Birthday traditions are an important part of growing up and something that will always be cherished. Being on the road can sometimes make it difficult for families to connect with loved ones so having a foundation of traditions that do not revolve around big birthday parties is essential to making these once-in-a-lifetime moments special. I mean, you only turn 5, 10, or 15 once. Why allow your little to dwell on who didn’t remember their day when you can be sure they’ll remember how amazing it was growing up with magnificent birthday traditions?

Birthday Traditions - Birthday Balloons

  1. Balloons & Streamers – I know. You have probably seen this one all over Pinterest. I’m sure I have even pinned it a few times myself. Nothing beats balloons and littles though. Heck, even adults love balloons. They’re just so festive! Let your little wake up to their bedroom covered in balloons and streamers. You could also do the dining room table, school room, or some other special place you spend most of the day instead.
  2. Special Birthday Plate – Being on the road full-time, it is hard to keep items that we do not actually need or use on a regular basis. Currently, the girls get to select birthday themed paper plates to use on their birthday but I will soon be making a special birthday plate and will share that with you once it is complete. You could also purchase a cute plate from Target, Walmart, or even Etsy.
  3. Meal Plan Freedom – On their birthdays, our children get to pick out breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the entire family! They also select the type of dessert they want including any design. Our oldest almost always votes for a strawberry cake/cupcakes while the middle requested a chocolate dump/lava cake last year. Have a really special birthday coming up? Check out these adorable shaped cake molds!Birthday Traditions - Birthday Cake
  4. Presents – Since space is a bit limited for our family, we have adopted the “4 present rule”. Each birthday now brings something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. For example, the oldest’s 6th birthday included: a game she requested (want), art supplies (need), clothes and shoes (wear), and the first of the Harry Potter illustrated collection (read).
  5. Help Them Give – Our newest of the birthday traditions is one that I am extremely excited about incorporating into our lives. We both have strong desires to watch our children flourish and thrive as individuals while providing them only the best. Sometimes though, we see the negative sides of these spoils. They no longer see the wonder and beauty in what are rare treats for most kids. Trips to zoos, museums, movies, and more are part of their normal. Traveling and vacations are their every day life. In order to take a step back and show them the heartaches of the world, we have decided to partner with World Vision by making annual donations for each child’s birthday. For now, we will be donating to their Birthday Celebrations fund. This unique fund helps give birthday parties to children in poverty-stricken areas around the world. We can read about some of the children and their stories, talk about the different countries they are from, explore some of the other ways we can help, and it is a great reinforcement for our Operation Christmas Child tradition. As the children get older, we plan to give the option to sponsor a child. This would be a one year commitment where they would fund half of the sponsorship from their allowance while we fund the other half of the sponsorship. I love that they can read the child’s story, become their pen-pal, and even choose someone with the same birthday!
Birthday Traditions - Help Them Give
More than 150 children, accompanied by a parent, enjoy the festivities at the sponsorship birthday celebration in Yasique ADP in eastern El Salvador. For some kids, these experiences were a first. “The kids say, ‘I’ve never had a birthday party. I have never eaten cake,'” says Marcela Robles, the sponsorship facilitator for this community. -Latin America

What are some of your family’s favorite traditions? I would love to have you share them with me here or over on Facebook!


  1. As someone who feels birthday celebrations are very important, I love that you maintain these traditions while on the road! The best of all is giving back to children in poverty-stricken countries. Such a meaningful and beautiful tradition!

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