Long before I was a mother, or even married, (okay, I think I was still in early high school) I saw a tiny little note in a magazine about celebrating on the six month mark. I loved it. Loved it! I tucked the idea away in the corner of my mind and when I had my family, I dusted it off and it became a tradition for us.
And this weekend we celebrated with our oldest son.
I keep the 1/2 birthdays very simple. I think that since I love parties and creating them for my kids, I could easily lose control and end up having full blown birthday bashes, when all I meant to do was give them a special day to ease the wait till their real birthday. So we decided long ago just exactly what a half-birthday would entail.
The night before, I always make a simple banner that hangs over the table and reads, "Happy 1/2 Birthday, George!" (or Sue, or Freddie...) and hang it up before I go to bed. Then in the morning when they come out of their rooms, all rumpled with sleep, they see this cheery sign reminding them that today is their special day.
The most important part is the half-birthday cake. I make a basic two-tiered round cake and cut it in half and decorate it. (I let the special child decide on the flavour and colours to use) Isn't it fun? And really, very little work and time is required.
On top of the cake, we light their age-and-a-half number of candles. So this candle has seven full sized candles, plus one very small candle, on top. Seven-and-a-half, you see.
Their half birthdays also include a family supper where all the grandparents come over and I cook a menu designed by the half-birthday boy or girl. This year included a request for three different kinds of pizza, (Can you guess his favourite food?) and no other side dishes to go with it. He wanted pizza, and only pizza.
Finally, they get ONE gift. Just one. Usually we try to have it be a new book, since I am so in love with children's literature and want so very much to develop a love of reading in my kids. This year, our man opened a box set of Junie B Jones, by Barbara Park. He loved it, and read an entire book this evening.
The half-birthday has been great for our family and I would completely recommend it to yours.