Sunday, November 18, 2012

Birthdays and Birthday Traditions

 Today has been LMB's eighth birthday and I thought I'd share a few pictures of her day and of the traditions we have as a family.

She has been incredibly excited about her birthday this year, more than I have remembered her being in the past. This culminated in her bringing her dad and me a cup of tea and coffee in bed at 12am this morning, thinking it was time to get up and open her presents (softening the blow!) We didn't get up then, just in case you were wondering (in fact, I'm afraid we didn't even drink the tea or coffee!). Six hours later and she was snuggled in with us, I would like to say she was soon sound asleep again, but sadly, she was keen to play footsie with me to remind me of her presence (and presents!), whisper loudly to ask what time it was 30 seconds after asking before, roll around a lot and play with my hair. By 6.40 the dog had joined in, so we gave it up as a bad job...the coffee was reheated and the day began!

 I think we had perhaps caused some of her restlessness in the night by sneaking in to remove her old desk that came from the underneath of my sister's cabin bed and exchange it for this absolutely gorgeous old writing desk. Yes, we removed a 30 year old cabin bed desk and replaced it with a 50+ year old writing's character ;-) She loves to write and draw and all authors and illustrators need a beautiful desk with a story of its own in order to get the creative juices flowing. Her chair was just lost before, as was the beauty of her little, it just sings with joy, just like its owner!

We always set up the table on birthday mornings with the birthday ring, the crown and, for her, the Rainbow Bridge story book that we read each year. These traditions, particularly for her, stem back to her days in the Steiner Waldorf toddler community and we love them so much, we have kept them as part of our traditions ever since. The Rainbow Bridge is an adaptable story that we tell each year, adding the most current year. There are adaptations of the tale on the internet, but this one explains it most beautifully I feel. 
For us it connects the meaning of a birthday with birth and life rather than just it being a day for presents and lots of sugar (although there is usually that too!). It's a nice reminder to them of the day they were born and what has happened in their lives to date.

We have also always used a wooden birthday ring. I love the simplicity of them, but they also have an added bonus that when the child blows out their candles, there is less likelihood of the latest cold going home in the party bag alongside a slice of cake !!
They can be as elaborate or simple as you like. Ours is a relatively simple one. We have the number the child has reached, the moon on one side and the sun on the other to represent the world. We have two I really need to explain that? and we buy a new figure each year either chosen by the child or to go with the theme of the party. This year our new figure was a pink flamingo...the theme being....

Alice in Wonderland!


An awesome Mad Hatter !

Not only was today a celebration for the smallest of us, but Master Beehive the younger won a silver medal today in his age group in Tae Kwon Do. We were just so pleased he had decided to take the plunge and enter the competition on the advice of his TKD teacher. What a proud mama !

Do you have any birthday traditions? If you do, please let me know!

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