It's Hella's birthday soon but she will still be in the middle of exams, so we've decided to celebrate her actual birthday with a 'light touch' and then do the real thing when she's all done in a couple of weeks. We're not new to delaying special celebrations; we follow our own calendar to suit our schedule. And once you've got your head around it, it really does work and means that you can give the celebration the attention it deserves, rather than squeezing it into an already hectic day.
And that made me think about why we celebrate birthdays; what is the point? For one day only, I think we're saying, 'It's your day'; 'You're special', 'You are King/Queen for the day', 'I'm thinking about you', 'I appreciate you', 'I love you', 'You deserve a party'. All of the above. And that sounds like something I want to make a bit of space for - even if it's on a random date in the future!
Here are some ideas for celebrating birthdays with a light touch
- Balloons - I've recently become a helium balloon enthusiast. I choose the traditional (and cheaper) style and might go for a small bunch tied with ribbon and secured with a small, heavy weight. It feels like a magical sprinkle of celebration when the birthday girl/boy comes downstairs in the morning. The next level, might also involve digging out the bunting.
- Make a special breakfast - We are a DIY family when it comes to breakfast, especially during the week, so preparing something special says a lot. Remember, our aim here is a 'light touch', so we are probably not talking a full English. It could be delicious Overnight Date and Granola Muffins or a Raspberry Protein Shake (with a fancy straw). I know that MY birthday celebrant would love chocolate chip pancakes most of all - I'm just wondering whether I can manage that very early on a weekday morning ...
- Make the table look pretty - This is my favourite 'super light-touch' celebration idea - ideal when even making a special breakfast feels too much. Try decorating the breakfast table. I will admit that I normally go even lighter, by just decorating around the table mat of the birthday girl/boy. Some curly ribbon, a few sparkly sprinkles and perhaps a birthday greeting written in fancy lettering. This is QUICK and EASY and it elicits a smile at the very least.
- Decorate an easy cake with lots of chocolate bars - Making a fancy birthday cake is something that I might save for the rescheduled date, but my lighter-touch solution might be to decorate an easy/bought cake with something quick and impressive, like lots of chocolate bars. I'm also a fan of icing a name or a message on a cake (big or small) - and remember that great technique is not the slightest bit important here.
- Take cakes to school - I can confirm that taking cakes into school on a birthday is still a popular activity well into high school in our life. A light-touch approach might be picking up some celebration doughnuts or sweets to share at school, or at work or in your home office.
- Stick a candle in it - A lit birthday candle(s) in any delicious food item is the definition of light-touch celebration for me. It encourages singing and applause and that almost feels like a party!
- And finally… - If you're musically inclined, here's an idea for a joyous way to celebrate a birthday. Not sure it's terribly 'light touch' but I hope it will make you smile ...