Welcome to the July edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival - Celebrations cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month, we write about keeping things simple with our kids. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.
Parents want to make their children feel special on their birthdays, and children cherish that feeling of growing up and being reminded of how much others care for them. It is that feeling which is important, to both parent and child. The amount you spend on the party, the gifts, and the decorations doesn’t really matter, despite what most of the party invitations your child may receive indicate.
At our house, we have eschewed the $300 rental, the pony rides, the gymnastics gym, and the party planner who has every minute of the 1 1/2 hour party planned out with no room for variation. Our family has chosen to keep birthdays simple and focus on the reason for the celebration: the births and lives of our children.
Fun Activities Our children generally choose a fun place to go on their birthday. This doesn’t have to be expensive, and we often utilize a membership we have or visit a free or inexpensive place that has been on their list of things they want to do.
Special Dinner On birthdays, the birthday child gets to choose a special dinner. Sometimes that means eating out and sometimes that means making something special at home. I also try to make favorites for breakfast and lunch.
Special Dessert The birthday child also gets to choose a special dessert. My mother was, once upon a time, a professional cake decorator, and growing up, my siblings and I could choose whatever we wanted on our cakes. We have continued that tradition with our children. I have made all manner of cakes and have also branched out into some decorated cookie cakes and cheesecakes, per their requests, over the years. Each one is special and unique. I have also learned to let go of perfectionistic tendencies and a few years ago, I began making the cake with the birthday child. The experience of making it together is something our children look forward to each year.
Family Only Party We keep the party for just us. That doesn’t mean we never meet up with friends or avoid other people all together, but we keep the special party just for our family: dinner, dessert, and presents.
Simple Gifts We don’t go overboard on gifts. Instead, we spend time and thought, as well as listening to any requests, to find meaningful gifts for our children. These are often homemade gifts but have also included purchased items that the kids think are special. We help their siblings think of gift ideas.
Birthdays, or any celebrations, don’t have to be flamboyant or expensive, if that isn’t what works for your family. They just need to feel special. When your children are grown, how they felt at those times will be what they remember most.
Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple living and parenthood. We hope you will join us next month when we discuss Money Matters!
- Parties - sustainablemum explains how and why she keeps her birthday celebrations for her eldest a simple affair at his behest.
- Simple Birthday Celebrations - Birthdays are kept simple at Living Peacefully with Children. Mandy shares how her family celebrates birthdays without the stress and expense.
- Countdown to a Simple Christmas - Start now to prepare your house and home for the holidays. Steps to take each month to enjoy a much simpler approach to Christmas.
- Simply Celebrate - Jorje has tried celebrating kid birthdays BIG and small… which one do you think was more simple? less stressful?
- That’s a Wrap - At Parentwin, Darlena describes her experiences with wrapping gifts and how she has changed her ideals when it comes to gift giving.
- Simple Celebrations – Laura at Authentic parenting shares how her family keeps celebrations simple.