How it all started…
After several years of marriage, I realized I just didn’t know what to buy my husband for his birthday. He loved to read but I didn’t want to buy him yet another book. The things he enjoyed he already had and he isn’t a “stuff” kind of person. So I thought of the idea of giving him perishables that he could enJOY that would NOT qualify as “stuff.” I coupled it with the idea of celebrating his birthday for a week instead of just a day (because that is what I would want!). So that year, I made him a special cake and his favorite meals every day for a week.
I loved the idea of celebrating life! So in our home, we celebrate a birthday week. Starting at the age of 5, the birthday child gets to pick his or her favorite meals for dinner for the entire week of his or her birthday. Before birthday week starts, I sit down with the birthday child and create a handwritten menu and post it on the refrigerator. I love the excitement as the kids pass by the refrigerator and gaze at the meals they get enjoy all week.
For the birthday week menu, they get to choose:
- Six of their favorite homemade meals.
- One place to go out to eat with the family.
- A homemade birthday cake, cupcakes, pie, or sweet treat (boy do they get creative!).
- Breakfast for our Saturday morning “Homemade World Famous Breakfast”
- Special breakfast for “Mommy Cafe” we have every Friday morning.
While it may take time and effort on my part to make birthday weeks special, it is an inexpensive yet powerful way to make the birthday person feel special and loved. And yes, the parents get birthday week too!!!
A Family Tradition
Birthday week is a tradition I hope my children pass down to their children. As a family, we all participate in making the birthday person’s week special. The night before birthday week starts, we all decorate the house with streamers, balloons, and the birthday theme. The decorations stay up all week as we celebrate.
The children pull out crayons, markers and paper and start making homemade birthday cards to give throughout the week to the birthday person. Our crafty children make rubber band bracelets, perler bead gifts, or other creative gifts to give for birthday presents. It is nice to see the children use their talents to bless their family members. It teaches them that gifts come from the heart, even if you don’t have money to buy a gift.
Another great thing about birthday week? Well, if relatives or friends are late sending out gifts, they have the whole week to get it here!
I encourage you to celebrate life! You may not do a birthday week, but think of a birthday tradition you would like to start in your family and make it special.
What are some birthday traditions you celebrate as a family?