One of my favorite family traditions growing up was how my family celebrated their birthdays. Whenever someone’s birthday came up, we all gathered as a family and both of my parents and each one of my siblings would say something nice about the person whose birthday it was. Sometimes it was a bit awkward at first, but when people started opening up, generally some really kind and thoughtful things were said, though sometimes we did lapse into goofiness.
It’s easy to forget to tell the people you love that you love them, and even less common to tell them why and what you appreciate about them. In this way, I really felt like we were celebrating the person on the day and not just checking off the boxes of having presents, cake, and ice cream.