We have some birthday traditions such as the birthday child choosing their own cake, and the evening meal for their birthday. On the morning of their birthday we gather around the dining table or on Mum & Dad's bed whilst they unwrap their gifts and open the cards which have come in the mail. There are often a number of little handmade, wrapped gifts from siblings which are given with pride and accepted with grace. Brithday cards are secretly handmade by a sibling, and given with the gifts from the whole family.
During the day we will often have friends over for morning or afternoon tea under the trees in our garden (weather permitting) with a cake and some yummy fruit and other foods to share. The table is often decorated with a colourful cloth and fresh flowers collected by the other children.
We enjoy the traditional candles and "Happy Birthday" song as well as clapping for their age and three cheers. We always have a cake at night, even if we've had one in the daytime, just so we can turn down the lights and enjoy the magic of a cake lit by candlelight.
Sometimes we use different crockery or glasses for the birthday meal, and there is always a beautiful tablecloth and centre candle, and quite often more flowers.
Birthday cards are displayed on a magnetic framed board which hangs above the season table. Photos of the birthday child are also displayed their during the weeks preceding and following their special day. Often some baby photos and recent photos will be side by side. A photograph is taken of the birthday child with their cake each year, marking milestones in their childhood photo albums. Sometimes the birthday child will wear a special item of clothing, or a cape and crown from our dress-up basket.
We don't always have parties. We have had a fairy party, a musical party, a teddy bear's picnic, trip to special places followed by cake in the park... But even when there is no big event we always have a special time with family, and perhaps some nearby friends, to share cake and other food, sing and celebrate the birthday child's life.
On their birthday, our children don't have to do their chores if they don't wish to, and they can have the choice of a story read or movie watched, as well as what food we eat. It is a day of lavishing extra love and attention on the birthday child.
We all know this song...
Happy birthday to you Happy birthday to you Happy birthday, dear Lily Happy birthday to you!
Well, here's an alternative, or second verse (same melody)...
May the angels bless you, In all that you do, May the stars up in heaven Shine down upon you!
There are a lot of birthday verses and stories online which we have often told our younger children, especially. I find that they also like to hear about the day they were born, and the wonderful, cute and funny things about them as a baby.
This one is our version of a favourite...
As I yawn and go to bed,
Laying down my sleepy head,
Mama switches off the light,
I'll still be seven years old tonight.
But, from the very break of day,
Before the children rise and play,
Before the greenness turns to gold,
Tomorrow, I'll be eight years old!
Eight kisses when I wake.
Eight candles on my cake!
During the day, grandparents phone from far away and ask the birthday child about their day, their gifts, and how big they've grown. Receiving their very own phone calls and mail is a special part of having a birthday at our place.
I wonder, in what ways do you celebrate birthdays in your home?
Birthday gift ideas include:
Bamboo Knitting Needles (or crochet hooks, or knitting helper) with a selection of either pastel or bright wool and instructions on how to create either a beanie or a scarf. These products start at $4.50.
Gorgeous Wool Felt Pencil Cases (or a pencil box) filled with any of our art products such as Lyra Pencils, eraser and sharpener, Stockmar Crayons, or Honey Sticks for little ones.
Cute enamel tea cup and saucer sets on their own or matched with pure wool felt tea party sets create a gift sure to engage their imagination.
Other great gifts: include calico bags with fabric pens, musical instruments, aprons with wooden spoons and rolling pins (add your favourite recipes), books, a seasonal silk or doll representing the season of the child's birth, main lesson books with art supplies, felt purses or paper jewelery boxes with jewelery, bags for gifts and books and toys and more, a cute wooden vehicle or felt toy... Spiral Garden is all about gifts. Ethical gifts that will last for many years. We offer thoughtful and affordable alternatives to the plethora of plastic, licensed, sub-standard items readily available in department and toy stores. Come in and take a look around...