The Birthday Table

My mom is an amazing career woman. As a kid, I watched her command boardrooms of men LIKE A BOSS (Literally. She was actually their boss. GIRL POWER!) I admired how beautiful she looked each day in her dress, panty hose, and heels. I am so grateful for the experiences that I was afforded because my mom and dad worked so hard.

I love that my mom works a full-time job. Her confidence, work ethic, and passion are all qualities that have served me well in life. (As a side note: when women argue if it’s better to stay home with kids or work, I know from experience that both are awesome choices. Doing what you love is more important than a formula. But that’s a different topic for a different day.)

My mom passed on a lot of great qualities to me, but homemaking skills were not among those. She actually has quite a bit of these skills, but I never cared to learn them (and am not observant enough to absorb them).

But when I got married and began having children, I wanted to be a fun wife and mom…to create a beautiful home and great memories…but I didn’t really know how. Homemaking did not come naturally to me. (That would be an understatement.)

Fortunately, I am surrounded by a variety of talented friends. Over the years, I have learned how to make a home by observing them…and shamelessly copying their ideas that appealed to me.

Over time, I have grown enough in my homemaking skills that I have my own original ideas and don’t always have to copy my friends. Even still, when someone has a cool idea, I shamelessly steal it!

My friends, John and Erika, have a tradition in their family called the Birthday Table.

Chloe loves their birthday tables so much that she asked if I would make one for her. She then forgot about asking me, so it was still a surprise.

Obviously, if the birthday table is a tradition, it ceases to be a surprise. BUT it’s so much fun that the surprise element isn’t necessary. It is like a kid on Christmas: they know it’s coming but it’s still amazing when it does!

This idea is 100% stolen from John and Erika, so I can’t take any credit. But it is so fun that I have to pass it on!

The Birthday Table is simply your kitchen table decorated for the birthday person.

Step 1: Pick A Theme
Erika’s family will sometimes decorate in a theme of a current movie then go see that movie as a family that day, which is so fun.
I had about one hour to buy birthday table decor and my groceries for the week…so I had to make due with what Target had to offer…which was PINK! (Since we have so many boys in our family, a super girly theme is always welcome.)
You can be as simple or as creative as you want to with the theme. I went fairly simple. John is super creative and hand makes amazing decorations that put Pinterest to shame. Do what you works for you!
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Step 2: Decorate your kitchen (or dining room) table.
For Chloe, I bought a banner, table cloth, streamers, balloons, Starburst, ice cream toppings (for ice cream for dinner), and a few small gifts. photo 5305A871-CA25-4058-9E0B-02A38874F72E_zpsnc13wudz.jpg
The bucket and watering cans were 70% off at Target. I’ve been eyeing them for a long time to use as decor in my home. Those aren’t actually her gifts, but they added {unnecessary} dimension to the table.

You could display all of your kid’s birthday gifts, but our family tradition is to spend a day with Mom picking out their own presents (in lieu of a party) . So she had already gotten her big gift:
 photo IMG_1675_zps620kmv1i.jpg
Daisy the parakeet!

Step 3: The birthday kid wakes up and is SO EXCITED! YAY! (And the toddler sneaks as much Starburst as possible)
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Step 4: Leave the table decorated all week to prolong the birthday fun!!
Birthdays are meant to be celebrated, and my opinion is the longer, the better!! Hence why I am 33 and still insist on celebrating the entire month of February!!
(On the subject of overzealously celebrating birthdays, I discovered Target sells a 1/2 birthday candle. Which is AMAZING!)

Step 5: Enjoy the benefits of a fun tradition for years to come!

I love the birthday table for many reasons. First, it is super easy. I enjoy picking out thematic things, but even if you don’t, you can throw it together with minimal effort. You could make it cost effective by reusing the same items over and over each year for every child.
You are only decorating a small table, so it doesn’t take much to fill it (as compared to a room, which feels empty even when there is a lot of stuff in it.)

Even though it’s easy, it carries a big impact. When we would go to Erika’s house during a birthday week, it’s the first thing we noticed. It’s memorable and fun for kids to show their friends/family. It feels like we had a party, even though it was just a small family celebration!

With four kids, they often get lumped into a group (which is normal and expected). So birthdays are a fun time to celebrate them individually. The birthday table is an excellent way to do that. Chloe fell asleep before Caleb last night, so he helped me decorate her table. Getting out of bed to help me made him feel special. Even though I am big on letting kids have their moment, having this sweet moment with Caleb didn’t detract from Chloe’s big day. It actually made him more excited for her.

Since I am the FUNctional mom, I am always looking for small ways to make family life even more fun! But as with anything I write on this blog, no pressure if this doesn’t appeal to you. Obviously kids birthdays can be awesome in a multitude of different ways. The birthday table isn’t the only thing we do for birthdays, but it is a fun new addition for us!

Tell me…what are birthday traditions in your family??


3 thoughts on “The Birthday Table

  1. I love it! I’m John’s sister and loved the birthday tables as a child! We too have carried on this tradition with our family and have made many memories!! I think it is awesome to see others enjoying the tradition and love the fact that it’s being shared! Great family fun!!!


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