Sharing 5 simple and meaningful birthday traditions we do in our family. I love family traditions and how a simple act can impact and make a special day even more special and memorable. No big, Pinterest worthy party required. Most of these traditions are heavily influenced from what we’ve learned from and experienced at our Waldorf school.
“At the heart of every family tradition,
is a meaningful experience.”
5 Simple and Meaningful Birthday Traditions
1. The night before we say this Birthday Poem. I have yet to say it without tears filling my eyes and my voice cracking.
When I have said my evening prayers,
And all my clothes are on my chair,
And Mother/Father 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.
*The evening before your child’s birthday, give them the number of kisses for their age for the past year and tell them that when they awake, you’ll give them one more kiss in the morning. For example, four kisses when saying goodnight, and five kisses in the morning for a child turning five.
2. Now, that the soon to be birthday boy/girl has gone to bed, it’s time to decorate the house a bit. I have a fabric banner that I made for Hudson’s 1st birthday. We have since used it for all eight of his birthday’s, my baby shower for Weston, all 5 of Weston’s birthdays and for all of mine and Graig’s birthdays thereafter. I made this banner with the very thought of us using it year after year to celebrate our family’s special days. It’s served this purpose for almost a decade and yet each time, I ask Graig to grab it from the garage, he will ask me, which banner is it?! Oy!
The fabric banner is predominantly yellow as I felt that was a neutral enough color that would work with many birthday themes for all the years to come. Below it is pictured on our dinning room wall and at Weston’s 4th birthday party. I also purchased cloth (yellow and white) table cloths that really help elevate the party decor. We’ve had them for over eight years and I use them for all parties, showers and holidays. They more than have paid from themselves over the past eight years.
We have also a “Happy Birthday” banner I hang up and will blow up a few balloons to make our dinning room and home more festive and special. When I really have it together, I’ll put a few balloons on their bedroom floor and in the hallway leading to the dining room.
3. Next, I set out our wooden Birthday Ring. A Birthday Ring is originally a European tradition, but many Waldorf schools and U.S. families have begun to incorporate this simple but beautiful ritual for celebrating a child’s birthday.
A candle is lit one-by-one, each representing a year of a child’s life, accompanied by a simple story, remembering the highlights and milestones of each trip around the sun.
4. I will then set out, on their chair, the birthday crown and cape. The crown I purchased on etsy and added the ribbon and embroidery. Hudson made the cape in kindergarten for one of their festivals and we’ve been using it as the official birthday cape ever since. They love getting to wear the crown and cape on their special day. They go right to it and put it on first thing after they wake up.
5. BIRTHDAY PANCAKES We make special pancakes to celebrate birthdays in our home. We call them birthday pancakes but you may know them as Dutch Babies, they’re like a cross between a pancake and crepe. You also bake them like you would a birthday cake, so they are very fitting for the occasion. Below is the recipe we use. It is very important to let the batter rest for about 20 minutes and to preheat pan or baking dish. This will give you beautiful billowy birthday pancakes.
So, I hope you found our birthday traditions inspiring. Do you have any birthday traditions? If so, please share below!
Shop the post
**This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click & purchase through one of the links, I may receive a small commission. This supports my blog and will allow me to continue to make and create free content. I only recommend products that I use and love. Thank you so much for the support! **