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We have 7 children and don’t do parties every year because it would feel like a non-stop party planning task. That being said, we do celebrate as a family and have a local restaurant that has a ‘kids eat free’ deal, so we always go there for a meal together to celebrate special occasions.
I am curious to know how other’s celebrate birthdays. Do you have a party every year? Do you have any special traditions?
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Each of my kids have different birthday party wishes and we try to stick to them. My oldest likes to have a one-on-one celebration with his best friend. It's so fun to plan. Last year I made them a bunch of "fake food" .... sandwiches, french fries, etc. but they were all made out of candies and cake. And we do a fun craft or project.
My other child is really social and wanted to invite everyone he possibly could! So we did a sledding party and it was a success.
My youngest is only one, so we had an immediately family only dinner and it was lovely. I can't wait to see what she likes to do!
Birthdays - specifically parties- have evolved as my kids have gotten older, but we do have some birthday traditions which include being woken up with singing, and spending time together opening gifts. Our extended family live quite far away and so thanks to the wonders of technology we are all able to see one another and convey birthday wishes.
When it comes to parties, until my kids were about 9-years-old, we celebrated birthdays at home with all kids in the class being invited. I realised early on that having a bouncy castle or something similar to keep the kids active was ideal (or in my daughter's case a slip 'n slide as she had a summer birthday) and even today's tech savvy kids love traditional party games. For a few years I went to a lot of trouble with the kid's snacks, but realised that these would go unappreciated and there was a lot of wastage as the kids were busy playing. As a result, I started focussing on snacks for the parents that stayed, provided a few small easy snacks like potato chips and popcorn and drinks for the kids while they played, and then had a party pack with candy for each child to take home. We decided not to spend money on themed decorations, but I did always order birthday cakes from a baker and my kids could choose the theme for the cake.
From 9-years onward until their early teen years, my kids had small parties with selected close friends. My son enjoyed activities like 10 pin bowling, a movie outing, a beach picnic, and laser tag while my daughter preferred sleepover movie nights at home. I really enjoyed this period of "party planning" because I did not have to also cater to parents which was great for the budget.
Once my kids got to high school, they no longer wanted birthday parties and so we usually celebrated birthdays with a dinner out as a family. Milestone birthdays may be a bit more celebratory, but I have usually allowed my kids to guide me as to their preferences. My daughter is more introverted and prefers quiet socialising with a few close friends and although my son is more outgoing, he would prefer to use the money that we would have spent on a party on other things.
We have a large family who all live close by. Some months we have 7 or 8 birthdays to celebrate! Although we love being together to honor the birthday boy or girl, it can be a bit much.
So we, too, are considering ideas to pare down the celebrating.
We considered bunching some of the celebrations together into one group event.
Other ideas are:
* allowing the child to pick something fun to do of their choice and bring 1 friend along
*only celebrate "Big" birthdays such as every 5 years, becoming a teen, turning 16, etc.
*do "summer" birthdays together and have a big picnic or meet at a beach
Surprisingly, our oldest generation, my parents are the most resistant to changing up the birthday celebration tradition! The kids seem fine with whatever we do.
Before the pandemic, we would usually eat out with our extended family on special occasions including our birthdays. We celebrate yearly however, this was stopped when our place was placed on lockdown. Even if the health protocols are less stricter now, we still decided to celebrate special occasions at home and we have not invited anyone just to be on the same side.
We see to it to celebrate birthdays, especially our kids' every year. It does not need to have an expensive and tedious preparation. You can simply celebrate your kids' birthday at home with either home-cooked meals or via food delivery. I do not think that it has much of a difference because my kids appreciate whatever we prepare. I can see that they are happy with simple and small gifts too. One thing we do is let them feel special on their special day and do not let them spend it like any ordinary day. After all, their special day come only once a year. so why not celebrate it in any way you can.
That sounds like a lovely idea! I only have one child so yes, we have a party each year. I like parties myself so I enjoy the planning. For us, I like to have a theme, find a special park or activity centre and host a cake, party bags and some games. If restrictions allow, entertainment with clowns, fairy dress ups or music is also fun!