How does your family celebrate birthdays? How is this similar to/different from the way you celebrated birthdays as a child?
My childhood birthdays included party hats, cake and ice cream, and games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Clothespin Drop. Relatives joined the festivities until we were school-aged when our celebrations grew to two parties – one for family and one for friends.
The next generation started the same way. Away-from-home parties that included the Kiddie Disco, McDonald’s Playland and Chuck E. Cheese began after my children started school. Family celebrations took place on Sunday afternoons when we’d have cake and the birthday girl would open her gifts.
My grandchildren’s at-home parties included games similar to those my children and I played, but with a more creative twist. My oldest daughter in particular would plan everything around the birthday child’s theme. For example, rather than pinning a tail on a donkey, the children would add eyes to a snowman or antenna to a spaceship. A favorite among her creations was a backyard carnival for which the cost was low, but the fun-factor was high.
As my husband and I age, we’re finding our birthday celebrations include more people and more food. Milestones are marked by lunch with these friends and dinner with those. Gifts and best wishes are exchanged over drinks and dessert. I look back over the last 20 or so birthdays and remember very few specific gifts. What stands out are the well-wishers and how blessed I am by those I love.