Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Celebrating Birthdays

 Happy Birthday! 

     One celebration and gifting occasion hubby and I love is birthdays. A birthday is special because it is a celebration for just that one person. It's a recognition of the great qualities God has created in him/her. Does celebrating this special day have to be extravagant? We'd like to think not! We much prefer something simple- friends, family, and praise for the birthday guy/gal. This is a wonderful opportunity to really share with the person the good qualities you see, encouragement you glean, or appreication for something he/she has done or is about. 

Celebrating Birthdays 
1) Write a sincere message. 
Booklet of cards each with one quality
or memory that I love about my hubby.
       Take a moment to write more than "Happy Birthday" in a card. The message doesn't have to be elaborate or even eloquent. In fact, it would likely be best for the message to be short to guard against flattery or flowery words. Just a single heartfelt sentiment, memory, or thought will suffice. We all enjoy hearing words of appreciation or affirmation on occasion, and a birthday is a perfect occasion for such. Even a small amount of encouragement and recognition goes a long way!
      I found an idea creating a booklet using playing cards and binder rings on Pinterest. The image served well as a basis for a gift "tag" that I'll continue to use for years to come. I counted out the number of cards equal to hubby's birthday and on each one wrote something about him that I love. The final card is a little statement we've said to each other since we first uttered those magical three words. 

2) Maintain gifting boundaries.

card says: "I admire your entrepreneurial spirit"
and is taped to a book on the subject
       We uphold the same guidelines we've established for gifting for our birthdays as well. We chose an amount that we felt could purchase a nice gift without being too much. In this way we stay within our budget and have no worries for one person ever "topping" the other (*sigh of relief!*). Gifts are usually something simple such as rings for nicely plating a dish, glass water bottle, fabric, book etc. We try to come up with items that the person may have been wanting but wouldn't buy for him/herself or something that will aid in his/her interests. This kind of gifting takes intimately knowing a person, and that's precisely how I feel gifting ought to be done. It's just nice to know that the gift wasn't appropriate for just anyone, but was carefully considered and selected for me in such a personal manner. 
           In continuing the card idea mentioned previously, each year's gift includes another card. People change and so does love over the years, and as such I feel it important to always be watching for discovering ways in which love/the person grows and deepens. 

Graham Cracker Cake with
Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
3) Bake a homemade cake.
        Each year we bake a different cake for each other. Yes, even the hubby gets in the kitchen and whips up  some fantastic homemade cakes! It's a challenge each year to take what we know the other person prefers and create something accordingly. I'm pretty easy since my favorite sweets are cookie dough, ice cream, and chocolate. The hubby, however, isn't as crazy about the rich sweets but instead prefers fruit-based desserts. His cakes always take some work, but I'm so pleased to serve him something so special. The last few years have seen: carrot cake, orange cake, and this year a graham cracker cake with lime cream cheese frosting. It's just fun getting to experience the two different takes on cake. I can't imagine trying to get these types of cakes from a store. Plus, the extra effort put into homemade makes it just that much more special. 

        It's all about making the person feel special. It's about digging deep to get to know the person and investing in his/her life. Perhaps next time there is a birthday card or message to send, include the end of this statement: "I love/admire you because..." I promise it will make an wonderful impact. :)

Linked up at: Women Living Well, Our Simple Country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Growing Home Blog


  1. Awesome ways to celebrate a birthday! For my husband I usually try to cook a special meal, whatever he'd like, and if the budget allows, some type of gift. I agree it's all about making the person feel special!

    I also want to say sorry for not replying to a recent comment you left on my blog. Things have just been hectic! I think it is AWESOME that your dream is home and family. It's sad that in today's world homemaking and family seems so foreign and looked down upon. I'm so thankful my husband is happy, and completely supportive of me being at home, because there are MANY people in my family and group of friends who do judge me for what I do. I just wanted to let you know that I think your a wise woman knowing how important home and family is!

    1. I agree that "it's all about making the person feel special!" I love the idea of keeping it simple and really believe that sometimes our best offering of a gift is our undivided attention.:)

  2. Hi, I followed the Wise Woman Builds Her Home Link-up to your post here. I like your ideas about making birthdays meaningful. I also like to make homemade cakes, they just taste better than the boxed version or even than most grocery store bakeries, in my opinion.

    One fun thing we do for our kids is on the morning of the child's birthday, when they wake up, they get to search around the house to find a gift for each year that they have reached in age. The other kids love the chance to help me and their Dad hide these gifts beforehand. Usually most of the gifts are small things, like a $1 bill or favorite snack food, and then there are one or two "nice" gifts. They enjoy the hunt, the personal nature of the gifts and I like not having to wrap anything!

    1. Hi, Eve! Thanks for dropping by and commenting. The scavenger hunt idea is so clever! A friend of mine once hid packs of M&Ms equal to my age all around the home. I didn't find them immediately, but happened upon them as I went along in life. Finding a new pack brightened my day and kept the fun of the birthday going for a while longer. Scavenger hunt is definitely on my list for fun ways to celebrate birthdays (I just left it off the post- whoops):)

  3. I always give cake with a personal greeting card! It's always great to give something personal for your loved ones! :)


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