Thursday, November 13, 2008

I want birthday traditions!


When I woke up this morning and it dawned on me that it's my little girl's sixth birthday, I wanted to have something special planned. At six, she'll retain memories of this birthday, won't she? If I had given it a little more thought and had some time to spend on it I could have done something like "The Birthday Fairy" that Susan Lieberman suggests in her book, New Traditions:
Lucy tells her family, "While you are sleeping, waiting to wake up to a happy, happy, birthday, all my very good wishes for you give me magical energy to transform your room and deliver birthday presents." Then she brings the magic in the form of many balloons, large signs, streamers, and the child wakes up to a special day with a special breakfast.
Hm. I wish it were that easy to get some magical energy.

Or I could have done what Meg Cox records in The Book of New Family Traditions:
Construct a "balloon tunnel" with helium balloons tied on the stair-rails. When the birthday girl awakes, she must be the first one to slide downstairs and pick up her wrapped present at the bottom.
Okay, got it. Next year will be more about the balloons and lots of 'em.

What I did do for Rosie was to have a birthday card ready with a crisp $5 bill inside (next step is to get on money management with her, and maybe some regular allowances), I gave her a birthday-girl hug, we put birthday-girl ponytails in her hair, she wore a birthday-girl outfit to school and I gave her a special birthday-girl wave. Did you notice that everything here, excepting the card, is a regular-day thing, but calling it out as birthday-special made it so. Really! Maybe won't work at 7 and up, but maybe I'll have something else worked out by then.

Thanks to Grandma Sheila, Rosie had cupcakes to share at school. And the one other tradition that I almost forgot about, but the wall tells the tale that we've kept it up 3 years running: marking out her birthday height. In pencil, on the corner wall outside the basement office. I do Dash's at the same time, just to keep it balanced.

I still have time, although her party date is creeping up. One belief that I would like to instill is that birthdays shouldn't be necessarily all about receiving gifts; I think this will be the year to choose a charity to donate to together and give in her name. I'll start looking up some charities that would be good ones. Do you all have ones that you like for kids?

Do you all have birthday traditions with your kids? Tell me about them in the comments, I want to know!


  1. Happy Birthday to the beauty!!

  2. Interesting post. Earlier this year when BabyRat turned 3 we ended up having 3 different parties; one at school, one for neighborhood friends, and one just for family. This made a very clear impression on BabyRat and since then she has insisted that she gets 3 of everything because she's 3. Obviously (I think) we won't have 4 parties for her this year, but this post is a good starting point for our family to begin coming up with some birthday traditions too.

  3. Happy Birthday Rosie!

    Birthday traditions around here usually go like this: oh crap, so-and-so's birthday is in 3 days, what should we get him/her? Legos. Okay.

    This year our kids' party was no gifts. You'd be surprised how many parents balked. But it was so stress-free. Little kids aren't very good a gracious.


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