The Holiday Birthday: Making it Memorable

by Laura on January 2, 2014

in Blog

AKTiled500So many of my friends celebrate their birthdays around the holidays, that I’ve often wondered how they felt sharing their day with a major holiday. Surprisingly, most tell me that they didn’t mind – even those with birthdays on Christmas. In fact, they often said that it was great, because as kids their parents made sure that the day was special.

Yet still, I wondered how, amid all the craziness of Christmas and New Year’s, it could truly be special.

Then one day, it happened to us.

Seven years ago, as I sat big-bellied on the couch for Christmas, barely able to move, I prayed that the twins wouldn’t arrive on Christmas. I got my wish, but I only held out a few more days, and delivered them before the new year arrived.

Ever since, Greg and I have had to rally past Christmas and find the energy to make the day special for our girls. It is hard to do, especially since the holidays are filled with parties, preparations, and never ending energy from the four kids. Admittedly, the last thing I want to do in the week between Christmas and New Year’s is plan and implement a birthday party.

We found that the little birthday traditions are the ones that make the day – no matter what day it may be. It doesn’t have to be a big celebration, just something based in traditions, sprinkled with a bit of creativity.

We start with our own family birthday traditions: Using Happy Birthday placemats, a homemade birthday cake, dinner at a restaurant of their choice, and some sort of adventure. For our post Christmas birthday girls, we also make sure that the twins get a birthday cake that doesn’t have any inkling of Christmas (no Christmas trees, candy canes, or snowmen); we wrap their gifts in something other than Christmas paper (I’m often scrounging for something say doesn’t say ‘Merry Christmas’); and we get out of the house, if possible. (Away from the post Christmas craziness).

We did just that this year.

Birthday Girls

Birthday Girls

It was hard to drag the family out of the house, away from the fun of new gifts, and further relaxation after the Christmas rush, but we knew we had to do it if we were to make the day special for the girls. Should we go roller skating, to a movie, or on a hike?

It was a beautiful Northern California Day, and we had been long awaiting the reopening of Muir Beach (which was closed for restoration project), so we packed up the kids and headed to the water’s edge.

The sun was shining and waves were crashing on shore as we toted our gear, birthday cake and presents out to the beach. The girls immediately ran  to splash in the wake, and Grayson and Greg took up a game of Nerf football. The kids were in heaven.

Cake at Beach350

Before heading to do a little tide pooling up the beach, we decided to sing Happy Birthday to the girls, enjoy some cake, and open presents. We then tidied up our blankets and headed over to find some starfish.

TidepoolingBirthday350The kids ran into several friends, which made the starfish search among the rocks even more memorable. After some time on the rocks, we headed back to our blankets to start up a family game of football.

As Greg walked towards the blanket, he spotted something that indicated trouble. A dog ran by with it’s nose smeared in green and blue, and Greg knew something was amiss. As he arrived at our blanket, he found that the green and blue-nosed dog has eaten the rest of our chocolate cake. All that was left were a few crumbs mixed with sand.

At first, my heart went out to the girls – their cake had been eaten. But then, as the thought of our cake being eaten by a dog settled in, we all let giggled at the thought. “At least we ate some of the cake!” one of the girls exclaimed. In the end, the day was truly a memorable birthday for the twins. Not only did we have a great day at the beach, their 7th birthday will always be remembered as the birthday that a dog at the cake.

Before the dog ate it

Before the dog ate it

 

 

 

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