Birthdays are so fun! I love celebrating the lives of those in my family. Doing just a little extra to help the celebration of your family members contributes to the excitement of their day and it makes them feel important. It builds tradition, memories and self confidence as you instill in them that they are special to you. I have a few ideas to share with you that once you create them, don't take much time year after year. The first idea is the...
The hanging of the birthday banner is something that happens without fail in our home on birthdays. It is a fun simple tradition that announces to everyone that there is a birthday in the house! The best thing about it is that it is a decoration that is the same every year. In other words, once it is made it is used over and over again and there is no reinventing the wheel with decorations each year. SO, I just keep it in a box in the closet and it takes me less than ten minutes to hang after the birthday boy (in my house they are all boys!) heads to bed.
To make the banner buy stiff felt and cut it in half. Buy wood letters, glitter paint, ribbon and embellishments. Then grab your glue gun and get creative! Then glue each completed letter square to a long strand of ribbon. You can use invisible large tape to attach it to the wall or even better if you have a place where you can install a few nails or hooks that are invisible to the eye then it makes hanging super simple at each birthday. I recommend making the banner with a friend or two. I did it years ago with my friend Jen, of course we laughed for hours while reaping the benefits of using the creative side of our brains. It was such a great memory and we were able to share lots of the goods we bought to make the banners. Late nights with girlfriends are seriously good therapy!
One other item that goes in the box with the birthday banner is the...
The birthday tent was inspired by my friend Amy. It is a really fun tradition and is simple to hang year after year. I install 3m hooks on the ceiling and the birthday tent has string loops at each corner that slip easily onto the hooks making up and down of the tent easy and fast.
To make the tent you need
Lill lace curtain panels from IKEA. They come in packs of 2 and are $5 each. You need 3 packs
Christmas lights. I used 4 packs of 100 lights.
Balloons if you want to add them on the top.
First thread your lights through 4 of your curtain panels, allowing the leftover to drape evenly from each side. Also be sure that your light strands line up so they plug into each other. Tie kite string to the light strand at the end of each curtain, connecting the corners of lights and fabric together. Then place your hooks on the ceiling and loop strings tied at the four corners to the hooks on the ceiling, allowing the desired length so that the panel fabric grazes the floor.
Then tie the other two curtain panels together at the top. They are what make the ceiling of the tent. You attach them at their corners halfway through one of the curtain strands and then, repeat on the opposite side. The excess lays over the side of the tent. Be sure to secure the fabric with kite string at the corners and also at a couple places along the sides so the balloons don't fall through holes.
Add the balloons on the top and an extension cord to plug in the lights. And presto!
Under the birthday tent we open presents, have a birthday dinner and have birthday conversations that change each year about the person who we are celebrating.
An easy tradition to throw into the mix is eating on a designated plate each year.
Remember to Celebrate the Person!
And lastly! We do something to REMEMBER the person we are celebrating. One thing we do is watch a video of the first year of their life. Kids love seeing themselves as babies and they feel tender that everyone around them is oohing and awing and laughing at them. AGAIN, created once and easy to pull out each year!
A different idea that my friend Jen does to REMEMBER is she tapes pictures from their life up on a door. They love to look at it and to keep it simple she puts them in an envelope and adds a few each year. And one more fun one that my friends Lisa and Amy do to REMEMBER, is they tape pictures of funny memories all over their room and at night the whole family lays in their dark room with a flashlight highlighting and talking about each picture as they shine the lights on them! How darling is that????
I am a firm believer that when we look for something beautiful to celebrate we find it and by doing so we create more beauty and fun memories. Cheers to your birthday celebrations whatever they may be! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!