My sweet girl had a birthday this month. We celebrated, we ate cake, we partied with her, we spoke truth over her. We had a special time loving on our daughter. She is so loved, and she knows it.
As a mom who is also (sorta, kinda) a minimalist, birthdays and holidays that involve gift giving are taken a little differently. I don’t want to bring too much into our home or our lives. I am a gifts person (if you have taken the 5 Love Languages test, you know what I am talking about), and I try to be very thoughtful and intentional about it, and I love it! And my daughter is definitely a gifts person, too. She lights up and squeals with excitement while opening a present (it’s definitely one of the cutest things ever.) However, on birthdays and Christmas, we try not to overload our kids with a variety of “things,” but rather give one or two items that are really meaningful.
I have a few very loose guidelines for our family when it comes to giving gifts that I have stuck with for the last few years, and this system has worked out really well for us. First, I try to find one main gift (and sometimes a couple of other tiny gifts). I find just one thing that my child has really wanted, needs, or would absolutely love! It’s hard to settle for just one present, at first. But when you grow your family to live that lifestyle, it gets much easier. In a world full of advertisements, media, and people saying that you need more things than you actually NEED, one gift feels insufficient. But the more I have done this, the more normal it is for me, and it has become something that I get really excited about, and my kids love!
I am really into the idea of giving “experiences,” like going to the zoo, out to a nice dinner, going to the movies, or anything that my people would love to go and do together. This year, for her one birthday gift, we took our girl to the zoo as a family, and she had an absolute blast. Getting to spend quality time with her and our whole family was such a special, memory-making time. Another great thing about experience-giving is that it doesn’t take up any space in your home if you are trying to live with less, as I am.
My hope is that through being intentional about birthdays with my family, we will instill in our children and ourselves that it isn’t “things” that make us the most happy. It’s when we can be together and be truly loved by one another we feel the most secure. And always, our true joy comes only through Christ.
This is what is working for our family, and I hope my little tips help you find something that works for yours!