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Happy Birthday!

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We have a birthday in our family today.  Birthdays are special days, and the way we spend them has changed through the years as the family has grown and needs have changed.  However, birthdays are always special days.

When we had just three little kids who were all fairly close in age, we usually let the birthday child choose a simple activity to do that day, usually something that was free.  This is where many of the things on this list came from.

The birthday day starts off with the birthday person having a donut for breakfast.  Of course it is a big deal to little kids since it is the only day of the entire day that they get one.  It was so cute, when our oldest was really little she called it a bagel with frosting.  Memories.  Time goes too fast.

Although there is usually too much going on to have an outing these days, we don’t have school on anyone’s birthday, which is something that everyone always looks forward to.  The other kids and even myself cover the birthday person’s chores for the day, just dividing them up as we go.

There is always a birthday dinner.  The birthday person gets to pick out what they want for dinner no matter what anyone else thinks about it.  Nothing crazy like ice cream for dinner, but it is usually something they like but no one else does.  In this way, birthdays can be a bit of a challenge at times.

Sometimes we will have cake or something on this day, but usually we just wait to have a gathering with family to have the cake.

At times we put streamers up for a surprise for the birthday person or come up with other little things that always make them smile.

Because my husband works nights, there are days that he doesn’t really even see the kids, and if that happens to fall on a birthday, it makes for a really hairy day.  We at least follow these basic traditions and try to have a few presents opened when everyone is there, even if only for a short minute or two.  Traditions are important, and no matter how basic or insignificant to us they may seem, they mean the world to our kids.  I can say this because I, too, am a kid.  I am 40, and I still look forward to the huge container of Twizzlers my dad gets me every year for Christmas.  It’s not about the Twizzlers (well, maybe just a little bit), but it’s about the significance of the tradition.

Birthdays don’t have to cost a lot in order to be a meaningful family time that makes the birthday girl or boy feel treasured.  Stay tuned for my post of my frugal birthday purchases.  Just because the kids get older doesn’t mean the price tag needs to get out of control!

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