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Friday, October 26, 2007

Our Birthday Tradition

Every family has traditions. One of ours is our birthday tradition. Let me begin by giving you the history:

When I was a young mom, my best friend, Heather, told me of a tradition her mom had established with her and her siblings. Every birthday morning Heather would go downstairs and find the kitchen decorated with streamers. This told her how special she was and she felt SO cherished all day. I had three little children at the time and found this to be a great idea. But I wanted it to be even more fun. So I began the tradition of decorating when my children went to bed. The birthday child would wake up in the morning to decorations IN THEIR ROOM along with all their birthday presents and donuts. His or her birthday essentially became like Christmas morning! 

However, as my children got older, they no longer went to bed at 7:00, and frankly, I simply did not have the stamina to wait until they fell asleep to decorate their room; these little homeschoolers (like many I know) were late nighters. So I decided to decorate the kitchen after they went to their beds, setting up a wonderful surprise when they came down in the morning. 

As time wore on, this task became increasingly more difficult as their bedtime got later and later. I found myself decorating the kitchen until later than my bedtime, when I was dog tired, until (drum roll, please) the kids decided THEY wanted to decorate the house for the birthday child. I helped the first few years, showing them the special techniques for making streamers twist and how to place them just so. Every year, as the kids got older, the decor became more elaborate, creative, and exciting. Eventually they did it all!

I remember one year, the kids set up a trap that kept the birthday child from getting into the kitchen (where all the donuts and presents gleamed in the distance) unless he broke through a barrier of paper—whereupon thirty balloons were positioned to fall on his head! 

Birthday decorating is a fun tradition we’ve had through the years. My only worry is that one day my children will be disappointed to wake up and find that their college roommate or husband/wife did not decorated the dorm room or house in honor of their birthday. Am I setting them up for hardship later on? Well, at least they'll have great memories of their birthdays growing up and will hopefully continue the tradition in their own families. 


3 comments:

Daddys Chicks said...

At our home we wake up the birthday person (in the last year mom and dad get waken up on their birthday too :)) with a cup-cake and the happy birthday song. Everyone easts a cup-cake in the birthday persons bed. Then we all snuggle together. it warms my heart thinking about it. Thanks for sharing.

southerngirlmusings said...

Sweet traditions....a friend at my former church would decorate the door to the birthday child's room in whatever they were into at that moment, even when home from college, they still look and wait for mom's decorations.

Debra A. said...

Love these ideas. Our tradition is to get woken up with a morning present -- many times, something new to wear that day. My mother did it for me, especially on weekday birthdays.

I do remember, however having a difficult time when I was 22 and away from home on my birthday that year. My one and only gift from my parents was a vacuum cleaner that I didn't open until evening. I shed some "poor me" tears. But a little "education" from mom for my poor husband-to-be would have helped carry on or at least invent a new birthday tradition.

Carry on! These are memories they will cherish.