Celebrating Birthdays

Celebrating children’s birthdays

This article aims to give simple and inspiring ideas to create joy, love, connectedness and sacredness in the family home during birthday celebrations. Hold the simple magic and rhythm of these special days and events for your children each year. It will feed their soul life and yours!

Birthdays can enrich, inspire and honour a child’s life, not just be about receiving presents (although presents of course are fun!). Remember to hold a birthday celebration for everyone in your family, not just children, please put on that crown Dad!

 Birthday Verse

The night before your child’s birthday, as a loving rhythm, you can say a birthday verse to them as they fall asleep:

When I have said my evening prayer

And my clothes are folded on the chair

And mummy (daddy) 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 greenness turns to gold

Tomorrow I’ll be…..years old

….Candles on my cake

….Kisses when I wake

I have written this special verse on a card, and I keep it in my special birthday basket, which I use to set up the birthday festivals each year.

The Birthday Table

On the eve of the birthday (once you have read the verse!) it is lovely to set up a special birthday table. Children love this. Place on a lovely coloured play cloth, and then add to the table, the birthday spiral – this can be tea lights in class jars – the same number of candles as the age. Surround the spiral of candles with photos of your child with their loved ones, at various ages. Around the table you can add special crystals, precious things from nature and one large candle to light the smaller ones. Now you are set for tomorrow’s birthday ceremony!

A Birthday Ceremony

Make a crown out of gold card or felt, or buy a birthday crown and cloak. Your child – with their crown and cloak adorned – lights each candle from a big candle (or if too young, the parent can light the candles). When one candle is lit each family member tells a little story about the child in their first year, a favourite toy, funny and loving memories. Onto the next candle which represents the next year in life – tell a loving tale until two years and so on. An adult’s life can be recalled in ten year gaps!

The Birthday Story

Tell your child the magical Birthday Story. I have heard this story in many formats and joined all the parts I like together. Here is my adapted version:

Once upon a time there lived a little soul, she lived above the stars and her friends were the moon, the stars and the sun. One day the little soul was dancing and playing above the stars, when they suddenly parted, and the little soul looked down and saw a new and beautiful land. The little soul ran to her guardian angel and said “Today I saw a new and beautiful land, may I visit there please?”

The guardian angel said, “First you need to receive three special gifts”. It was not long before the little soul received her three gifts. The sun gave her a warm heart, the stars a bright light to shine all around herself and the moon, a silver ribbon so that she would always be able to find her way back.

The little soul ran to her guardian angel once again and said “I have received my three special gifts, now may I visit the new and beautiful land?” Her guardian angel replied “Be patient my child, it is almost your time”

That night the little soul went to bed, while she was asleep she had the most beautiful dream. In the dream she visited the new land, where she saw many faces. She ran up to two special people, gave them a hug, and said “Will you be my Mummy, and will you be my Daddy?” And they said “Yes we will!”

The next morning the little soul awoke and ran to her guardian angel once more. She told her of the wonderful dream. The guardian angel said “It was now your time”.

The little soul was led to the rainbow bridge, where her guardian angel stopped and said “There is one more thing I have to ask of you, please give me your wings, you do not need them in this new and beautiful land. I will keep them safe for you, until your return”. The little soul took off her wings, and then, her guardian angel led her across the rainbow bridge by the hand and into the arms of her new parents.

It has been ……. years now since the little soul came to earth. When she arrived the first thing her mum and dad gave her was her name. They called her …………….. There are many people in this new land that love her, her mum and dad, grandpa and grandma, and all her playgroup friends. The stars visit her every night, the sun keeps her warm everyday and sometimes the rainbow pays a visit. And her guardian angel is always watching over her.”

You may have to practice this story a few times, to say it without crying!  This story reminds us of the preciousness of life and families and the uniqueness of every child on the earth. It whispers of the wonders and comforts of the Spiritual worlds – enjoy!

The birthday story can be told as a bedtime tale during the week leading up to a birthday. It can be told as a puppet play (with little dolls and  play cloths) on the actual day, at the party, Naming Day celebration, or just for your family’s pleasure. This story enriches the lives of children: it is a “treasure-tale”.

Buy a special basket from the op shop to place all the birthday celebration cloths, candles, crown and verse/story in. It will then be easy to set up the birthday festival for each family member. The festival will grow in love and joy over the years. Your children will look forward to being honoured – as well as their presents – and it will enrich their soul-life.

The unique child has been loved. The journey of a sacred soul to the earth has been honoured. In our house, the birthday person gets to choose where to go for a special tea, a night to remember.