While we firmly believe that you have control of making every day a good day, it is even more applicable on your day of birth. 99% of the time, the decisions you make result in a great birthday or a less-than-stellar one. What other day of the year do you have this much control over? To dictate what you eat and who you spend your time with? People generally listen to your wants and needs on your birthday!
Look, we don’t advocate selfishness…except maybe on your birthday. It is ok to go out of your way to do what you want and to say “it’s my birthday.” We all know people who say “ho hum” or “ehh it’s never better than any other day” but we think that IT SHOULD BE! This is the day everyone celebrates the fact that YOU are on earth!
But if you leave this day up to everybody else, expect to be disappointed.
We have always made a big deal of our birthday and guess what? They’re always awesome! We go out of our way to make sure people know our day is coming up and that we expect it to be special. But we don’t wake up with the expectation that they’re responsible for that. We follow a few guidelines to make sure our day is peaceful, fun and therefore awesome! So here are our tips so you can stop going to bed at the end of your birthday thinking, “that was kind of disappointing.”
1. Take the Day Off
I know you might not be able to forget about all your responsibilities for the day (like this year I absolutely have to go to school and Malissa has to go to work) but if you can take the day off from those things, do it! No matter what your job is like, getting to wake up on your own schedule and just be home is always less stressful so it’s a great way to make your birthday feel even more like a holiday.
But even if you can’t stay home on your day, take the day off in other ways. Take a day off from your workout, or do a super fun or relaxing one like beginning yoga or a dance video online.
Choose another obligation to take a break from like checking your email. Or feel good about pushing those phone calls or bills back just one more day. Whatever it is, make sure you don’t feel stressed about it! Just let yourself have this day off, a single vacation day that you have definitely earned.
2. Eat All Your Favorites
You should get to choose every single meal. Breakfast should be your favorite and hopefully someone else makes it for you! But if not, turn on your favorite happy tunes and make it an enjoyable experience. Our go-to breakfasts for birthdays were always german pancakes or sticky buns. Both are extremely easy and oh-so-decadent. (recipe for the cake batter pancakes seen above here)
Lunch and dinner and snacks should also be all your favorites! It doesn’t matter how extravagant they are, we chose mac and cheese (usually homemade by my dad but boxed sometimes too!) for like 18 years of our lives for our birthday dinner. It’s just fun to have one day where you don’t feel stressed that anyone won’t like what you’ve chosen. It’s your day! And you don’t need to feel bad about indulging in the edible delights the world has to offer on this day, okay?
3. Buy Yourself a Gift
Getting gifts is the BEST! And it can be even better when it’s something you picked out yourself. Make sure to approach this as a birthday present though and not just as another purchase. Get something that you really want, even if it’s small, make it meaningful and then think of it as a gift and when people comment on it, tell them it was a birthday present. Don’t feel guilty about this purchase (but, of course, keep it reasonable) and remember to thank yourself for it! Good vibes to yourself is important everyday and can especially go far on your birthday! (wrap them in free printable birthday papers or the grid paper seen above)
No really. Balloons people! They’re fun, they’re colorful, they are the epitome of birthday! Even without helium, they are delightful to have around. See the above photo? How fun is a balloon floor, right?! Just do it.
5. Wear a New or Favorite Outfit
We always got a new outfit on our birthday. It was the only present we opened before school and it was usually our favorite one! Look, feeling good about yourself cannot be understated. This should never be skin-deep (or in this case, clothes-deep) but it’s no secret that feeling comfortable fashion-wise can be a big self confidence booster. And on this day when people seem to be paying even more attention to you than usual, it feels good to feel pretty! No shame in that. So wear the outfit that always makes you glow or save a brand new one, either way your day will be better when you take the time to look good. It’s such a simple thing to make your birthday better than every other day.
6. Make Some Festive Decor or Hang a Sign
You decorate for all the other holidays of the year so why not the most special one?! Years ago I made a balloon wreath and I hang it on my front door the week of every family member’s birthday. We also always hang some kind of banner in the main room of our homes. Grab one here for free and just print, cut and hang!
7. Reflect on Your Accomplishments
You have done awesome things! Sometimes it’s hard to feel that way but don’t let that happen today! Feel good about the goals you’ve met this past year (btw a great habit to start is making a small list of “dreams” every year. Maybe next year you’ll have satisfied a few of them and that will feel good), feel good about getting your skin looking better, mastering a new skill, keeping your room clean more often, weighing the same as you did last year, getting out of your comfort shell, earning that promotion or going back to school. Whatever you’ve done, even if it sounds small, pat yourself on the back on your birthday. (hooray balloon diy here)
8. Tell People Your Birthday is Coming Up
Upset not enough people said happy birthday?! Was that because you didn’t tell people about it? If you want the recognition it is on you to remind people. And look, it feels good to have multiple people say that to you or to have your co-workers or classmates sing to you! So don’t be shy about re-iterating that your day is coming up.
9. Put a Candle in Every Meal
How often do you blow out candles? Once a year? Hopefully it’s at least that! But, really, it should be 3-5 times a year and all on your birthday! You can have candles in your pancakes and in your snack cupcake and in your sandwich and in your pizza AND in your cake! Get sung to and definitely make a wish every single time. It’s special, magical and really only acceptable on your birthday.
10. Tell Your Loved Ones What you Want and What you Expect
If you only take one thing away from this article, let it be this: only expect to receive what you’ve explicitly asked for and then be grateful.
Never expect your husband who never cleans to suddenly clean the night before your birthday. Sure, it’d be AWESOME if he did but since that’s probably requesting an entire mentality change from him, it’s not going to happen. It does kind of suck but it should not ruin your day!! Its a messy house! I don’t even think the majority of your day should be spent there, unless that is wholly satisfying to you. Either way, letting it be whatever it is going to be is going to make for the best day. And if you can’t live with that, you better make this apparent to your husband days beforehand.
The same goes with the rest of the day: if you want to be picked up and taken out for lunch, tell someone that. If you want a specific accessory or tool, tell someone you’re expecting a gift from. People love to be told what you’re expecting of them, honestly they do. It’s not rude, its helpful. But, if you still don’t get exactly what you wanted, let that go. Be grateful for whatever extra attention, work or gifts anyone is willing to shower you with. No one likes to get someone gifts they never appreciate. If you get your least favorite brand of lip gloss from a friend, act like it’s the best freaking thing you’ve ever got. It takes a lot of work for adults to go out of their way to get gifts (even if it’s a gift of time) so take that as a sincere compliment and nothing else.
11. Use Cute/Festive Paper Plates, Napkins, Straws, Etc
Eating your favorite meals off party-perfect plates makes the day that much better! Paper are the best because no clean up! Make your day easy with no dishes and make it pretty with birthday plates, napkins and paper straws. Our very favorites are the ones by Bash Party Goods and Meri Meri. Both make the cutest plates you’ve ever seen, perfect for any gender and any age! Find cute straws at basically any store, it’s especially easy at the one stop at Target or online. And dress them up with balloons for even more fun!