A couple of years ago, Our family was invited to a birthday party for a little girl at D'arcy's daycare. You know, just a little backyard party for a two year old complete with a full barbeque meal for 40 people, a mini wedding like cake, a cartoonist, a bounce house, and a second smaller bounce house. Oh, and did I mention, there was an appearance from Dora the Explorer who led the children on an an adventure through the backyard using the maps provided to them in their "backpacks". After the kids gave Dora a hug to say goodbye, they proceeded to beat a Dora pinata until she split in half and spilled candy all over the ground.
So here's my question, must parents spend $50, $100 or $100+ dollars on a kid's birthday in order to make it special? Must a child have a birthday party for friends every year? When D'arcy's second birthday came around, I felt the pressure of doing just that, but I knew that this wasn't going to work for me. I wanted to find traditions that meant something to me and to my children, traditions I wouldn't dread.
I know one family who has large birthday parties for their children every five years. I know one family who greets every birthday girl/boy with breakfast in bed. Here is what I came up with. Every year, the birthday boy/girl gets to pick the birthday cake of their choice and help me make it. Every year, we take birthday photos (a 30 minute photo shoot of just them). Every year, I make a dinner they love. So we have dinner as a family, eat our cake, open a few presents from family, thank God for our little blessing, and tell the birthday boy/girl what we love about them. Simple, I know. We've accomplished the most important things, though, celebrating their life, making them feel loved and special, and instilling in them that birthdays can have a deeper meaning than presents.
We can still throw a friendly birthday party if I feel capable, but I'm not obligated to do this every year. So my tip for Tuesday is to get creative with your birthday traditions. Find sincere and fun (not dreaded) ways of celebrating the life of your little one.