This year was a 'birthday party' year for Lukka, and it seemed he was able to stretch his birthday out over a couple of days pretty easily. Every other year, each child gets a birthday party, with family, and on the other year, they get a special date with mom and dad. Remember Ani's Paint Yourself Silly day? This was her off year. Next year she'll get a party, and we'll have to think about something Lukka would enjoy more one on one.
For his birthday this year, I sent out invites 3 weeks in advance to let family know we'd have a backyard bbq to celebrate. Almost everyone was able to come, the kids dug in the dirt and got messy (which they of course loved), and the adults were able to hang out for 2-3 hours and chit chat, in between mouthfuls of pulled pork, baked beans, cold fruit, chips, and finally some delicious gluten free chocolate cupcakes!
Each birthday, the kiddo gets 2 special dates along with a party or a 'date out'. Stefan continues his own father's tradition of Birthday Breakfast and takes the child out to Village Inn for a happy face pancake before he goes to work. The second is they always get to choose where to eat for dinner with the family. Here is Lukka, above, decked out in birthday crown enjoying his dinner at Breada, for their mac n cheese.
Lukka got to open our gifts on his actual birthday, June 21 (first day of Summer!), and enjoyed the family the next night..and their generous gifts, too! We always get our children 'something to read', 'something to wear', 'something to play with', and for his book, we chose a book he's been begging me for Wind-Up Train Book, which I was able to earn free with Usborne. For clothing, I saw a pajama set at Costco awhile back with my friend, and not only was the price right, but he has holes in almost all of his jams! His something to play with was a Zoo Camp this year, but since he couldn't technically open that, I also got him some math puzzles.
He is always so appreciative of gifts and I am very thankful we've stuck to our guns getting them only a few things each time around Christmas or birthdays. It really is so nice to see them love and use what they have, and I can't even imagine them complaining that they didn't get 'so and so'. The simplicity has really been a wise decision, though I don't think they will likely remain like that forever, but I can hope! Some of Lukka's favorite gifts from family included the following: child-size binoculars, rain boots, a fishing rod + tackle box, goggles, and a book he loves to check out at the library. We love doing birthdays this way and it's amazing to think he's already five! We had a wonderful time celebrating.
What special things do you do for birthday celebrations? Any yearly traditions?