Birthday Traditions: What's Yours?

Today is one week from my birthday.

This birthday is different from any birthday I've ever had, or probably will have.

I'm excited, because I'm moving to a whole new level: I won't be a teenager any more. I'll be two decades old. It will be the first birthday I'll celebrate as a married woman, with my new immediate family - Brian.

And I'm apprehensive, because I'm moving to a whole new level:  I will be a real adult. I'll be old. And it will be the first birthday I've celebrated across the country from almost all family and friends.

Deep down, I always love birthdays. My older sister's birthday is before mine, and growing up, I remember telling mom that it wasn't "fair" that I had to wait an ENTIRE month for mine to come. It wasn't even an entire month, it was only 20 days. And I counted down every last one until it was my turn to bask in the birthday candlelight and the undivided attention of my family.

Oh, I remember the magic of birthday cakes lit by glow of little pink and white striped tapers, the shyness when all eyes were turned to me as mom led the singing of that ancient refrain: "Happy Birthday To Yooooou," the sweetness of Betty Crocker frosting, the mystery of unopened presents, the satisfaction of getting just what you wanted.

Sadly, more recently birthdays with the family have been last minute, rush to the store the day before events with Walmart sale cakes. And the presents, well, you pick them out yourself usually. On the occasions that you don't go to the store with mom, you can rest assured that you're not going to get anything on your list, and you probably won't get more than 2 presents. Not much anticipation either anymore: my brothers may or may not even be able to tell you the date of their birthdays. But, I think things are beginning to turn around. My little sister resurrected the Birthday Sign tradition, which is a handwritten and creatively themed banner that hangs by the kitchen table for the week of the birthday.

Speaking of traditions, I know a family that celebrates a Birthday Week, and every day of the week they do something special for the birthday girl or boy. Brian's family always has peanuts and M&M's with the cake and ice cream. Maybe you don't celebrate birthdays at all. Maybe you eat pie instead of cake. What's your family's tradition? What do you do to make a birthday special?

Photo by: juliiet24 Photobucket

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