Celebrating birthdays is one of my favorite things! But we don’t need elaborate or extravagant plans to make a birthday feel special. These are our simple birthday traditions in our family.
Do you have birthday traditions in your home?
I love birthdays, and celebrating birthdays is one of my favorite things. These are a few birthday traditions we do in our home to keep things fun and exciting, without going over the top.
1. Breakfast in bed
This was a tradition we had in my family growing up, and it’s so simple but it’s been my favorite birthday tradition to carry into my family.
Instead of an extravagant breakfast, we do a “fun” cereal — something we don’t usually buy. Maybe Cinnamon Toast Crunch, maybe Reeses Puffs, or maybe Cookie Crisp.
It’s always fun to surprise my boys with it on the morning of their birthday (I buy it secretly so they don’t know what they’re getting).
As a family, we all go into the birthday person’s room, carrying the breakfast tray, a gift or two, and singing Happy Birthday.
It’s the most simple tradition, but my boys always look forward to it. And of course it’s fun when it’s someone else’s birthday because you get the special cereal too!
I love birthday decorations, but again, it’s never anything extravagant.
We have a small helium tank (that I replace from time to time) and I’ll usually purchase a balloon in the shape of their age and have that tied to their chair. Then I blow up a few regular balloons and attach them to the kitchen chandelier. I add a few streamers coming down, and hang up our birthday banner with their name on it.
I always do this the night before their birthday so they come down to a decorated kitchen the morning of their birthday, along with the rest of their gifts displayed on the table. It makes the room feel festive and makes them feel special.
We definitely do birthday gifts, because that’s half the fun of having a birthday.
Usually I’ll do one big gift, like a bigger LEGO set, and then a few smaller gifts, like some books, a new shirt or pair of shoes, and other random things I know they’ll love, like a puzzle or a game.
My parents and my father in law always send a gift as well, so there are usually 6-8 gifts for the boys to open.
I don’t set a specific budget for their gifts, and I don’t follow a formula of gifts (like something to wear, something to read, something to hold, etc). I just try to think of what they’ll like and keep it reasonable. Sometimes I’ll purchase a few things and then realize it’s more gifts than they need, so I store them away for Christmas.
I don’t want there to ever be comparison between the boys, like “You got ten presents and I only got eight!” The number and cost of gifts just ebb and flow from year to year.
As they get older and want/need less things, we will probably do a weekend road trip, or a day at an amusement park, or something like that as most of their birthday gift. This is what we often do for Philip and my birthday — a weekend getaway as a family is the perfect adult gift.
4. Dinner and dessert of their choice
When it’s your birthday, you get to choose what we have for dinner.
Sometimes they choose to eat dinner at home, sometimes they choose a restaurant. It’s their choice and we always accommodate their request.
And for dessert, they get to choose that as well. Almost always they ask for me to make something. The most popular choice in our house is BUTTER CAKE.
5. Class treats
All of my boys have birthdays during the school year (mine is in July so I never experienced a school birthday), so if their class allows it, they’re allowed to choose a treat to bring in for the class.
We also keep this very low key. The most I’ve ever done is gone to the grocery store before school and bought 2 dozen fresh donuts, which cost me about $20.
Sometimes we’ll do the little Hostess cupcakes, or individually packed Oreos.
It doesn’t have to be extreme for the kids to like it and your child to feel special!
Do we do birthday parties?
I’m not opposed to birthday parties for my boys, but I’m personally not a big fan of the over the top Pinterest parties. I totally respect you if that’s your thing, I just don’t find them worth the cost or the time for me (I made an exception for my 30th birthday party and that was totally worth it for me)!
We’re doing a birthday party for my oldest this year and I’m taking three of his friends to a local escape room and then coming back to our house to have hamburgers for dinner and dessert and let them play video games. Super low key, and it’s exactly what they want to do. Win!
Tell me your birthday traditions!
What birthday traditions does your family have? I’d love to know!
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