Today is our German daughter’s Sweet Sixteenth birthday.
Back in Germany, she would be celebrating with her brother who shares her birthday, and also with so many in her family who have birthdays in September. It sounds like her family’s September is quite a month!
She told me that at home the whole family, except her younger brother, comes into her room and sings “Happy Birthday” to wake her up on her big day. Then they go to her brother’s room and she joins the chorus as they sing to them.
Then, when they go to the table for breakfast, the birthday honoree’s spots are surrounded by candles and gifts and there are lots of balloons. Everyone enjoys breakfast together before the school day begins and then, after school, more family comes over to visit and there is a bigger gathering on the weekend to celebrate several birthdays. That sounds like a lot of fun to me!
Shari leaves for school quite early, but we did our best to start her day off right.
This morning we woke our own three children at 5:40 so they could celebrate with her before school. At the breakfast table we sang “Happy Birthday,” ate chocolate chip pancakes, and gave her a gift that each of us helped to pick out. I tried to put candles in the pancakes, but they kept melting. Oh well. We will have birthday cake tonight and can do the candles then.
She called her family back home and let us listen as they sang “Happy Birthday” to her in German and also chatted with her brother to see what he got for his birthday.
And then it was time to head to school.
This evening we will celebrate with her aunt who lives nearby and then we will have a birthday dinner with her new school friends this weekend.
Seeing her anticipation for her birthday all week (well, actually, since she arrived last month) has been a lot of fun me. I can tell that birthdays are a huge deal in her family. I think they were in mine, too. My husband is not nearly as ‘into’ birthdays as I am, but I’m doing my best to compromise.
I’ve had a lot of fun celebrating my children’s birthdays. Two of my favorite celebrations have been our Indiana Jones party and our PJ pancake breakfast bash. My double-decker chocolate chip cookie cake is my most requested cake. (Our Danish daughter put in a request for that one well before her birthday last year.)
All this birthday talk has me wondering… How does everyone else ‘do’ birthdays? How do you celebrate them with your family? Are children’s birthdays and adult birthdays celebrated the same in your house?
Please, do tell. I’d love to know and maybe a borrow a few of your ideas in the years to come…