There are two traditions in my family that I have shared with friends that have sparked people to try: Birthday Dates.
The first version of this started when I was five, I got all dressed up and my Dad (and only my Dad) took me out on a Birthday Date. Of course at age five we started with McDonald’s and a movie. Through the years we progressed to nicer and nicer restaurants, more mature movies, and sometimes alternative activities like gallery tours, lectures, dancing, shows and even a visit to my college alma mater.
My Dad did the same with my siblings and every one of us had a different definition of going out. Sometimes, if my Dad was traveling for work we met him where we was. Now as a snowbird, we sometimes head down to his place for a brief weekend of warmth in winter months! This time is pretty special, a chance to catch up one-on-one and just reflect on our lives as a parent and a child (and the move to grandparent and parent!).
Over the years, my siblings and I discussed this tradition and recognized that the only time in our adult lives that we got together were for family events: birthdays, holidays, milestone occasions. This is usually with a large group and we don’t talk much but the usual social chatter.
We then decided that, similar to our birthday dates, we would schedule a Sibling Birthday Dinner where around our birthdays (loosely due to conflicting schedules) we would spend an evening have a great dinner just the three of us -- no spouses, no children. The birthday person gets to select the restaurant, the other two split the bill. It is amazing how much we can discuss, reflect and laugh about when it is just the three of us again. We only exchange (usually pretty hilarious) cards, no gift giving allowed.
At this point we have probably hit most restaurants in our city, so we are starting to consider maybe an overnight away--something in reasonable driving distance that we can try out or share with the others.
With busy lives, time can go by quickly before you realize the time you spend together may not be providing the connection you really want. Consider a gift to yourself by introducing a new tradition on your birthday!
Links for you: Really Cute Birthday Cards
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NOTE: In 2019 Pro-Mom.com is transforming to a monthly blog while prepping for my book release!