Tradition is a favorite concept of mine. I love finding meaning in ordinary events when I consider their traditions. Birthdays are a great time to incorporate the traditions of both families (his and hers) and even to establish new traditions for your particular family unit. Birthdays are the one day of the year that a person gets to feel like a king or queen, prince or princess for a day. As loved ones, we have an obligation to make sure that the birthday boy or girl feels special. That doesn’t have to mean more presents or money spent. Birthdays are about special treatment and traditions turn normal activities into meaningful experiences.
Birthday Fairy – A birthday tradition that developed in my family is new clothes laid out at the foot of the bed when the child wakes up, delivered by the Birthday Fairy. This may be silly, but I am determined not to “spoil” my children, but I don’t mind if other people spoil a little. The Birthday Fairy started as a way for me to give my children new birthday clothes without it appearing that I am giving them too many presents. Besides, what child at 3 or 4 wants to open a present and find clothes? They love finding mysterious new clothes right when they awaken on their birthday.
Decorate the Door – I love Home Based Mom‘s birthday tradition of decorating the birthday boy or girl’s bedroom door and allowing them to jump through it after a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday.
Breakfast – I love starting the day off with a special breakfast of some sort. I usually take into consideration the birthday girl or boy’s favorites. Juggling Motherhood had an excellent post on her tradition of breakfast in bed.
Birthday “China” – I know several people that have designated birthday dishes reserved for birthdays only. If you can work out a trip to a ceramic shop, it can be made extra-special if a parent makes a plate for each child or if a child is allowed to create a custom design. Then bring these out just one day each year.
Wish Candles – A very thoughtful birthday tradition comes from Advice 4 Parenting Blog where she uses a number candle for the birthday boy or girl, but then hands each member of the family (or guest) a regular candle and allows them to place it on the cake as they offer a wish to the honoree. Then the candles are lit and blown out as usual.
Dinner – For many families, this means giving the birthday girl or boy their choice of a special dinner at home. For other families, it might mean a dinner in a favorite restaurant. Mealtimes are great for sensory enjoyment and are oftentimes moments for creating memories.
What birthday traditions do you have in you family?
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