Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Do you love celebrating birthdays? I love celebrating each and every year of my family’s birthday! Every year we have hosted a party and have themed celebrations until there 13th birthday. Of course, we continue to celebrate but with just family.

However, we go all out for the year they turn sixteen, it is a big deal after all. I love the independence that comes with a driver’s license but the inexperience of driving makes me a bit of a nervous wreck.

Same two parents, but each child has their own personality, so when it comes to celebrating, we do a few things the same, but a few things differently. Here is the list of must do’s on the 16th birthday:

  1. set up a display for their birthday month
  2. wake up to breakfast in bed with candles
  3. your choice for dinner
  4. a gift
  5. you get an experience
  6. I finish their yearly letter

Listed below are more details about the list above.

1.The birthday display… it is just a space that changes and grows over time. Here is a pic of Collin’s alter. Special artifacts and memories that are dear to us are what you display.  I have my son’s baby hat and little wristband from the hospital. His bib from his baptism. I have two scrapbooks and several baby books. Sometimes a report card or pinewood derby car would appear. When my kids were little they would pick items that they wanted to display. Now I am in charge of picking the items and displaying them. This is still important because if it isn’t displayed the first day of their birthday month they are calling me a slacker. This is a great way to celebrate and recognize your child and bonus it costs nothing!

2. How often do you get breakfast in bed? I know we didn’t do this for our kids first birthday but once they were in a big bed we started their day with their favorite birthday treat from Dunkin Donuts. The treats are always on the   You are Special Plate and candles accompany the donuts. Everyone in the house takes part in wishing a Happy Birthday to the honoree. This is a great way to start your child’s birthday. Hint get the donuts the night before to make your life easier. 

3. A birthday dinner! It is a real treat when you are little and chose what everyone will eat. There was this one time, Collin decided he wanted to eat crabs. That was great and while we all love crabs, they really aren’t in season in March. So we did the next best thing and ate at Red Lobster and Collin had dungeonous crabs and he was happy. Sometimes dinner was take -out, other times a restaurant and rarely I am cooking a special meal. Regardless being together to celebrate is the best. Make sure the birthday child is the main focus of dinner conversation. It is easy to ask everyone to share one thing they love about the birthday child. We put a  white tablecloth on the dining room table and ask anyone that is either attending a party or having dinner to sign the tablecloth. It is so cool to see names on the tablecloth over time. Helpful hint… wash the tablecloth before you have the guests sign it and use fabric markers

4. Every birthday includes gifts! For the sweet 16 gifts, the girls got the same thing. We gave them a charm bracelet. There were 16 charms and each charm represented something symbolic for each year of their life. I wrote down each charm, the year and why we picked that charm. Both girls seemed appreciative of the bracelet, but I know they will treasure it more as they age and their childhood gets farther away from them.

Do you find it a little trickier to buy sentimental gifts for your son? I am not feeling as creative with Collin’s gift but perhaps it is just a guy thing and I have to just accept it. Collin will be getting Super Bowl paraphernalia since his beloved team, the EAGLES won the Super Bowl.

5. We do a lot… I mean a lot as a family, so for 16th birthdays, we celebrate with an experience with the birthday child and a parent.

Our oldest, Marissa went on a cruise and I was lucky enough to join her. We had a great time and made lots of lifelong memories. First time I swam with dolphins was with Marissa.  It was a very special time that I will always love.

Our middle, Lexi and I went to Punta Cana with her bestie and her bestie’s Mom. Again, memories were made that will always have a special place in my heart. Lexi got a sunburn like no other but was still a good sport. We had a blast.

Our youngest, Collin said all he wanted was to attend the Philadelphia Super Bowl Parade… and we did. (yes, we got off a lot cheaper with him but his wish was granted)


6. I also have written a yearly letter to each child. I began this when each child was born and have continued to write a heartfelt letter yearly. Not sure when I will give this collection to each child but I would like to get them bound. Going back and rereading some of those special moments just makes me smile. Writing down those memories will hold onto those moments that may have been forgotten otherwise and that is a gift, probably more for me then my kids.

As you can see birthdays are a pretty big deal in our house. I hope you some inspiration or ideas to add to make memories meaningful in your child’s life! And no matter when your birthday is I wish you a very Happy Birthday. xo


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