Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Celebrating a Birthday


Celebrating birthdays varies from country to country, as well as from family to family. But there are usually traditions that each of us practices and continues to pass on to our children and grandchildren.

In the United States, as in many Western countries, our birthday celebrations symbolically date back to ancient times and to the worship of Mithras, which originated in Persia, and was spread throughout the Roman Empire. The idea of lighted candles, garlands and bouquets of flowers and the giving and sharing of cakes and other sweets on birth days (or one's saint day) all crossed over into our celebrations, today.

As birthdays are considered a special day for the person, the birthday celebrant will often receive special treatment from family and friends. Each of us has our own unique traditions and ways of celebrating. I love hearing how others celebrate, so I will share some of our traditions.

In our family, it is traditional to wake up to a birthday displayed theme, with gifts either on the kitchen countertop, the dining table or displayed on the hearth. Each year, each person has been surprised with a different theme for that year. Some years there are footprints to follow down the hallway to the gifts, some years their are hanging decorations or garlands. There are always candles, or flowers, cards and gifts.

We always bring out our You Take the Cake plate, and the little wine colored Birthdays book which contains predictions for each day of birth (that we read out loud every year). I often bring out the childhood pop up birthday card, also shown here. My tradition (especially when the children were younger) was to always have seven packages to open. No matter how big or how small the contents may be, I like giving seven. So that is one of my own traditions.

Even though my children are grown now, I still love to celebrate, and to decorate in honor of their birthday. I usually sew a counter cloth or other decorations for that year's theme and frequently sew some of the gifts, as well.

Pictured here:
Today's Tea Party: There are homemade counter cloths, 4 cloth napkins, a hot pad for the dessert and teapot cozy for the tea pot.

Today, I celebrate the birthday of my youngest daughter. I wish her the Happiest of 22nd Birthdays and much, much love!

3 comments:

  1. Give her a hug and a "Happy Birthday! from me in Japan.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am sending Happy Birthday wishes to your daughter.

    ReplyDelete
  3. How nice to make specialized, individualized decorations for each child's birthday. We usually have a gathering, and decorations are optional.
    Tell your daughter happy birthday for me.

    ReplyDelete

Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.