(Jonathan's 3rd Birthday 6-3-12)
The month of May begins our steady string of birthdays. And a question I am asked quite frequently is, "How do you celebrate birthdays in your large family?"
Since our older two girls were little, we knew we would not plan elaborate parties every year. And actually began our "method" back then...when we only had two. The only difference now is that with so many people in the family, it's always a party anyway.
Here's how we do it!
We decided that the BIG parties would be reserved for certain ages...5, 10, 13, 16, and 18. One, for sanity's sake, and two, for budget purposes. We chose 5...because they're big enough to enjoy/appreciate a real party, 10...the excitement of turning double digits, 13.....hello teen years, 16.....sweet sixteen, and 18....official adulthood.
A "big" party means inviting friends, having fun games and party favors, and pizza or a BBQ. But they also have the option of going to Chuck E Cheese or the like, but only inviting one or two friends. They always go for the party so they can invite more friends. Our summer birthday kids always choose a pool party. We have a nice clubhouse in our neighborhood that accommodates pool parties nicely. And since we pay association dues, we can use the clubhouse for free!
On the "in between" birthdays, we still want our kids to know how special they are, but we do it with just the family. Our tradition is that the birthday kid gets to choose what he or she wants to eat for breakfast and dinner. Meals made at home, but they pick their favorites! For lunch, the birthday kid gets to choose a place to go with just mom and dad! Inevitably, our little ones always pick Chick-fil-A, which is a win for the budget. Our older, smarter teens go for the real restaurants, which is a win for us since we don't go out often! ; )
(Celeste and Seth agreed to have dual parties since we had family in town...it was a packed house! 6/2011)
So as you can see, each year is special for our children. Even on the non-party years, the kids enjoy their day and know how thankful we are that they were created!
How do YOU celebrate birthdays in your family? What are your special traditions?