Studio 5 Party, Holiday & Idea Contributor Alisa Bangerter shares five simple (but very creative!) traditions to help your family celebrate the special day!
Special Birthday Chair
Decorate a special birthday chair for the birthday person to use during mealtimes and when opening gifts. Look for a unique wood chair at a thrift store, yard sale or consignment type store. Paint the chair with fun colors and patterns and seal with a varnish. A fun tradition might be to have the birthday person sign and date the chair each year. Another option could be to decoupage the chair with patterned paper, a photo from the birthday or even pieces of wrapping from gifts. Over the years the chair will take on a life of its own and become a piece of memorabilia as well as a fun tradition used to make that birthday person feel special. Other options would be to make a “princess, prince, king or queen” chair. Simply decorate with jewels, glitter, bling etc. A chair fit for birthday royalty.
Happy Birthday Hat
Start a tradition with a birthday hat. This could be done several ways. One option is to create a new birthday hat each year for each person. Make or decorate the hat to represent the previous year for that person. It could simply be a newspaper hat decorated in various ways. Another option is to have a family hat that is worn by each person – and they must have a photo taken sometime during their birthday day in the hat. Other options would be have a hat that the birthday person could sign each year, or a hat that a small item or trinket (or a tiny photo) could be attached to that represents the person that year. This tradition would create hats that over time would become a conversation piece. Be creative with hats: crowns, cowboy hats, winter hats, top hats, bonnets, straw hats, sports helmets, etc.
Personalized Birthday Song or Poem
A fun tradition is to have family members write a personalized poem each year for the birthday person. Writing a poem can be easy – just follow a popular poem or rhyme and add your own words. Poems can be a lot of fun when read each year – be sure to save them in a book. Guests invited to a party could also be asked to bring poems if desired. Another fun idea is to change the words of a popular song or tune and create a personal song for the birthday person. This can be a really fun tradition to look forward to.
Birthday Surprise Yarn Ball
Use yarn to wrap up small “surprises” for the birthday person. Gather small gifts such as: wrapped candies, jewelry, toys, money, written notes, etc. Keep items about 5″ square or less. The center gift or item could be wrapped if desired. To create the ball: start and wrap the center item (usually the largest item) with yarn and continue wrapping and adding items as you wrap. Wrap so the ball turns into a large ball. If needed, add a tag that tells the birthday person to unwrap to find the surprises inside. A fun way to turn this into a tradition is to have each family member contribute one item for the ball. Simple notes or messages would be a fun way to give wishes. Each family member could have their own color of yarn that is used each year – be creative with yarn as there are a lot of fun varieties available. Unwrap the surprise ball at the dinner table or when opening gifts.
Family Birthday Journal
A family birthday journal is very simple to do and can become a treasured keepsake. Journals can be for an entire family or each person can have their own individual birthday journal. Every birthday pull out the journal. Have guests sign or write a brief comment to the birthday person. Add a list of gifts received, a photo of the event and a comment from the birthday person. Keep it to one page if the journal is for an entire family. Remember this does not need to be a scrapbook but more a book of feelings with thoughts of the event.
Traditions are important and can link and bind us with through the generations. Traditions can be started any time and can be changed to throughout the years to fit your family dynamics and the ages of your children or grandchildren. They can be simple and fun. Make it a priority to start some new traditions each year and remember that birthdays are a great time to start. Be creative!