Birthday Traditions Create Lasting Memories

By Kyrie Collins, Macaroni KID Highlands Ranch-Parker-Castle Rock-Lone Tree Publisher July 5, 2022

What do you remember about your childhood birthday celebrations? What you do look forward to now when your birthday is coming up?

Whether you are 5 or 35... or, dare we say, 85... birthdays are wonderful milestones to be embraced and celebrated!

Everyone wants to feel special on this once-a-year day. Here are a few ideas to help you create unique traditions that your family will remember and cherish for years to come.

Birthday Wake-Up Call

Decorate your kid’s room while they are asleep or hang streamers and balloons from their door frame if they are a light sleeper. In the morning, head to their room for a special Birthday Snuggle and sing the "Happy Birthday" song to them as they wake up.

Use Special Decorations

I remember the year we took our first Disney cruise. I saw a birthday banner on one of the cabin doors. Clearly, this family had a birthday tradition that traveled with them!

I copied the idea, and we have a stash of banners, balloons, streamers, and more that we use on the birthday person's door at home to get in the spirit of things.

Traditional Birthday Cake

I had a special birthday cake growing up. My birthday is in early May, so my mom would make a sauce with fresh strawberries, then pour it over angel food cake and top it with whipped cream. Even today, one bite fills me with happiness and floods my brain with birthday memories from years gone by.

Whether you make one from scratch or purchase one from your favorite local bakery, you should have your cake and eat it too!

Watch Them Grow

Choose an inanimate object — anything from a teddy bear to a shoe — to be part of the birthday picture every year. Having your child pose next to something that stays the same over time really shows off the growth and changes from year to year.

We received a stuffed frog rocking chair when her first son was born. For the first year, I took a picture of my son in the chair every month on the birth date. After that, it became an annual event on his birthday. Now that he is older, he holds the chair above his head for this picture tradition!

A Favorite Meal

My family did not go out to eat a lot when I was growing up, but birthdays received special treatment, and the birthday kid got to choose anything and anywhere they wanted to eat. This was especially a great treat as we got older!

From morning pancakes to a favorite dinner, birthdays are an occasion for noteworthy meals.

Golden Birthday

Golden birthdays are when you turn the same age as the day of your birthday. While every birthday may not be a huge to-do, make the Golden Birthday a BIGGIE. When my kiddo turns 12, we are sure to make this one extra special!  

Tell the Story

My mom would start my birthday each year with the same line: "On this day, (#) years ago, you made me the happiest person..." Then she would proceed to talk about the day I was born. Even when I was in college or off working in another state, she still called early in the morning to start my day off this way. Obviously, I still remember this fondly. The little things really do mean a lot!

Birthday Person Only

Whether it's a special hat, crown, t-shirt, or a decorated chair, have something that is only for the Birthday Person on their special day.

Like our "Party Animal" hat? One size fits all!

Create Your Own

Our family has a few "extra" birthdays. We did a small celebration for "9-9-9" when her older son was 9 years, 9 months, and 9 days old... his last day of having all single digits in his age. 

On my husband's side of the family, we celebrate "A Third of a Century" when you turn 33 and 4 months old with an elaborate theme and decorations. It isn't officially a birthday, of course, but this is a special celebration that everyone will remember and probably continue when the kids are grown and have families of their own.

Capture the moment

Capture the memories with photos. That includes you, Moms! Have someone (friend, neighbor, waiter, or random person walking down the street if you have to) take a picture of your family at every birthday celebration. This way, you will have at least a few good family photos a year!

Birthdays are significant days. The idea is to have a few traditions to make those in your life feel special, cared for, and loved on their special day. Celebrate, enjoy, and make some memories that will last a lifetime!

➡️ Return to our AWESOME Birthday Issue!