I’m going to take a break from the scheduling posts for just a bit, but I promise I will get back to them soon!
We recently celebrated another birthday and it made me stop to ponder how very different birthdays look from when we first started celebrating birthdays around here.
I hesitated to call this post “Large Family Birthdays” because we stopped doing traditional birthday parties long before we had a large family. However, I have to admit, we adopted a “large family mentality” about the same time and I wonder if that partly helped to make our decision.
So, let me give you a taste of what birthdays USED TO look like:
A room full of people
Tons of children (not my own)
Gifts being discarded within seconds of being opened
Very few decent birthday pictures because of the chaos
Tons of money spent on birthday extras that were really just a way to “keep up with the Joneses”
Exhausted parents & cranky children
Now, I know some of you LOVE the birthday party atmosphere, but for our family, it just wasn’t working. And as our family grew, all we could envision was more and more chaos on more and more days of the year.
So, we ditched it all.
The day of the child’s birthday, they are exempt from school and chores. They choose what we eat and most of the activities we participate in that day. We open presents as a family and usually eat ice cream cake.
Someday during the birthday week, grandparents come for a visit with more cake and their presents. There is always a special cake made by Granny to the child’s specifications. (The cake in the picture is my horse-loving daughter’s special cake.) The grandparents get the joy of seeing the children open their gifts without the frenzy of a million children and a million gifts.
Ocassionally, there are special outings with one friend and one friend only. A few years ago we experimented with having 2 friends and it was not good. Someone was always left out.
We also do half-sleepovers where the one friend gets to stay at our house until midnight or 12:30. The kids LOVE this! We do not do full sleepovers at all.
The celebrations include the entire family which teaches humility and sharing for the birthday child and patience and servanthood for the other children. Everyone definitely knows who the birthday child is, but the birthday child is encouraged to be considerate of his or her siblings. Celebrations are calm, but fun. There are pictures galore and they are really, really good ones. Presents are kept under control, and I never feel the stress of needing to put on a gala affair.
And that, my friends, Works for Me! (to read all sorts of other tips and trick from other bloggers, click the link!)