We have many reasons for wishing to keep our birthday celebrations simple and inexpensive, while making them special for our children. Keeping in mind that time and tradition is more important and says, “I love you” more than lavishing money and things on our children, here are some things that we do to celebrate each birthday in our home.
We celebrate their history.
Each year on their birthday, Mark and I work together to tell them the special story about the day that they were born, the events surrounding it and our joy at meeting them for the first time. When we are done all of the children that are old enough to remember the experience, tell about the first time they saw and held their new sibling and their joy at meeting this wonderful little person that God brought into our family.
Another thing that we do is we watch the clock all day long and when their actual birth time rolls around we celebrate with with singing, hugs and kisses and congratulate the child for actually being their new age.
We express often and openly how grateful we are to God for giving this child to us for the amount of time that He has. (Of course we do that throughout the year, but we give it a special focus on their birthday.)
We celebrate the day.
If you live in our house we will wake you up on your birthday morning by coming into your room singing a rousing version of “Happy Birthday to You”.
We sing “Happy Birthday” a lot on the kid’s birthdays. At any point in the day, anyone may start singing and everyone just joins in. Of course it has to end with more hugs.
At different times during the day the grandparents call, sing to the birthday child and give them their love.
We celebrate them.
Each child gets to plan the whole dinner (and sometimes breakfast and lunch menu) on their birthday. We’ve had elaborate dinners like Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops or a completely made from scratch (including the pasta) Italian feast to more kid-like choices like homemade pizza or hot dogs. Sometimes the choices are odd (like mashed potatoes with spaghetti and meatballs), but we always enjoy a special meal of our child’s favorite foods.
As each birthday rolls around I try to get the camera and head outdoors (or to someplace with natural lighting) to get some nice portraits of the birthday kid.
We typically choose one special gift for each child’s birthday. Siblings also enjoy making or purchasing gifts for each other.
We let our children choose what type of birthday cake that they want. A favorite option is decorating it themselves.
We celebrate their future.
Before cake Mark prays a special birthday prayer, asking God to guide and direct this child and that our child would grow to be a mighty servant of Him.
We use this day as a time to focus on and pray about what God has planned for their future.
We make it theirs.
Despite having birthdays every week for four weeks in August/September and then another group of birthdays in January and February, we’ve never combined birthdays. We always give each child their own celebration. I know a lot of people combine birthdays with great success, but for our family individual birthday celebrations rule.
You may also enjoy simple, frugal birthday cakes.
I’d love to hear about your special, frugal birthday celebrations. I’m always up for new ideas.
4 Moms, 35 Kids Live Blogging Event, Thursday, March 18. All four moms will live blog throughout the day about what really happens in a homeschooled, houseful. Coming tomorrow so don’t miss it and check back for often for live updates.