Making birthdays meaningful. Traditions for a special day.
Birthdays! Those special milestones!
We all want to make them as special as possible. In China, a birthday boy or girl will be given a bowl that has just one long noodle in it, symbolizing longevity.
They are to eat it in one continuous strand. The longer they can slurp it, the longer their life! Does that sound like fun?
Well, there are traditions set in different cultures - like the one showing the lamp to children in India - the diya or aarti as its called or the Irish tradition of 'birthday bumps' where the child is held and bumped as many times as their birthday.
While birthday celebration differs from family to family, they generally have a similar feel. Every child is different from another so why not do something that is meaningful to the child and helps them make wonderful warm memories that last them forever.
You could create your own traditions and follow them, but here are some ideas that you could adopt as well.
Start the day royally
Bring them breakfast in bed. Yes, yes, spills, and stains notwithstanding. It's their day. Have a little paper crown (like the lovely origami one here) and keep it simple.
It's the thought that counts. A muffin with a small candle will bring a spring to the step of the birthday baby and make the whole day magical.
At Shumee, we can feature your child on our Instagram feed with a special message, for instance.
If you like these ideas and want more fun ones, join the Shumee Birthday Club by clicking. We will add to your special day and participate in the giving spirit.
Birthdays often are about receiving gifts, getting all the attention and about 'ME' and we agree that every child must feel special on their birthday.
But you can feel special by giving as well. Teach your children to give of themselves when young. Share with kids who do not have enough. Spend some time in orphanages and special homes.
You can organize a special meal that day for children in a local orphanage.
Have their favorites on the menu
Food is often a huge battle between parents and kids, but this is not the day to pick that battle. Give them what they like.
One day of junk food is not going to affect their nutrition and who knows you may even be able to bargain about better eating on other days!
Plant in their name
A tree, a plant in a pot or anything they want to. You can do it at local nurseries and find out local organizations that will do it for you.
Ideally, let them do the planting themselves. Tracking the growth of the plant or tree will be fun.
How did you make your little one's birthday special? We would love to hear from you. Please share ideas, thoughts, and pictures in comments below!!
Surprise them throughout the day
Little inexpensive gifts and cards that they can open up and feel happy about. A special pencil, a hairband, a new lunchbox or a water bottle - all add up to a joyful and memorable birthday.
The Shumee birthday club, for instance, will start the child's day with a special birthday message in an email that will be fun to get and as the child gets older, they can enjoy opening it themselves and seeing the fun birthday graphics.
Scavenger hunt for gifts
Give them a map to follow where they can find these little gifts and treats. It is fun to look for gifts as it is to open them. It will also be a great activity for them to exercise their growing skills.
The Shumee birthday club will have special offers and goodies just for the birthday baby!!
Plan a party (or two)
Yes, yes we all have parties for birthdays but make it as personal as you can.
If they like purple, make it all purple. Bake a purple cake, wear purple and so on... If they love the outdoors, plan one in a playground where they can get the physical fun they like.
Plan one for family and one for just kids. You can have different activities for each set and even do them on different days, thus extending the birthday.
Involve family and friends
The more, the merrier. Who does not like to be made a fuss of by as many people? In India especially we often have scores of aunts, uncles, and cousins who would love to chip in.
Start a tradition
You can start a tradition that is just your own. For instance, you can read a special book every birthday based on what you wish to communicate.
It can be a great tradition that helps you both bond as well. Make it as fun as you like with props or even dress up. You can make a scrapbook for the birthday child. They can add to it every year, or you can make a new one for the collection every year.
Let them own it
If your child loves to be read to or read, they may like a trip to the library or book store. If they like trains, visit a mall with a choo choo train and take a ride, or if they are old enough and (you are brave enough) take them to the train station.
If they are old enough and like animals, let them donate to an animal welfare organization or see the work they do. Plan a visit to their favorite restaurant, maybe play their favorite game with them. Let them know it's their day, and they own it!
Several traditions that have been passed down to us for ages, from making a sweet at home to getting the good wishes of elders to doing something charitable on that special day all hold good.
The idea is to do something that is fun, memorable and special. The more you can make it about what is important to you and the children, the better it is!