Just a little note before I get started. My youngest son just turned 5 a couple months ago. I have been planning this post since taking this picture on his 4th birthday. Just to let you know how “on top of things” I am as a blogger.
Before our children came, my husband and I made the decision that we wouldn’t have any of the mystical holiday people (creatures). No tooth fairy, Santa Clause, or Easter Bunny.
There are many, many reasons for that (you can read about some of them here), and we are completely comfortable and confident in that decision.
However, one year around Easter, we were talking to a friend who was so excited about the things she’d purchased her children for their Easter baskets. They had some great treats, and it was very exciting for the whole family. The children had a great time of anticipating what those toys and treats would be, and she got to look forward to their excitement and joy.
For the first time ever, I was a little envious of an Easter bunny mom.
We knew we didn’t want to compromise our position on the Easter Bunny or Santa. We also knew that we didn’t want to turn these Christian holidays into a time of being all about us, or our children (any more than they, sadly, already are).
But, I envied that time of excitement and anticipation.
After thinking about this for a while, our Birthday baskets were born.
We fill a basket with some gifts–toys, treats, etc. Some are wrapped and some are not, but the baskets are highly anticipated, and it’s a fun way to celebrate with our boys. I decorate a fun little sign with their new age on it, and they love that.
To be clear–there is no birthday fairy. Our boys know full well that we are giving the gifts. But it’s still fun for them to go to bed the night before anticipating what might be in their birthday basket the next day. It’s also a special time for us to celebrate their birthdays alone as a family unit, before their party with friends and/or family.
Birthdays are a super fun time in general for our family. The birthday boy gets special treatment–he can choose a special restaurant to eat lunch or supper.
But my favorite thing about birthdays is watching my boys work extra hard to make it special for one another, even without prompting. I love hearing “It’s your birthday, so you can pick what show we watch.” or “It’s your birthday, so you can have the special seat.” (yes, there is a favored “special” seat in our van. Don’t ask.)
We always put extra treats in their basket so that they can share easier. We don’t force them to share, but we do put 2 of some things and they just naturally share. After all, treats are more enjoyable with a friend.
What are your birthday traditions?