5 Ways to Create Family Birthday Rituals

Birthdays are a wonderful time to connect with one another through your family’s own traditions. Mighty Mommy shares five fun ways you can create birthday rituals for your family.

Cheryl Butler
4-minute read
Episode #412

Family birthday celebrations are some of the most special memories you will treasure for years. One of my most popular episodes was Cheap and Easy Birthday Parties where I shared six tips for how to throw a birthday party without breaking the bank. 

My oldest of 8 children is now 23-years-old so I’ve been at this birthday party thing for quite some time now.  I’ve organized everything from parties at a local spa to haunted hay rides and many quiet affairs in our own backyard. The dozens of birthday bashes my kids have enjoyed will hopefully be cherished memories, but in addition to the party hoopla I also hope they will take with them some of the birthday rituals we’ve established over the years.

Rituals and traditions are like the glue that holds a family together. They make family members feel good and create a sense of belonging by letting everyone know what’s important to the family and giving everyone a sense of identity.  Rituals can be linked with big holidays like Christmas and Chanukah or can be as simple as reading bedtime stories together every night. 

Birthdays are a wonderful time to connect with one another through your family’s own traditions.  Mighty Mommy shares five fun ways you can create birthday rituals for your family.

#1. Birthday Banners and Signage:  After years of infertility, we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl through adoption. When she turned one, I wanted to pull out all the stops to celebrate her (and our) special day. The first thing I did was to decorate our home with lots of bright and whimsical banners. I hung them from all the doorways, our mantle, her nursery, and even on our front porch. As the years continued and we had the rest of our 8 children, this ritual never changed. After the birthday boy or girl (including teens and twenty-somethings) goes to bed, I still hang birthday banners throughout the house—even for my kids that are away at college to both honor their special day and it makes me feel close to them even though they aren’t able to be home.  When my kids wake up, they know what will be waiting for them and all these years later it still makes them smile.

#2. Breakfast Table:  One of my closest friends shared her family’s birthday ritual that stems from her German background, and I just love it. For all birthdays, adult or children, a member of the birthday person’s family wakes up at sunrise and lights the candles on the birthday cake. There are as many candles as the years of age of the birthday person plus one for good luck. The table setting of the birthday person is decorated with fresh greenery and flowers around the table setting, on the actual table.  The entire family enjoys the birthday cake for breakfast and the birthday gal or guy opens their gifts after cake. 


About the Author

Cheryl Butler

Cheryl L. Butler is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. Call the Mighty Mommy listener line at 401-284-7575 to ask a parenting question. Your call could be featured on the show!

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