Little birthday rituals
July 8, 2016 8:15 PM   Subscribe

This is my birthday celebration weekend and my birthday is next week. What are some things I can do, fun or serious, reflective or hedonistic, to mark and celebrate my birthday in a great way? Not ideas for the whole day but rather ideas for little rituals or traditions you use or know of to help cap off the year and start the new one off with a cool start?
posted by jitterbug perfume to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I used to take a shot of beer for every year I was, but now I am down to a pint for every decade.
posted by AugustWest at 8:56 PM on July 8, 2016

I bike a mile for every year! I'm gonna be such an epic badass when I'm a hundred.
posted by asperity at 9:23 PM on July 8, 2016 [10 favorites]

I don't do New Year's resolutions. My new year starts with my birthday, and every year, I give myself a goal to work towards. Is there something you want to change about your life? Is there some secret thing you want to accomplish? Make your birthday Day One. I have a birthday binder for each year's focus.
posted by Ruki at 10:02 PM on July 8, 2016 [7 favorites]

I'm a fan of silly decorations. It's nice to come home to a festive house and it's a great way to remind yourself to celebrate.

Ideally someone would help you put up decorations while you share stories of the year you had and the year you hope to have. Wine or festive beverage would be involved. But it also works if you do it for you yourself, by yourself. You could go classy with flowers and candles, but gaudy "happy birthday!" banners and lots of twinkle lights are fun and make me smile.

Photo banners of you through the ages are nice to make. Print out photos, use a cup as a template and cut out circles from your photos. Get some ribbon or string and sandwich the string between glued circles. (Google homemade paper garland) It's easy to do and provides a time to reflect on your adventures, accomplishments, struggles and awesome survival skills.

You made it around the sun one more time. That is splendid!
posted by heidiola at 10:14 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

In my family, someone makes you scones from scratch for breakfast on your birthday. It is an extra treat that makes your day start out well. I just make my own scones now on my birthday, but it's still a nice little ritual.
posted by gemmy at 10:25 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

During my birthday week, I get a haircut and a mani/pedi, have the car washed and detailed, and buy a big bunch of my favorite flowers. I also have a hobbit birthday party, where all the guests receive gifts that I've shopped for in my house.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:31 PM on July 8, 2016 [14 favorites]

Plant something. Like a tree, something that lasts.
posted by jbenben at 11:59 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

I sometimes spend a bucket of money on a really good bottle of whiskey and keep it for special occasions through the year.
posted by booth at 4:41 AM on July 9, 2016

At my birthday celebration with friends and family I always say 3 things I'm really happy about the last year and 3 things I look forward to in the year to come.
posted by masters2010 at 4:49 AM on July 9, 2016

My mum has a 'you are special' placemat that has this phrase, everyone's initials and fun pictures cross stitched on it. It would come out on birthdays and other very special celebrations. It is one of my most favourite parts of celebrating my birthday with family, a symbol of my childhood.
posted by freethefeet at 6:10 AM on July 9, 2016

Here's a ritual we had throughout my childhood, and beyond: de Verjaarsboterham (the birthday slice). It meant that for your breakfast, you'd get a slice of bread cut into as many pieces as you were getting years old, and each one would have a different topping or spread: jam, cheese, peanut butter, hagelslag, honey and so on. Of course, this is easier in a Dutch household, where breakfast and lunch generally mean bread. Still, it got... interesting when you were over, say, twelve. You might find one of the pieces topped with a slice of pickle... anyway, it was fun and I remember it fondly.

You could simplify by making it one piece for each five, seven or ten years, maybe?
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:58 AM on July 9, 2016 [5 favorites]

This is super cheese, but one year I had my boyfriend recite a list of things he liked about himself, one for each year of his life.
posted by missmary6 at 9:11 PM on July 9, 2016

I go watch the sun rise and write a note to myself to be opened on my birthday the next year.
posted by picopebbles at 6:27 AM on July 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

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