Birthday Traditions: What’s Yours?

Today is one week from my birthday.

This birthday is different from any birthday I’ve ever had, or probably will have.

I’m excited, because I’m moving to a whole new level: I won’t be a teenager any more. I’ll be two decades old. It will be the first birthday I’ll celebrate as a married woman, with my new immediate family – Brian.

And I’m apprehensive, because I’m moving to a whole new level:  I will be a real adult. I’ll be old. And it will be the first birthday I’ve celebrated across the country from almost all family and friends.

Deep down, I always love birthdays. My older sister’s birthday is before mine, and growing up, I remember telling mom that it wasn’t “fair” that I had to wait an ENTIRE month for mine to come. It wasn’t even an entire month, it was only 20 days. And I counted down every last one until it was my turn to bask in the birthday candlelight and the undivided attention of my family.

Oh, I remember the magic of birthday cakes lit by glow of little pink and white striped tapers, the shyness when all eyes were turned to me as mom led the singing of that ancient refrain: “Happy Birthday To Yooooou,” the sweetness of Betty Crocker frosting, the mystery of unopened presents, the satisfaction of getting just what you wanted.

Sadly, more recently birthdays with the family have been last minute, rush to the store the day before events with Walmart sale cakes. And the presents, well, you pick them out yourself usually. On the occasions that you don’t go to the store with mom, you can rest assured that you’re not going to get anything on your list, and you probably won’t get more than 2 presents. Not much anticipation either anymore: my brothers may or may not even be able to tell you the date of their birthdays. But, I think things are beginning to turn around. My little sister resurrected the Birthday Sign tradition, which is a handwritten and creatively themed banner that hangs by the kitchen table for the week of the birthday.

Speaking of traditions, I know a family that celebrates a Birthday Week, and every day of the week they do something special for the birthday girl or boy. Brian’s family always has peanuts and M&M’s with the cake and ice cream. Maybe you don’t celebrate birthdays at all. Maybe you eat pie instead of cake. What’s your family’s tradition? What do you do to make a birthday special?

Photo by: juliiet24 Photobucket

  • My husband and i started a tradition that on our birthdays we go out to dinner and invite a bunch of our friends.
    My birthday is Feb. 3, and i always tell my hubby that i believe i should get to celebrate the entire month, since it is the shortest month anyway. Then i use this to my advantage to do fun things that i want to do in Feb!

  • How fun, it's like a grown-version of a birthday party! Too bad August is so long, I don't think I can get away with a Birthday Month 😉

  • I LOVE celebrating birthdays! Unfortunately adulthood has landed a bit of a blow to my birthday festivities (why don't I get the day off from work on my birthday? lol). As far as traditions go: Growing up my parents would always hand streamers from the birthday kid's door frame once they were alseep so when you woke up on your birthday you had to walk through streamers. They would also decorate the birthday kid's chair at the table with streamers and balloons. We were all able to pick our own birthday dinner to eat on the special 'birthday plate'. I always chose spaghettie, green beans, and garlic bread. yum! I don't know what traditions we will start in our family. Scott's family barely acknowledges birthdays so I have a bit of 'birthday conditioning' to do 😀

  • Aw…I thought my family was the only one that celebrated the birthday week! But we don't do it for the kids…just Paul and I…because we're selfish like that :-D. Of course, it just means that Paul does my chores and I let him sleep in whenever possible, but it's the little things in life that count, right?

  • Oh…and Happy Birthweek! 😀

  • Janelle, going to work on your birthday could be even worse than having to go to school on it, although maybe you could still bring treats? I think A LOT of how we view birthdays has to do with how our parents do, and it sounds like your parents had a healthy appreciation for them. Keep working on Scott.

    Hahaha, Tara, maybe when the kids get older they can earn the right for a whole week 🙂 It's always the little things that count! And thanks 🙂