A few years ago, I got an idea. This idea was borne out of guilt, I have to say. It’s the guilt I felt when I didn’t really feel in the birthday spirit when it was time for my little guy’s birthday. Now his birthday is in January, so I bet many of you can relate…. The house was finally free of Christmas hoopla and actually clean for the first time since Thanksgiving. (Come on, you don’t really dust UNDER the Christmas decorations, do you?
Back to my dilemma, Jake’s birthday was coming. We weren’t having a huge party. Having done all those crazy huge parties with my daughter (who is 7 years older than her brother), I realized with Jake, that a celebration with just a few family and friends was all he needed for his day special day. Plus the fact that with a daughter in 1st grade when he was born and being in business for myself didn’t leave me a lot of time for playgroups with my second born, so there weren’t a lot of little kid/little kid parents to please.
The day was coming and I started feeling bad that I didn’t have a big party planned. The thought of “streamer-ing” my whole house crossed my mind and then left very quickly with the thought of clean up. So I looked at the mantel and thought, HEY, I can make a little “Jake Shrine” up there and he’ll be really excited!So I grabbed all the photos of him I could find. Some in frames, some not, a few printed out of those machines at Chuck E Cheese. I arranged them on the mantel and added a garland of kitchen string and snapshots held onto it with mini clothes pins from IKEA.
Little did I know that I was starting the annual tradition of the “Birthday Shrine.” Delaney loved it so much, she insisted she have one for her birthday too. Who can deny the girl who spent 7 years (minus 7 weeks) as an only child, only to be excited and then shocked by the arrival of this attention grabbing boy?
After that first shrine, I started checking out the Target Dollar Spot, searching for inexpensive, bright, cheerful birthday decor that would work for boys or girls. I found garlands and lights that grab our attention. This year I added a few Heidi Swapp Marquee letter and shape lights, filled with glitter paper. Jake started asking about his shrine as soon as the clock struck 12 on New Year’s Eve. His birthday is January 31st, so I made him wait a few weeks. (I needed a chance to put away Christmas and remove the 6 inches of dust from the mantel.) I always put up the shrine when the kids aren’t home, just so I can see their faces when they get home from school to find their smiling faces plastered all over the mantel.
Another fun idea for celebrating special occasions is using the Heidi Swapp lightbox to put someone’s “name in lights.” The kids love changing out the letters and phrases for holidays, birthdays and any other special days they can think of.
I hadn’t really thought about posting about the shrine on my blog, until a couple friends commented what a great idea it was and that they’d never seen anything quite like it. So here’s our traditional Birthday Shrine in all it’s glory. I love this idea because it’s inexpensive and shows my special people that they’re loved for a few weeks every year. Yes, Jake’s shrine is still up. I’m debating taking it down and putting up a few Valentine decorations, but I’m also sort of lazy and the thought of putting up Valentine decor and taking it down before I put up Delaney’s shrine is tiring. 🙂 So we’ll see!