Today my little E and I talked some about her upcoming birthday. She turns 9 on Monday. She loves a birthday party but it's always hard for me, coming so soon after Christmas. She has always had high expectations for the right decorations, cake, party favors etc. It can be difficult for me to empathize with her need for this as I am pretty low-maintenance when it comes to birthday celebrations. I guess my mother made me that way - I remember being allowed to have one friend over for cake the day after my birthday, and that was it!
I have tried to make my kids' birthdays special but not so much that they feel it's a huge holiday. Kids with birthdays during the school year don't skip classes; working adults usually go to their jobs. In my little homeschool we don't necessarily take the day off. Since her birthday falls on a Monday this year, we will still do our usual Monday things. I believe in flexibility (too much, sometimes), but we don't need a "day off" right now.
So today we talked about what to do, and one of us came up with the idea of not having a birthday party, but a valentine-making party instead. She was really excited about the idea of using the money we'd spend on decorations, favors, etc. and putting it to use for supplies.
Of course I like the idea that it gives me a little extra time to get something together. But I'm also glad she's happy to forgo gifts and move the focus off of herself.
Should be a fun little party!