Birthdays can be a mixed bag. I know people who look forward to them and find creative ways to notify everyone that their big day is coming up. Then, there are those who clam up and do their best to make sure no one knows they are turning a year older. “It’s just another day,” they say in their best Eeyore tone.
People seem to either LOVE ’em or dread ’em.
But dreading your birthday is the epitome of Adultitis, isn’t it?!
Through our work with The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Jason and I have met and gotten to know dozens of families whose children are fighting for their lives each and every day. Consider the length a person with a potentially terminal illness will go to be able to add just one more candle to their next birthday cake. This puts things in perspective real quick.
Birthdays are a gift.
Recently, we were celebrating birthdays with my family, and my soon-to-be 90-year-old Grandma chimed in with a wise observation.
“Age is a state of mind.”
Is it any wonder that she has lived 89 healthy, happy and spunky years serving others — with 7 kids, 21 grandkids, and 28 great-grandkids (with 3 in the oven!) With this kind of Adultitis-free attitude, she’s been able to stay young at heart and continues to be as playful as always.
Need a birthday attitude adjustment (or know someone who does)? Adultitis-free living takes effort! So, here are a few ideas to help make birthdays in your world more meaningful and memorable.
1. Candle Crazy
Don’t chump out with the ‘ol numeral candles. Or the trick where you put four candles on one side and three on the other side, representing “43.” Be sure to fill the birthday cake with a candle for EVERY SINGLE year of your life. Take the batteries out of the smoke detectors if you need to. You wouldn’t be you without every moment of your experiences, so be sure to celebrate and represent each and every year.
2. Go Big or Go Home
Do not let the big ones pass you by. Any birthday ending in a five or a zero should have a bigger flare. Surround yourself with your favorite people, eat your favorite foods, collect memories as if they were hidden treasures. Show the younger generations that life is worth celebrating!
3. Pass the Hat
As an extended family, pick out a silly hat that gets rotated to each person in time for his/her birthday. The birthday guy/gal has to take a picture of themselves enjoying something on their birthday donning the playful hat and the picture can get emailed around to the others in the family. It’s a neat way to stay connected while everyone is busy doing their own thing.
4. Have a Card Party
Organize a surprise birthday card party for your loved one. Snail mail is so rare these days and yet STILL so much fun. Email or Facebook all of his/her friends and family and ask them to send a birthday card as close to the exact birthday date as possible. The mailbox and your loved one’s heart will be FILLED with warmth and childlike excitement.
5. Take Back Your Day
Spend your birthday JUST for you. Do not go to work. Do not do chores. Heck, don’t even get out of your pajamas if you don’t want to. Fill your day with whatever makes you the happiest. No one will begrudge you this. All you have to do is to take it.
What are YOUR favorite ways to make birthdays more memorable?