Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Birthday Traditions: Creating a Special Day

Do you have special memories of birthdays when you were younger? Did your whole family gather around a candle-lit cake and sing to you? Did you wrap presents and give them to what ever sibling or parent was having a birthday? I remember doing all of the above, special memories and sweet thoughts that still bring a smile to my face when I think of them.

Now that I'm the mom, and no longer the child, it's my job to make the memories extra special for my children. Gulp.

At our house we don't go all-out ever year, holding a themed birthday party complete with favors and a clown appearance. We keep it simple, but special. Here's a few practical ideas that might be easy on your budget as well.

1. Let your child pick the cake he or she wants. My five year old got a specially decorated cake complete with dump trucks and rock candy for his birthday. My two year old went for taste over decorations and got a homemade chocolate cake (do not ask how long it took me to bake the monstrosity). But regardless of how the cake ends up looking or tasting, the important thing is that you put more effort into the cake than dumping a box mix together last minute. You planned ahead. You asked your child what she wanted the week before. You saw his face light up the first time he looked at the cake. These things matter to your little ones. They will create simple memories that will stick with them.

2. Let your child pick the meal he or she wants. We feasted on hotdogs when my youngest turned two. Hotdogs, mac n' cheese, and cake. We simply couldn't eat anything else given how much he loves hotdogs! Yes, it was a simple meal, but it again shows that your child's wishes are important to you.

3. Invite a friend or two to share the day. You don't need to have an all out party. You could even invite a friends family, which we do fairly often. But just getting an extra face over for the birthday dinner will mean something to your child.

So there you are. Three simple birthday tips that don't cost much but will show your child that he or she is important. And for those of you curious about the chocolate cake we devoured earlier this week, it's called Chocolate Truffle Cake and was featured in a Taste of Home magazine a couple years back. It's the best chocolate cake I've ever had and is quickly becoming a birthday tradition around our house. You can find the recipe here.

1 comment:

  1. I grew up with the pick-your-meal tradition and always loved it. I decided to let my son pick his meal for the first time this year and had NO idea what he'd pick. What did he choose? Cheese ravioli. I was a big fan of that! Five minutes to cook and it's done. :)