How Do You Celebrate the Lives of Those You Love?

September brings with it an end of summer, a start of another school year, and in our family, two birthdays: mine and my youngest daughter’s. (There’s also the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8), which provides yet another excuse for us to devour birthday cake!)

In a culture that devalues life, celebrating a birthday says, “I’m glad you were born.  I’m blessed to know you. I enjoy spending time with you.”

My parents welcomed me in their mid-to-late forties, more than a decade after the younger of my two brothers. My brothers welcomed me as well, despite the fact it meant that eventually they had to share a room. I say eventually, because I think I slept in a crib in my parents’ room until I was five. (Maybe that’s the subconscious reason I’ve never used a crib with our kids.  Hmmm . . . )

Jeremiah 1:5

Our family celebrations were simple and traditional: cake and ice cream. Our cakes most often came from the German bakery in town. Any leftovers made for a rich, calorie-laden breakfast with a glass of cold milk.

Birthday candles

Now, in my own family, beyond the cake, ice cream, singing and presents, there’s not much else we do. Some families incorporate favorite meals, special notes, and other creative ways of celebrating the lives of those we love.

I’d love to hear what your family does and perhaps incorporate your traditions into our family birthday celebrations.

What do you do to make birthdays special in your family?


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6 thoughts on “How Do You Celebrate the Lives of Those You Love?

  1. Hi Carolyn!
    I found your blog through Michael Hyatt’s Facebook.

    We tend to celebrate birthdays with breakfast in bed. My family did a lot of gifts, but now that I’m grown and married, my husband and I like keeping it simple and doing something memorable together on one’s birthday.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Nadine! My family has never attempted breakfast in bed, but I’d love that surprise! I like a simple, quiet celebration, too. Tonight will be dinner with my family.

  3. Hi Carolyn! I found you through Michael Hyatt’s Facebook, too! My two children, who are now 25 and soon to be 27, have birthdays ten days apart. When they were little, I would decorate but eventually started leaving up the decorations. A continuous celebration was born that turned into two week-long celebrations. For most of their lives, we’ve had “birthday weeks” that every member of the family eventually adopted. Even now, we buy some fun kids plates and decorations (big kids like Hello Kitty, too) and enjoy spending time together!

    • A week actually sounds nice. The days slip by so quickly. It’s funny how little things like the plates and decorations are simple but make it special. Thanks for stopping by!

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