Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I am sure we would all like our children to be able to enjoy and revel in meaningful but low key birthday celebrations. And that these traditions will be remembered fondly. This website is trying to begin a movement of less is best when it comes to birthdays Birthdays without Pressure

As our family tries to create many traditions around special times in the year – I was excited when I began reading up on birthday traditions – as we don’t currently have many – except for having a birthday party – be it a family one or a friend’s one.
Two of my favourite blog entries on Birthdays are from here

Uncommon Grace - Birthday crown, poem, candle ring
Birthday Tradition Ideas

My favourite ideas are
Birthday Journal Book – passed around at family parties people write gifts they gave/thoughts about the birthday child for that year

Picture with Dad – see how they grow compared to dad each year

Balloons – number of day = number of balloons eg 15 balloons for the 15th of January every year

The father buys his daughters and wife red roses on their birthdays, a rose for each year old they are so the bunch of roses is equal to their age.

New bed pillows. The birthday person gets new bed pillows. This tradition was started by the family doctor who said bed pillows needed to be changed each year because of the asthma in the family. – WE ARE DOING THIS ONE - I LOVE IT

Special birthday plate. The birthday person is served their piece of birthday cake on a special birthday plate (Brambly Hedge) that is only used for birthdays. All birthday cakes are sliced and served with the cake servers that was used at the parents wedding.

Exact time of birth. The birthday song is sung and gifts are given at the exact time of birth. This is very convenient for the sister born at 7:15 am EST, but less so for the sister born at 4:47 am EST. If the family is in a different time zone, the singing and gifting must take place when that time happens at the place of birth. – LOVE THIS LUCKY FOR ME MY KIDS WERE ALL BORN DURING THE DAY

Celebrating half birthdays. Actual birthdays are celebrated in the normal way but for the half birthday (6 months after the actual birthday) everything is done in half. These half things include: having half a cake, cups half full, singing half the birthday song and giving a gift that's half of something.

Dinner backwards. The whole family goes out to dinner at a place picked by the birthday person. Dessert is ordered and served first, then the main course and last the appetizers.

Present for mom. The birthday person gives a present to their mother on his or her birthday because it is their mother's "birth" day. – I AM ALL FOR THIS ONE - GREAT IDEA

Homemade Birthday Gifts

I have been reading up lots on people who are against children recieving more plastic crap that they don't need. I have always used the party as a way to provide more toys for my kids that we couldn't afford - my kids receive 3 small presents for their birthday and that is it - I say to them that it isn't christmas!! But I really believe this is the wrong way to look at it. I have seen people suggesting gifts of time or homemade as better - eg offer to take birthday child somewhere just them and your child. I think these make for more meaningful memories for the birthday child anyway.

Home Made Gift Ideas
Homemade books - I cheat even more by just sewing up the middle of the paper on the machine
Make Terrariums as a gift
homemade beads
Little wood dolls in a box
superman dolls – I love these will someone make them for us??
A nature Can
A Fairy Jar
Magnetic People
Paper dolls
Travelling Felt boards
Individualized T shirts

Meaningful Party Ideas
Some different party ideas
Alternative party ideas
Meaningful Party Ideas
ECO Green birthday party ideas

I am making my first birthday crown for Gabrielle – her birthday is next month and it is all alone near no one elses birthday YAY! So I actually have the time to try out some of these traditions and see if we will keep them.

I am looking forward to my children having a birthday crown, A waldorf Birthday Ring, Reading of Birthday poems, letting child choose their own breakfast, a new pillow each year and roses from Daddy - and hopefully a small homemade gift for mum!!

Please leave me some comments on your birthday traditions :)


Jan said...

I had no idea that there were sources out there on how to celebrate a birthday. But it is obviously loaded. I can see that it would have been a really fun idea to have some tradtions on your birthdays.

Maybe it is not to late for my daughter. We will have to see I guess. Great post and a wealth of information attached.

Have a great day down under and those cupcakes look nummy.

chelle said...

It is so crazy that you posted this day~ We are celebrating Holden's half birthday today. He was born on Dec 15th and that is a hard time of year to have a kids party so every June 15 or so we have a party at the creek with a few friends. IT IS VERY LOW KEY! Love this website. Thanks for sharing it. Once again I will copy you. Lucky for me. m

Janell said...

Growing up - the birthday cake we got was Cherry Chip (a betty crocker mix) - as for what we are doing with our kids now - well, still working on that one. !!!

Zanabelle said...

Our tradition was that we got to have the day off school and mum would take us out to the movies or shopping. It was cool cos we didn't get to have our mum to ourselves very often. Even though me and Charles had to share :P And we also got to get out of doing our nightly chore, which was awesome!

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful post! I did something similar last December because I was frustrated with the commercialism of Christmas. I wrote a whole series of posts called Christmas/Holidays Unplugged. You might find them interesting. I think I might write another birthday post, and if I do, I will definitely like to you. You have found some wonderful ideas!

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