Friday, March 27, 2009

Birthday Traditions

My daughter, Sophie, just turned 8 yesterday.  Our family likes to make a BIG DEAL out of birthdays.  We've started traditions along the way and have kept many of them.

Here are just a few highlights:
  • on birthday mornings all the other family members wake the person up with a LOUD rendition of Happy Birthday
  • a Krispy Kreme donut with a candle in it is on their plate
  • balloons and flowers are at their place
  • birthday person gets to choose where we go out to eat - usually it's Carrabbas!
  • a poster of some sort with pix from the past year (sometimes a baby pic) is sitting by their place
  • for the kids, dad writes a birthday letter to each of them every year which I read to them.
We've been doing this last one since they were able to understand things (around 3 years old).  In this letter I love having the chance to, in writing, affirm God's working in their lives.  I also point out strengths and growth that I've seen in the past year.  I highlight a few key memories which will help preserve them for the future.  Often, I will challenge them to growth in a key area as well.  

Here is a small portion from the letter that I  wrote Sophie this year:

There is a verse in the Bible that says: “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!” Philippians 4:1 You are my joy and my crown, Sophie. I’ve told you this from the very beginning of your life and whispered it in your ear as I held you in the hospital. Joy is something that runs deep inside me when I get to be with you. You make my heart smile (if it could)! A crown is something that a king or queen wears and is proud of. It is something for others to see. I have to admit, I want others to see what a wonderful daughter I have in you.

These are things that I want her to know.  I've heard countless times about the difference a daddy makes in the lives of his daughters.  In fact, Kevin Leman wrote a great book about it.   

We treat birthdays with a lot of love in our family because we believe that this not only speaks, but shows VALUE to our kids.  I wonder if you have some birthday traditions that we could learn from?

1 comment:

Sherry Ingle said...

Love the letter idea, Dan. We started including "notes of affirmation" in birthday cards when our boys went to college and have continued into their adult years. Wish we would have started celebrating birthdays!