Thursday, June 1, 2017

Birthday Traditions We Can't Do Without

I love celebrating the holidays.  Every single one of them.  I decorate our house, send out cards and make festive food to go along with them.  Birthdays are no exception.  I grew up with special birthday celebrations of my favorite cake, presents, party with our family and homemade dinners.  Those birthday memories are some good ones.

I want my kids to grow up knowing we have our own family traditions for birthdays and that they can look forward to the same, special things happening each year.

At our house, BIRTHDAYS mean...

1. Birthday Books
Every year we gift our kids a new birthday book.  It goes along with the theme of their party and as they get older I'm sure the birthday books will end up being favorite authors or favorite subjects.  We write a note, trace their hand print and ask the people who come to their party to sign it.  I envision sending my kids birthday books even when they are adults.  I will no longer trace their hand print inside of them, but they'll come to expect a handwritten birthday message inside their book from us.  I want them to grow up reading and loving books so I think it's fun to be building their libraries one birthday book at a time.

2. Special Meals
I always requested lasagna for my birthday meals growing up.  We let Olive pick her birthday dinner and the menu included: steak, corn on the cob, salt and vinegar chips, olives, cantaloupe and cupcakes.  She was thrilled to go to the store and pick out the things that sounded delicious to her.  We've done donuts for breakfast, favorite restaurants for other meals, etc.  Here's Olive's lunch of FOURS to celebrate her 4th birthday.

3. Thoughtful Gifts
I keep a running list in my planner of things I think my family would like for gifts.  If they mention needing a new item or if something fun catches their eye, I will add it to my list of gift options.  I also refer to this list when people ask for gift suggestions.  It's fun to surprise them with gifts they'd love.  I also try to ask for a wish list of ideas.  Everyone knows they're not getting all the things on their wish list, but it's nice to get an idea of what they are hoping to get that year.  Olive's current favorite show is Paw Patrol so she was beyond excited to get her own set of Paw Patrol pups.  

4. Homemade Cake
It's no secret that I love to bake.  I really enjoy baking for my family and making birthday cakes/cupcakes is an easy way for me to show them love.  Kevin always requests Buttermilk cake, the kids like Funfetti and I usually request one of those variety cheesecakes.  It's 

5. A Few of Their Favorite Things
Plan to do lots of fun things the week of their birthday.  For Olive's birthday we invited some of her best friends over to play, went to the museum, the library, the park, fed the ducks, went swimming and squeezed in tons of her favorite things.  It's always fun to be surrounded by your favorite family and friends.  We didn't do anything extravagant, but she sure loved getting to make plans to do all the things she loves during her birthday week.

6. Writing Birthday Thank You Notes
We write down a list of gifts we receive for our birthdays and make sure to promptly mail out thank you notes.  My kids are little so they still need a lot of help writing their notes.  I do the writing, Olive adds her scribbles while narrating what they say and then she decorates the envelope.  I'm working hard to lay the foundation for the kids to grow up knowing how to write thank you notes.

And a few of my favorite pictures from Olive's actual birthday.  I know it won't be long before the kids outgrow their tiny table and birthday themes so I am soaking in every minute of the days when they are little.  Time flies with little ones!!

What are some of your family birthday traditions??


  1. Your kids are just precious, and I love the birthday traditions that you have started. The birthday book idea is wonderful, and I sure wish I had thought of it when my kids were little. Maybe it will be something I do for grandkids! Have a great day!

  2. Awww great traditions! We do some of the same things!

  3. Good job, mama! We do a lot of the same things, but I sure wish I would've thought of the birthday book idea! When my kids were about the same age as yours I would have a little autograph book at their parties that people would write a note in, but what you have done is so cool because it demonstrates what they are into at the moment.

  4. I love the book idea. They will be able to look back at those and remember what kind of party they had, who came to celebrate with them. The meals are cute; there is such a variety with the 4 theme. That funfetti cake looks awesome! That's one of my favorites. Keep the little table; it'll come handy for those grandkids someday. My mom still has our picnic table we had in our living room we used to eat at. She drags it out when the grandkids come over.

  5. I love the idea of a birthday book! I'm definitely going to start that tradition, too!

  6. I love the effort you put into making things special for your family! My mom did the same thing for us, and it creates such great memories! Your birthday book tradition is so great because it's something they'll never outgrow, and it is such a personal, thoughtful tradition. Love it! My parents always served the birthday person breakfast in bed - which everyone loved except me. LOL. The thought of having to eat breakfast immediately after waking up, having everyone in my room and having to be perky and chatty first thing in the morning is not my idea of a good way to start a birthday. Haha! I always loved getting to choose what my Mom made for meals that day, though. I usually asked for sweet and sour chicken with white rice and green beans. :) You got some really great pics of Olive (and Fletcher) for her birthday! I enjoyed her Shellbration pics! :)

    Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort

  7. That cake looks AMAZING! You did awesome with the frosting. Love the birthday book idea - especially tracing their hand. That is really neat!

  8. You are so good about traditions and consistency! I hope to get better with time haha It's tooo easy right now to wing it and think "oh they're so little, they don't know yet." hah And if that was Tell sitting at that little table with Olive, he'd either be a) eating those shells and/or b) grabbing a handful of that cake! ha

  9. We place balloons in Connor's room so he wakes up to them the morning of his birthday. We let him pick a meal and we dine out at his place of choice. This past year it was Waffle House :) And lastly, we allow him to pick out a new book and movie as a special evening treat.

  10. I love ALL of the special traditions you do to make birthdays extra special. It is evident how much time, thought and effort you put into making special memories for your kiddos. Olive's birthday cake is absolutely gorgeous- you did such an amazing job making it!!!

  11. You're the coolest Mom! I seriously need to take a page out of your birthday playbook! :)

  12. Love this list Whitney. We always do special meals, homemade cakes and birthday breakfast donuts 😂. I bet you're not surprises one bit.

  13. The birthday book is such a great idea! I love it! I try to do home made cakes!


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