With two birthdays this week within two days of one another we need to make sure that each day is special but that we don't go overboard with spending on them.
To start with all the decorations are handmade and re-used from one year to the next. This is easier now that everyone is that bit older. For younger children it is still possible to get great decorations from the pound shop. The birthday child/adult has a specially decorated place at the breakfast table and the cloth, candle and flowers are all things we already have on hand. The presents and cards are laid out on the table and the birthday person gets to choose the breakfast. Whilst that is being prepared they open their cards and presents. Doing it first thing in the morning means that everybody can share in the joy before heading off to work or school. It also means that things aren't too overwhelming and anything that arrives later in the day can be enjoyed as well.
If it is a weekend or holiday then the birthday girl/boy chooses the lunch and what we do that day, outing, film marathon, board game tournament etc. Outings are especially popular but these will be something free or cost effective such as a trip to a pick-your-own farm.
Supper is the next special event with the birthday person choosing the meal and rounding off with a singing of 'Happy Birthday' and the blowing out of candles on a handmade cake.
For very special birthdays or ideas for birthday parties with all ages, especially teenagers, we have a great book called " The Birthday Book" which has loads of ideas in it and I would thoroughly recommend it.
Right, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my birthday !