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?
I’ve had some great birthdays! My 25th was spent playing games with my closest family and friends and a birthday cake that said “25 and still sassy!” (My best friend wanted it to say “…and still single”, but some people thought that might be insensitive. At the time I would have just thought it was funny!)
My 29th birthday was spent at Chuck E. Cheese’s (where a kid can be a kid)!
My best friend and her baby flew out as a surprise for my 30th birthday! My sister made me 3 different kinds of cakes for my party (dark chocolate w/peanut butter frosting, yellow w/ chocolate frosting, and strawberry w/cream cheese frosting). We put 10 candles on each :) That was also the year that two of my other 30 year old friends and I celebrated by going to NYC. We’d been planning it since we were 25!
Last year I got my toenails done and went to Texas Roadhouse Grill with friends and family.
Don’t know what to do this year yet, but it’s coming up soon! I LOVE birthdays!
marquita herald says
Enjoyed your article, and I have never had a problem acknowledging my birthday – even if it was to just spend a whole day MY way. I try to do something different each year. I live in Hawaii so that often means treating myself to a trip to another Island. I deserve it!
Tomorrow is my birthday and dearest Kim, this blog entry of yours really helped inspire me to figure out what to do this year! Thanks!
Catarina Lubman says
Electronic cards are the ultimate free birthday cards. The selections are endless and run the gambit from the tongue in cheek funny, to the preposterous and oblique. You may choose to add a variety of sounds to your graphic selections, as well as the opportunity to add as much or as little personalization as you choose. For those with a talent for words, this is the perfect vehicle for a birthday poem to send to the happy celebrant. Of course, an added feature is the fact that you not only save money because you are not purchasing cards themselves, but you also save because you do not have to pay for postage! In addition to the foregoing, if you are truly in a pinch for time, these cards can be sent before midnight and still arrive on time for someone’s birthday! Truly a procrastinator’s dreams come true.;
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