So, I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned to you how passionate I am about establishing family rituals and traditions. I feel like when you use the same rituals for a special occasion time and time again, you create a high level of anticipation for all involved: this is how magical moments and memories are created.
In our family we have started a number of birthday traditions… some have been introduced since Ava was born and others passed on from my own childhood.
A day of Birthday Traditions
I insist that on birthdays the entire family spends the day together. That means no work. No kindy, and once they are old enough, no school. For us that means five days a year dedicated to spending time together and celebrating as a family. Perhaps when the girls are older they will prefer to spend their birthdays with their friends and not us, but for now the rule stands. Birthday = no work.
It goes like this: the night before the birthday, after I have laid out all the presents, I take a packet of sparkly confetti and sprinkle a trail leading from the presents all the way to the door of our lounge… in the morning as we are heading for breakfast, I say to the birthday girl, “I wonder if the birthday fairies visited?” … just before they open the door to the lounge they see the ‘fairy dust’ trail start… (honestly, you should have seen the look on Lola’s face – priceless!) and then they open the door and follow the rest of the trail to their waiting presents… just a little more magic added to a special day.
I am hoping that in a few birthdays time, the girls will start talking about it in the days and weeks leading to their own birthdays… you know, there is nothing more delightful than eavesdropping on excited chatter about things such as Santa and birthday fairies!
This particular tradition has a long history in my family: it was one that I grew up with and also my own Mama grew up with. It is actually something I still demand as an adult. That is, birthday girl gets to pick whatever she wants for dinner that night. I like it to be something that we cook at home, but I guess in the future when the girls are older and eating out isn’t a complete nightmare, then maybe we can add the option of eating out. It is always fun to see what they will pick for their special birthday dinner. This year Lola decided she wanted pancakes for dinner (better than scrambled eggs – which is what I thought she would pick!), and Ava has already decided to continue the breakfast theme for her 4th birthday and wants porridge (I am hoping that she changes her mind by October!)
A couple of years ago I purchased a copy of this book, from my favourite bookshop in the whole world. It is a collection of stories, poems, and excerpts from beloved children’s books – all about birthdays – oh and with really delightful illustrations. For the last few years I have selected a chapter to read to the birthday girl before bed that night, but again, I am looking forward to a time in the near future when they start perusing the book several weeks before their birthday and select a special story for themselves.
Those are the birthday traditions we celebrate in my family. I’m sure as our family grows, the traditions will grow along with us, introducing new ones and adapting those that already exist – it’s all part of the fun, really. Do you have any birthday traditions that are special to your family? Please share them in the comments section below.