If you've had any experience navigating a large family schedule, you'll have sympathy when you hear that we really couldn't fit a family birthday party into the calendar on the actual day of the birthday. The challenge here, was to make the birthday girl feel special despite the fact that we were not actually stopping to celebrate her birthday ON her birthday. We decided to make it a Birthday-Weekend-Extravaganza! Some good points included thinking and expressing fond birthday thoughts for several consecutive days, as opposed to one. We have enjoyed happy birthday decorations much longer than we might have, and also, we decided to spread-out the present love. She got some presents on one day, some more on the second day, and woke up to a couple of surprises on the morning of the big day. We ended up having her birthday dinner and cake on Saturday, which was the pinnacle of a VERY busy day for all family members... an ACT exam, three soccer games, a trip to the airport, a BBQ with friends and other Saturday activities chores. I mention that, because dinner seemed a trifle more rowdy than usual--no chairs tipped over, no food flying, but there was the usual raucous behavior and then maybe the kids were taking it up just a tiny notch. You may be disappointed to learn that there was some burping going on--I'll just tell you, it's the culture here. Not that it's adopted or accepted by everyone, it just happens and we all know it... as the mother, I do expect a polite "excuse me" at the very least (the necessity of which has been up for debate more than once). SO, the birthday girl let escape a pretty hearty burp at the dinner table, and my response was a you-should-know-better-sideways-glance followed by "Have you ever heard me do that at the table?" in a you-should-know-better-tone to which she responded-
"Mom; that will be my birthday wish.
That YOU will burp at the dinner table."