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Birthday Party or Heart’s Desire Day – Birthday Rituals

August 9, 2012

blowing out birthday candlesFor birthday celebrations, starting around first grade, we have offered our kids a choice between having a birthday party or a Heart’s Desire Day for which they design the day and select everything we do. I didn’t coin the phrase Heart’s Desire Day, it’s my neighbor’s term, but we’ve been using it for six years now and it’s become a part of our family vocabulary.

I have my pros and cons for both kinds of birthday celebrations. We’ve thrown some fun, home-grown birthday parties over the years: we had the DeCesare Zoo with a giraffe cake, a foam core cage and animal stand-ups for kids to take pictures as a monkey or zebra. One Mom even RSVPed and said, “I’m sorry, can you tell me where the DeCesare Zoo is? I don’t know that zoo.” Yup, that’s our house.

Rockets, princesses, smiley faces, Ariel, bugs and luaus have all had their run at a birthday party themes at our house but one of my favorites was the one my son invented for his third birthday, the Blue Party. Everything, including the cake inside and out, was blue. Blue pinata with blue candies and my clever husband built wooden cars for all the boys which they decorated with all things blue and raced them down a ramp in our foyer (January birthday) with all the boys dressed in blue.

[caption id="attachment_456" align="alignright" width="150"]birthday boy with cake The Blue Birthday Party[/caption]
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