Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Birthday Traditions

Birthdays were always a special day in my family when I was growing up. It was normal to wake up on the morning of your birthday to a house full of streamers, balloons, party favors, presents and much more. The entire day was devoted to that birthday boy (or girl). You ate what you wanted for breakfast, got to choose your favorite meal for dinner and of course, mom always baked your favorite cake.

When Kristy and I started having kids, I knew that big birthday celebrations were one tradition that I wanted to keep going. For this reason, we make sure the whole day is special. The birthday boy (they’re currently aren’t any little birthday girls in our home, but that will change as soon as our Zoe arrives!) is king for the day, choosing what we eat, what games we play, what cake we eat and so on. Our birthday boy wakes up to a home decorated full of balloons and streamers and Happy Birthday signs. We sing happy birthday every chance we get throughout the day. I have also added what has quickly become the favorite tradition of the boys…breakfast with dad.

Having four little boys, I work very hard to spend one on one time with each one. Sometimes it is easier than others but this one thing I have found certainly works very well at least once a year. The morning of our boy's birthday, I take that one boy out to eat breakfast wherever he would like to go. It doesn’t matter which day of the week it is (which means they get to be late for school if needed). It’s pretty cost effective while they’re young because they usually just want to go to IHOP most of the time. I’m sure when they start getting older, they’ll want to hit up The Court of Two Sisters or Brennan’s or some other high roller place, but until then, Dunkin’ Donuts and IHOP are the fan favorites. It’s kind of interesting, because I take the boys to eat breakfast one on one at other times throughout the year, but for some reason, that birthday breakfast is one they enjoy the most.

This week, we celebrated our 3rd boy’s 4th birthday. The breakfast with dad tradition might seem like a weak tradition on the surface, but this year, I realized how amazing it really is when my 6 and 5 year old boys started telling their 4 year old brother just how lucky he was because he got to go to breakfast with dad.

Nate’s choice for breakfast was beignets at CafĂ© du Monde. We had a great time….just the two of us. It was a great birthday for my amazing boy.

What kinds of birthday traditions do you have in your home with your loved ones - kids, spouse, etc.?

For those who are interested, I will be doing my first book giveaway with this blog. Here’s how and what you win:
1. Share this blog on your FB page or retweet it
2. Become a follower of this blog or a follower on twitter
3. Leave a comment in the thoughts section of this blog about your family birthday traditions

To win you must do all of the above (unless you don't have a FB account).

A winner will be randomly selected on Friday, February 4 at 5:00 pm. If the winner is the father of a son under the age of 12 that dad will win a copy of John Eldredge's book, The Way of the Wild Heart. If not, the winner will receive their choice of any one book under my ‘books that changed my mind’ list. (Dads - if you already have Eldredge's book, then you'll also be able to choose from the list.)


LaceyMCVT said...

cute tradition to have! one day it WILL be brunch at commander's though :)

Me! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrea said...

Birthdays are also very special around here and have always been with my family. One day out of the year to celebrte "you" gets 2 thumbs up! It is not about the amount of $$, but rather the thought involved. A new tradion that we are starting is the birthday place mat. This special place mat will be used for the birthday boy/girl birthday meal. I LOVE the one on one idea of breakfast alone with dad! Thanks for sharing...

MiChE said...

I have to give kudos to my parents for how they treated my birthday. My birthday is 4 days before Christmas and I've experience the combo birthday/Christmas gift many times. But my parents would always keep it separate - and still do to this day! It's difficult celebrating so close to Christmas, so my parents would always throw me a slumber party the night school let out for Christmas vacation. When I got older, it was Christmas in the Oaks and dinner of my choice.

I think it's great that you have a birthday tradition with your kids. I look forward to one day having some traditions of my own. :) But for now with Travis and I, we too do a special bday breakfast. We eat breakfast then open up presents.

Andrea said...

**Re-posting for Debra Jeansonne**

I LOVE Birthdays and B-day tradtions...and your blog brought out ALL kinds of emotions for me.....but, the greatest is how incredibly proud I am of YOU....You are a wonderful daddy and those precious boys are some pretty fortunate/blessed/to be envied little dudes to be able to call you their dad.
NO prize please....I just get to embarrass you on FB b/c I'm your mom:) Loved it !

Pi Man said...

Very nice Brian! What a great cache of memories, computer pun intended, that you are creating with the fam! As for me, my 2 boys have flown the coop, so no more home birthdays. Now it's just "the check is in the mail." Ha! 8^) Thanks, TA

Crispin Schroeder said...

Our birthday tradition is to do a whole week of fun for the birthday person. We still go big on the big day but try and keep things special all week. My favorite new tradition is a trip to the Abita Brew Pub.

fuel52 said...

The tradition in my home, with my kids, was started by my parents and what we do is we decorate the house or the kids bedroom while they're sleeping, sometimes it's banners across the wall, sometimes its confetti everywhere and sometimes it's thousands (by hundreds i mean tens) of balloons all over the floor, and when they wake up, it's WOW, kind of the same look when they wake up for Christmas. That kind if stuff the kids will remember for the rest of their lives and pass along down to their kids. That's what it's all about. Tradition like that rules.

Linda Gilmore said...

Brian, loved your blog... You have such a gift of writing.

We had 5 kids in our family. Birthday's were not a big deal but when my kids came along, we had BIG family/friend parties, the works... BBQ's, I made character cakes every year for both kids. Ashley's weren't that big because her Birthday is Jan 7th and it was usually nasty weather or she was sick or both. But she always got a separate gift... no combined Christmas/Birthday gift AND she always wanted to celebrate her half Birthday on July 7th! Now the grandkids have big parties... Leah just turn 3 and had a live Snow White at her party. She was a hit with all the kids and adults. She is in theatre and had a voice out of this world.

Thanks for the blog... always entertaing!!! Linda

brian jeansonne said...

And the winner is....MICHE! As soon as she let's me know what book she chooses, I will let you all know. Thanks for sharing your stories!

Chad Estes said...

I'm a little late here to share our Bday traditions, but maybe you'll still enjoy hearing our story.

We like to sit the bday person down in a chair and one at a time the other people in the family will affirm them. Sometimes this is a more planned statement like, "Kona, the gifts I see in you are ___, ___, and ___. But then sometimes it is free flowing. It is always very moving and meaningful. It sure shows us how much our kids love and appreciate each other. Giving them opportunity to verbally bless each other is simply precious. My youngest, Renton, can't love on his siblings this way without speaking from his heart and sharing with tears. The rest of us love his sweet offering to us.

brian jeansonne said...

Thanks, Chad. I love it. It looks like we might be implementing something new in our home and family!

Lisa said...

Hi Brian! I know this goes beyond the deadline date, but that's ok cuz I just wanted to share what will be for Matt on March 3rd his 30th BD! Lots of decorations to awaken to and then favorite breakfast. This yr. weather permitting we will take a Riverboat cruise and then have an awesome dinner at Kenner Seafood.(one of his favorites) then cake&ice cream with approximately 10 of his closest people at his side. Matt loves doing anything outside and loves the water, so the cruise is the surprise this year as long as everything goes well! Happy 30th Birthday my dear ,sweet,loving Son! I Love You Sunshine! MOM