Celebrating Half-Birthdays


Past a certain age, some people would prefer to have their birthday pass without notice. Not me.  I embrace my special day.  In fact, I love birthdays so much that in our family we celebrate twice a year, on your birthday and on your half-birthday.

Half-Birthday Cake
Half-Birthday Cake

My dad loved his birthday, often declaring October to be his birthday month.  He had a glass half-full attitude about life, never focusing on being one year older, instead celebrating the gift of another year.  “Age is only a number,” he would say, “and in my mind I’m still 18.”  Every April 29th, I would wish him a happy half-birthday.

Having twins, it seemed even more important to celebrate twice a year.  After all, if you have to share a birthday, shouldn’t you have two?  Although they were too young for a cake, we marked my daughters’ first half-birthday at six months with photos in party hats.

Celebrating a half-birthday is simple. 

1. Figure out what day would be at the half-way mark. Announce it. Plan for it. Make it a real celebration to look forward to!
2. Bake or order a cake and small half-birthday gift. (The lady behind the Publix bakery counter smiled when I asked her to write, “Happy 1 1/2 Birthday G & E” on their first half-birthday cake.)
3. Push one candle half way down into the cake to represent the “half” year.

Happy Half-Birthday G & E!
Happy Half-Birthday G & E!

The girls insist that mom and dad also have half-birthday celebrations.  Sweet, but perhaps their excuse for cake?

I’ve written before about how our most meaningful family traditions can not be scripted by me (not for lack of trying); they just evolve.  Instead, they are the events that my daughters grow to expect because “we always do (insert tradition here).”  Often I am surprised by what is important to them.  I hope that one day they continue our half-birthday celebrations with their own families, making it a three generation tradition.

Does your family celebrate half-birthdays?

Happy 1/2 Birthday!
Happy 1/2 Birthday!



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