We Go Big For Birthdays
Birthdays are a big deal in our family.
For me they always have been. When I was a kid we had “birthday eve.” I’m not quite sure where my mom came up with it, but the day before your birthday she would cook your favorite dinner and you got a small gift.
It was intimate and wonderful.
Then you still got a party or some way to celebrate your actual big day. I knew before we ever had kids birthdays would be big.
First let me say, going big doesn’t mean breaking the bank. We don’t necessarily have parties at fancy places every year, the majority have been in our own backyard, it’s more about the traditions. Every year I make the cake at home, we always have a theme which is now something our son looks forward to all year now, and we have a piñata. We learned early on with our oldest son that the piñata has to be a villain in some way (this is MUCH easier to do with boys than girls) because he didn’t like seeing his favorite thing hit with a stick. We have had everything from a dragon to Evil Emperor Zurg from Toy Story. We also don’t go crazy on gifts. We usually do a couple small gifts or one somewhat big gift but our focus is always the party and experience. Honestly, this is because of my own memories. I don’t really remember birthday gifts but I do remember my parties and other experiences (trips, concerts, etc) that we had to celebrate my birthday.
Going big also doesn’t mean a ton of stress.
Don’t stretch yourself thin! I work full time and both of my sons’ birthdays fall around testing season (I work in education) I have learned to give myself a break. Some years I make a ton of food and some years (thank you Ninja Turtle theme) we just order pizza. Some years we do awesome favors and some years we don’t. This year we had a newborn so we went to Hat Creek for the party (I can’t recommend them enough for a stress free birthday party!) because I knew I didn’t want a bunch of people at the house.
Traditions are important for kids and adults alike and birthdays are a wonderful opportunity for your family to create your own traditions. We still do birthday eves like I grew up with in our way and also incorporate things like pinatas that my husband grew up with. Much like the rest of our traditions, our birthdays are a mix of both our cultures and experiences.