- We both take the entire day off from work on our children's birthdays and spend the day doing things the kids enjoy, as a family. For people who think this is cheap, think again. When we aren't working, we aren't billing, which is far more expensive than a trip to the mall to get an item had by countless kids;
- Donate money to charity. Each year on our anniversary we donate money to the National Arbor Day Foundation to plant trees. Instead of Christmas gifts we select several charities that represent major events in our life over the past year and make contributions;
- Bake cakes for family and friends birthdays -- homemade beats store bought any day;
- Go hiking. My favorite mother's day ritual is to take a short, local hike following a service at the First Unitarian Society; and
- Serve a meal. We invite others to our home, to share a meal, to share our lives. If people are not able to join us, we take a meal or baked good to them. Food, coffee, conversation -- the lifeblood of good relationships; and not something you can order off of Amazon.com.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
May 8th: A Birthday and Mother's Day
Today, May 8th, is a dual celebration in our home. It is my husband's 36th birthday and Mother's day. In America this normally translates into a lot of spending. Not in our home. Just after we were married (in 2006) my husband and I decided not to give one another gifts for birthdays or holidays. We exchange cards, but NO presents. We quickly found we loved the release of not having to stress about getting just the right gift, and extended this policy to our friends and family. Sure, not everyone was accepting of our new ritual, but we can't please everyone. Here are some of the ways we've recognized the specialness of birthdays and other holidays: