Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Birthday Traditions

Yesterday was Emma's third birthday which brought with it lots of lovely new birthday traditions.  Over the course of the last year I had seen so many lovely birthday traditions on various blogs and websites. I had wanted to start some of them on Grace's birthday last year but had not really happened upon them until right before her special day.  Many of them come from the Waldorf philosophy of education, and while we wouldn't describe ourselves as "a Waldorf Family", we certainly have a Waldorf flavor to lots that we do!  

The night before she turned three we read the birthday eve poem (located at the end of this post).  The next morning when the girls joined us in bed, we gave Emma the required three kisses and then placed the birthday crown, that Dave and I made the night before, on her head.  We all headed downstairs where this was discovered:
Later that morning we began the fabulous new tradition of letting the birthday girl decorate her own cake! In years past we always had pre-decorated cakes, but this year Grace had asked if we could make and decorate a cake for Emma.  What a fabulous idea!  So later we headed to the store to buy the requested raspberries and strawberries that would adorn the cake, and upon returning home the girls got to work.  They took such pride in making such a special cake for such a special occasion, that I can easily say we will never have a pre-decorated cake on their birthday day again!
That evening our family of friends came over to celebrate Emma's third trip around the sun!  The house was full of joy, love and excitement as friends played and chatted, pizza and salad were eaten and lots of wonderful memories were made!
Then it was time for the much anticipated cake!  The little girls (and the mamas too) were super excited to see it covered in lovely berries!  Even though it is not nearly berry season around here, it certainly was a lovely prelude of things to come!
The following three photos were taken by Sarah Douglas. 
After everyone headed home we each gave Emma a wish for this next year.  David wished Emma a year full of discovery.  Grace wished Emma a year of seeing lots of stars and the moon.  And I wished Emma a year full of love, joy and wonder.  Before bed we read her birthday story to her (often called the crossing the rainbow bridge story) and more kisses were given and sweet dreams were wished.  As I was tucking the girls in Grace said: "This was the best Emma birthday ever!"  I completely agree!  Sadly, it's going to seem like it's an eternity before July arrives and we get to experience all these wonderful new birthday traditions again!

Birthday Eve Poem
When I have said my evening prayer, 
And my clothes are folded on the chair, 
And mother switches off the light, 
I'll still be __ years old tonight. 

But from the very break of day, 
Before the children rise and play, 
Before the darkness turns to gold, 
Tomorrow, I'll be __ years old. 

__ kisses when I wake. 
__candles on my cake. 


  1. Happy (belated) birthday, Emma!

    I like your new traditions very much, especially the poem (though I would have to translate it since my children only speak a few words English ;-) and the cake!
    We, too, never have pre-decorated cakes. Last weekend we celebrated our sons's 8th birthday - and the cake decoration was blue... Very cool he thought!

    Greetings from Germany!

  2. I love that our blog has international readers! That is so cool!

    Thank you for your birthday wishes for Emma. It truly was a magical day! Happy birthday to your son! Eight years old is lots of fun!