Counting Down The Days

You all know how I feel about birthdays. I have written about it here.  This is one of the little "Birthday Traditions" we have going on around here.

To countdown the days to our birthdays, we do the "birthday chain" here in our house. (We actually
make these chains any time we are counting down the days ... to starting school, to Christmas, to Easter, to leaving for vacation, etc.) I picked up these simple wooden party hat and cupcake shapes at the craft store and painted them with puffy paint. Once we are about a week out, we take strips of paper and staple them into a chain that marks the days we are counting down until B-Day.

Each day, we tear off one chain and dance and giggle and talk about what the birthday is going to be like. This year, we are counting down the days to the actual Birthday of my daughter (the cupcake chain), and the days to her Birthday Party (the party hat chain), which falls on a different day. Double the joy!

How do you celebrate in your home? Any birthday traditions you grew up with that you love?  Are your kids as birthday crazed as mine are?


  1. i think my husband and I created a monster in the form of "we'll never live up to that one again" when we had a Harry Potter party a few years ago. we had "herbology" where the kids all potted their own flower, a "gnome toss", coloring center, tatoo lightning bolts, and broomsticks for everyone.

    We had just finished re-decorating the boys' room to look like the Gryffindor common rom, and gotten a pet rat to finish it off.

    Now they expect every birthday to be as cool as that one! yikes -

  2. Wow Kristen, I want the Gryffindor room, sounds cool!
    Yes, birthdays are always a big deal around here. In fact, my daughter has to have something to celebrate or else she can't say goodnight. When we tuck in she always says, "NIght night, sleep tight don't let the _________ bite. The blank is filled in with whatever she is anticipating. If it is Christmas, don't let the elves bite, birthday, don't let Aileena bite, father's day, don't let the Daddy's bite, etc. Birthday traditions are fun, our kids get to put their hand in the change jar that we collect and grab as much as their hand can hold on to, They love this. We also do their favorite dinner. I don't usually have sugar cereal in the house, so birthdays are also a time they get to choose one box of sugar cereal.

  3. Sigh.

    I wrote a similar post a few months ago, just before my oldest daughter turned 7. I got tons of great suggestions about how to make the day special without resorting to ridiculously expensive parties or gifts.

    But then the day came, and we didn't do anything different. Next year, I vowed to myself. Next year!

    Having said that, I also love (LOVE!) my kids' birthdays. They are so much fun, and I get the biggest thrill out of seeing their eyes light up when I bring out their birthday cake. Such a simple pleasure.

  4. I remember that my mom used to "display" on our beds the new dress for our birthday. And that was always a huge surprise!!! My sister and I loved it because it made our day even more special (my brother never cared very much... but what do you expect from a boy?). I remember waking up with my mom’s kisses, and my brother and sister singing "cumplea├▒os feliz", while I was just ecstatic still in bed... IT WAS MY DAY!!!... And after breakfast, the surprise of the new dress!!!... I remember my 14th birthday. I think that was the most special one. In those days, my mom was very sick with leukemia so I didn't think about my birthday. I came back home from school and mom asked me to go to the bar of the neighborhood to get I don't know what. I was pretty sad and not because of my birthday... I got into the bar and Ramon told me to accompany to the back room... WHAT A SURPRISE! There were my close friends from school and my brother and sister! And a beautiful table full of flowers! Everybody sang "happy birthday". On each napkin, a daisy pin, and on mine a note from my mom: "happy birthday, my dear daughter. I love you very much. Enjoy!"... I can't help myself some tears even now when I remember... That was a great birthday! The best gift??? MY MOTHER's LOVE!

  5. Marga-

    I am crying even now reading about your special day. What a beautiful memory! Thanks for sharing that!

    Cutler's - i love the change jar idea, and the sugar cereal treat at breakfast is a fun one too! Thanks for those ideas.

    Kelly - I cannot wait to check out your post and all the ideas you got. I identify very well (!!) with starting simple and then creating gala events. I am working on a post from my daughter's birthday and you will see what I mean. :) But, truth is, I LOVE event planning and parties. I love having our friends together and pampering them with treats and I love using my creativity to plan stuff lke this. So, really, it is for me as much as for my kids. An outlet for my creative energy!

    There is a fine line between going crazy and making it festive and spoiling our kids. I hear you on that.

    Blessings, Mamas!

  6. For the last 6 years I have been doing a birthday quiz with everyone that matters to me. My questions on the birthday quiz just give you a chance to reflect on the year that passed and make goals for the next one. Here are my birthday quiz questions:

    Erica's birthday quiz:

    1. What was the coolest thing that you did this year?

    2. What was the biggest achievement of your year?

    3. What was a really difficult process that you went through this year?

    4. What is your biggest goal for next year?

    5. What one thing are really PROUD of this year?

    These are important to me as I try to be a better me every year! These can be changed for kids and get them to think of the future and also to be proud of their growth!

    Just a suggestion! :)


  7. I just celebrated my b-day last weekend. I love b-days. My kids were born in Jan and April and I am already ploting and planning their b-days and the things we will do. I do like the chain thing yo u did Aly. Will have to do that. We did a calendar for my son but he did not quite get it. But the chain thing he would totally love to do.


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