Every family has traditions. Our birthday tradition is the one our children looked forward to every year, even as they got older. Let me begin by giving you the back story.
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!
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 decorate 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.
Read on for more encouragement and inspiration.
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