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.
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.
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?