Birthday Parties: Planning those important birthday celebrations

The majority of us aren’t required to share our Birth Day with another family member and therefore get to revel in our own celebration with each of us at its centre. Such is not the case for children born on the same day.

If you are anything like me, that is non-creative and can’t bake to save her life, but feel birthdays are special, important and fun to celebrate, then you will appreciate the following ideas for celebrating your multiples’ birthdays.

Don’t limit the celebration to just these ideas – you are no doubt more creative than I – but making the day special for all (singles’ birthdays as well as multiples) of our children makes the memories last a lifetime. And don’t forget to keep the camera handy to record it all.

While some of these ideas will work for any of our children, the focus is on those birthday that are shared.

  1. Sometimes our babies are born on the either side of midnight or perhaps in different years, i.e. 31 December and 1st January. At least this way, everyone has their “own” day. You may consider two separate parties in this case or some families will do separate parties nevertheless, a week apart (or sometimes, two days following each other). I never found I had the stamina nor the inclination to subject myself.. I mean to organize, two separate parties. Important Note: For two (or three) separate parties, and depending on the natures of your children, you might need to make absolutely sure that each party, if held separately, does NOT in fact fall on one of their actual birth-days! This could open a Pandora’s box of fallout because one might feel that they had “one upped” their co-multiple(s), and we don’t want to go there!
  2. The first birthday is often kept fairly low-key and may be limited to family and close friends. We gave each daughter a cupcake for her first birthday and kept the camera rolling as they “dug in.” We still cherish the photos.
  3. I always made sure each child had her own cake – yes, there should always be ONE CAKE PER CHILD. This is so important for a couple of reasons: 1) Why shouldn’t they each have their favorite flavour? As impossible as it may seem, not everyone prefers chocolate; 2) With two (or three, or four) cakes, you can focus on each child individually – bringing in one cake at a time with lit candles and singing Happy Birthday for each child, singly. Each child needs to feel special on their birthday, even though they are shared. I broke this “rule” once in our daughters’ lives – I had to go a wedding on their 11th birthday and just couldn’t deal with the visitors in the house, getting ready for the wedding as well as making and decorating two cakes. I didn’t get about to baking a cake until about 3 and a half months after their birthday – and they particularly enjoyed reminding me of my failure. Heavily greased with a coating of guilt, I finally took a large, rectangular pan and divided the cake into two with icing, cross corner to cross corner. I iced their names and ages on the cake, we sang Happy Birthday twice, whipping the cake away in between to reset the candles and focus on the other child. Luckily my girls love to laugh and the opportunity to begin again, with the same cake, provided us all with some jocularity and good memories.
  4. You may have gathered by now but in case I wasn’t too clear, I prefer One Party. I just didn’t have the energy for two parties and truly admire those who will go to the lengths of preparing two separate parties. Nevertheless, we did have really neat party themes. One year we had a Tea Party using their toy dishes. We had applejuice, grape juice and various flavours of Kool-Aid ‘tea’. I made teeny, tiny sandwiches and cookies, to fit the small plates. Everyone could serve themselves and were thrilled at playing grown up. Note: Use a white, double sheet for a table cloth. It doesn’t matter if stuff is spilled and goes right into the washing machine. Oh yes, and everyone came in their best dress up clothes. You might pick similar themes for the party for boy/girl combinations, say Bat Man and Wonder Woman or G.I. Joe and Barbie. Once again this allows a focus on each child but within the same party context, on the same day! ?
  5. We always had each child sit at one end of the table, surrounded by the invitees of their choice. This, too, allowed for the focus on each child individually.
  6. For other party ideas and depending upon the ages and interests of your children check out the following in your local community (most of these places will do everything for you, including loot bags): Wave Pool, Cinemas, Community Centres, YW/YMCA, Athletic Clubs, Museums or Library. You can “rent” Magicians, Clowns, “Scientists”, and Reptile Specialists (unless these are off limits for you ?). On our girls’ 13th birthday, they each invited one friend and we went White Water Rafting. My husband took the day off work and we had a trip to remember. It was not only a wonderful experience, but also a great family outing.

Individual, Happy Kids: Priceless!

Have you got Birthday ideas that worked for you or Birthday photos and you would like to share them?  Please send me a note and I will be pleased to add them to the list.

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