It’s definitely birthday season in our house.  Tomorrow is Tyler’s and Brody’s 8th birthday and we celebrated yesterday with a big beach party.  Mine is today and just a few weeks ago it was our oldest son’s birthday.  Geminis unite!
8th birthday

Anyone that knows me knows that I love to celebrate my birthday.

Most people stop announcing their birthday to strangers as they get older but not me.  I love telling people it’s my birthday and I’m not stopping because it’s fun.  It’s my special day so there (sticking tongue out).

I like to celebrate and I like making my children feel special.  That being said several years ago my husband and I agreed that the birthday celebrations were getting a little outrageous and we wanted to make a change.  Our children had so many toys that it was getting difficult to even come up with gift ideas.  Talk about a first world problem!  We thought about maybe doing the “experience” thing…tickets to a special event, or an annual pass somewhere, maybe some lessons to learn something new.

Sounds fun I will admit, however, I was torn because I fondly think back to my own childhood backyard cake and ice cream parties with my neighborhood friends.  Those were the best!

Blowing out my candles as everyone sang me happy birthday rivaled the excitement I had waking up Christmas morning!

That’s an experience we didn’t want to take from our children nor did we feel it should fully be our decision how they celebrate since it is THEIR birthday.

So we announced that they would now have a choice to make when deciding how to celebrate their birthdays.  Their choice would be between a big present or a big party.  They no longer would receive both.  Surprisingly they didn’t protest like we expected but rather started discussing which they’d be choosing for their next birthdays.

It has been a toss up between big parties and big gifts.  Hunter has finagled a pseudo party (low-cost sleepover with friends)/big gift deal.  Tyler and Brody chose a big gift last year and received a trampoline at their family-only “party” but this year they chose to celebrate big with friends.  I can’t say I prefer one over the other.  While the big gift is much less exhausting I do enjoy watching them blow out their candles to the tune of Happy Birthday sung by all of their friends!
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