Low-Key Birthdays are OK!

Life gets very busy for our family in the months of May and June. Not only do both our boys have their birthdays one week apart, in a 6-week period we also have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, our anniversary, and Paul’s and my birthdays. WOW! No wonder it feels chaotic, along with the end of the school year, a local soccer tournament (we had 12 games to watch!), and the ending of soccer season for 3 kids.

Makes me exhausted just writing this. But it’s all good. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.

A few days ago we celebrated our middle child’s 14th birthday in a low-key manor. It was very last minute and simple. He invited a few close buddies over for dinner and to sleep over. Our daughter and I worked in the kitchen making cupcakes and hamburgers.

Why not have an old-fashioned birthday party? Do we really need to entertain our kids all of the time? Can’t parties be simple and inexpensive – the way my Mother used to throw parties for her girls? Looking back, I only remember having two “big” parties as a child.

I like to think we’re doing okay with our boys. We’re not trying to impress, out-do – we just want to keep it low-key. And they know it’s okay if we don’t celebrate on their “exact birthday!”

So when our son asked for “simple” and “a few friends,” I liked his request!

After all, isn’t that what we are trying to teach our kids – to keep things simple and to pursue relationships?

Happy Birthday, Garrett! Thank you for the reminder to your mother that simplicity is ok! I’d say by the empty wrappers, that your small party was a true success!

Speaking of birthdays, my sister and I took our oldest sister to lunch on Saturday to celebrate her 50th!

Another great memory of sisterhood was made, as we presented to her a hardback book of pictures of her life, put together through mypublisher.com, in celebration of her family.

(Want a fun, inexpensive, large group dessert idea? Read about my Ice Cream Trough birthday dessert, here. Last year all 3 of my kids indulged in this dessert at their parties.)

14 comments on “Low-Key Birthdays are OK!”

  1. We never did big parties, even here in NYC where “everyone” (according to the kids) does them. Glad to see someone else drawing the line!

  2. This sounds so much like my family. From May through July, we celebrate birthdays from my side and my husband’s side! You have a fabulous-looking sister (along with the rest of the family).

    Thanks for the reminder about providing simple birthday celebrations. My husband and I agree that building relationships is the whole idea.

  3. Man, oh, man! She looks great for 50!!!

    Happy birthday to both your son and your sister. June 2 was my 18th anniversary! Wow! Where have the years gone?!?!?!

  4. Wow! I hope I look that gorgeous at “50”. Tell your sister she looks incredible.

  5. From the looks of all those empty papers, the cupcakes were a big success and I’m sure the party was too.

    Sounds like a busy time… I’ll just wish you a Happy Everything! That should cover it, LOL!


  6. i’m a huge fan of low-key celebrations. granted, i like a little extra loving on my birthday, but i don’t need to be the center of attention. and i absolutely hate the whole singing-servers-in-a-restaurant thing–how embarrassing! :)

  7. wow, it does get overwelming at times, doesn’t it! I am a real believer in ‘celebrating life’ and actually had 7 parties for my 50th! Each one was a different group of family/friends of all ages with much laughing, good eating and WONDERFUL memories. I tired to teach my kids to celebrate life also. We didn’t have the $$ to hire ponies and go tea houses etc. Here’s a couple inexpensive ideas that my grown kids still remember. On my daughters 6th, her girl friends came dressed up in their moms clothes, shoes, jewelry and makeup. We had a tea party, using my good dishes with punch for the tea. My son’s 5th…his buddies all brought their trikes/bikes and we decorated them to the max, made noise makers and had a parade thru our neighborhood. Very Fun! My ‘old age wisdom’ to young parents, don’t even try to keep up with others. It’s a waste of energy that will be robbed from your family. :-)
    PS those Friesen girls have always looked great, no matter what their age!

  8. The empty cupcake papers reminds me of a childhood birthday treat from mom: a slumber party and all the hot and buttered Duncan Hines tiny-can-of-berries- box-mix-blueberry muffins we could eat at breakfast : )))

    There was a monstrous platter, and my friends shrieking at the fun of it all. (It was probably only 4 dozen). To this day, I’d rather have one of those Duncan Hines than any ‘hand-crafted fresh berry specialty bakery’ muffin you could name.

    yay for simplicity and friends!

    deb meyers

  9. The simple birthday’s always seem to have the most memories – maybe because they are less chaotic and you can actually remember what went on! :)

    It sounds like a wonderful celebration for your son. I am sure you all made it very special.

    I made a hardcover book for my brother’s birthday a few years ago, through mypublisher. It was awesome!!


  10. My, oh my! I’m tired just thinking about all the celebrating you will do!

    My husband and I gave a picture book as a gift for Christmas. My brother in law’s brother passed away a year ago next week, so for Christmas we put together a book for him via our MAC computer. Those are special gifts!

  11. Here’s to simple birthday parties!!!

    And yes, you truly have a very busy May & June!

    Wow, what a great bunch of sisters you are…She’s 50!?!!? She is smokin’ hot.

    Happy everything to all of ya’s as you celebrate!

  12. Oh, I am all over the simple birthdays. We’ve only had a couple big parties for the kids, and we were also thinking that age 13 and 16 would be it from here on out. We might also do a low-key “girls party” in the summer and a “boys party” the next summer. But with five kids, throwing individual birthday bashes all the time is just too much.

    We have the kids choose dinner (at home or at a restaurant), and sometimes a friend will sleep over. Simple! :)

  13. We recently had a few low-key parties for Scarlett. She had one friend sleep over each Friday night in May. It was nice to just listen to the giggles that came from her room.

  14. Before I forget, I really do love your blog. :)

    I have always been concerned about the huge birthday parties kids expect. In our family, we only had a party for their 13th and 16th birthdays where we did the “big birthday” party (or went to Pizza Hut if that was their choice).

    For all other birthdays, they got to choose the dinner and dessert served at home or we went as a family to a restaurant. It was nice when my son was a preschooler and his idea of a big deal was seeing the golden arches… talk about cheap.

    I love to celebrate special events but dislike the pressure to out do the neighbors and look at upcoming family events with a stressed budget.

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