Four Birthday Traditions You’ll Want to Try



Every year when I was a kid, my parents let me choose where I wanted to eat dinner out for my birthday. Another birthday tradition they kept going was to have a small party for me with family and friends, including a cookout since I have a June birthday. Kids love to feel special, and it can be a challenge to find the time to come up with ways to make a birthday a knockout. Never fear! Below are four ideas for birthday traditions to start with your own kids. Pick and choose a few of them each year—and stick with the ones you and your birthday kid love!

  1. Rise and shine. I like to wake my kids up on their birthday not with “Get up! It’s time for school!” but with an extra long snuggle and the condensed version of the day they were born. Who doesn’t like to hear their birth story?! Adopted and foster children can be told how they were meant to be brought into the family and how special they are.
  2. Birthday letter. Every year I type up a birthday letter for each of my children, telling them what great things they did and said and learned during the past year. I give the birthday child a copy, then save a copy in a binder and on my computer for myself, because we all know kids can’t keep track of stuff. The plan is to give each of my children a copy of all their letters when they move out, which means they’ll have somewhere between 18 and 30 letters to enjoy!
  3. Birthday slideshow. With just a few clicks of your mouse, you can create a special slideshow using PowerPoint or a similar computer program. Just pop in photos, size them and add cute captions. You even can add some music if you like. After your child watches it about a zillion times, save it to a CD and pop it in a special place (safe deposit box, fireproof box, etc.) so your child will always have it.
  4. Special treat. We like to hit the cupcake restaurant or grab huge, frosted cookies from a local baker and share with our friends and neighbors to spread the celebration around. A cheap—and just as special—route would be to make your child’s favorite dessert at home. Cookies, cake, banana splits, shakes or ice cream sundaes are always a good bet. Depending on which fruit is in season (or go frozen!), a decadent fruit smoothie made with frozen yogurt could be nice.

Kerrie McLoughlin is the proud and kooky mom of five. Check out their adventures at TheKerrieShow.com.

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