being one year older, but also a day to celebrate the unique personality and blessing that this kiddo has brought to our family!
Here’s what we do to celebrate (and what we plan to do as our kids get older):
Balloons in Bedroom
This was a huge hit with our one year old. After he fell asleep the night before, we filled his room with balloons that we blew up. I woke up to hear him gasping and clapping – so cute! He played with the balloons and carried them all over the house for the next few days.
Breakfast with Dad
This is something that my dad did with me every year and a tradition we decided to continue in our family. This is a time for Dad and child to have some one on one time together to have fun and just talk about life with no interruptions. It’s also special because it gives Dad a chance to talk about how they have seen their child grow and improve in the last year. I still remember some of the conversations I had with my dad on my birthday every year. Just hearing him affirm the women I was becoming spoke volumes to me.
This is something many of my friends have done that I borrowed from them. On the day Parker was born, I started a journal of birthdays. Every year I pull it out on his birthday and just write down everything we have done the last year, memories that stand out, ways I have seen him grow, character traits he has exemplified and how much of a blessing he is to our family.
Spider Web Race*
We don’t have anyone old enough for this yet, but I think it’s a great idea. Once the birthday boy/girl goes to sleep, tie a string or yarn to something in their room. Have it run all through the house with little notes attached to it all along the way of reason why you love your child. Have it end at birthday presents! If your child is older and up for the challenge, run multiple strings through the house and make it more like a spider web challenge.
Growing up, we got to pick one thing that cost money to do as a family on our birthday. The choice is totally up to the birthday boy/girl! It’s fun to give your child the freedom for one day to pick some activity that would be too expensive otherwise. This year, we took Parker to the Gentle Zoo in Forney because he loves animals. You can see the sheer joy he got from watching the chickens!
This is something my family still does every year and it is the highlight of all of our birthdays. At our birthday dinner after everyone is finished eating, we all go around the table, one by one, and say something we love about the birthday boy/girl. It can’t be something selfish or superficial (for example you can’t say: I love you because you let me play with your toys. Rather say: I love because of your servants heart and desire to make others feel loved. This gets kids focused on the birthday boy/girl, rather than themselves), but rather something that speaks to the person’s character or heart. We all interact with our siblings every day, but once a year it is nice to hear them intentionally say why they love us.
There are so many ways to make birthday’s special, what does your family do?
*The Spider Web Race was taken from Making Ordinary Days Extraordinary! by Gloria Gaither and Shirley Dobson. They have no idea who I am or that I wrote this post, I just think their little book is amazing!