Birthdays are a big deal around here. And they come often. Monthly, in fact. With the exception of May, we have a birthday or two every month from January to August. We started off having a party for each child for each birthday, like most other families. However, as our family grew, the number of parties became burdensome; to us and our friends! Who wants to throw or attend a party each and nearly every single month for eight months?
We began having simple, family only parties on each child's birthday. No pressure, no huge undertaking, just fun little parties. One year, each child got a fun little scavenger hunt that led to their gift. We also did a BIG 'once a year' party to invite friends. Then we began to decline presents from friends at the party, as we neither needed or really wanted any more stuff. The kids chose an organization to donate cash gifts to instead, and themed the party around that. We had a VOM "Balloons to North Korea" benefit party and one for God's Littlest Angels Orphanage in Haiti. These types of parties were a blessing to all involved and to others as well!
One year we took our friends to Pump It Up, an indoor bouncy-house gymnasium. We allowed gifts this time, asking in the announcement that they stay to the chosen theme of Legos. By offering a gift theme, we were able to avoid toys that would not fit well in our family and instead, we were able to build a well-loved collection that is used all the time.
One year, the children decided that they would like a cash present. Since they generally don't get a lot of cash, we went with it. Each child got cash along with a small gift and was able to save or spend it as they wished (with guidance, of course).
More recently, we simply have family parties for the birthday child on their day. I am entertaining the idea of another big party, as it's been a couple of years since our last one. I like changing it up and doing something different each year. I'll be entering into talks with the Lambies to get their ideas. Since birthday season is January through August, so we've not a whole lot of time until the first one.
What are your birthday celebrations like? Please share! Then click the button below to go to Clark Chatter and see the linky for other birthday party related posts.