Thursday, June 07, 2012

How We Celebrate So Many Birthdays

(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)

 
In addition, they also get to choose their birthday cake, which Mommy always makes (though my big girls have saved me a time or two when I was unable).  They pick a theme/colors/flavors and I do my best to create it.  After dinner and cake, they open their presents.  We usually buy each kid 3-4 things depending on what they asked for and the cost of those things.  We take the little ones to the Dollar Store to shop for the birthday sibling so they can afford to buy the gift themselves.  They love it!

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?

28 comments:

  1. I think that every year sounds like a party year! It looks you've done a great job making your kids feel special on their birthdays.

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  2. So glad you tackled this question. This is pretty much how we have decided to handle it too. Your cakes are beautiful!!

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  3. Love this! Very similar to what we are planning on doing. We had pretty small first birthday parties for both kids and then my (almost) 4 year old will get his first real (big) party this summer. Love the special lunch with mom and dad idea! I'll have to remember that one for next year!

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    1. The special lunch with mom and dad is what they look forward to most. And so do we! :)

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  4. I love your tips on celebrating birthdays with big families. So impressed you made those cakes! Awesome job! I really like the idea of a special meal out on your bday with mom and dad.

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  5. Our eldest are twins so they are used to having dual birthday parties. We are a family with 5 children and do it similiarly to you in that only certain ages get the bigger parties, but we do have a "birthday week", so that the birthday kid (or kids , in the twins' case) get a week of special little things from favorite breakfasts to getting to pick the family movie on movie night. (new reader, here!)

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    Replies
    1. Welcome Katie! How fun...a birthday week! That sounds awesome! :)

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