Saturday, February 7, 2009

The "Birthday Box" Tradition

Every child is excited on their birthday, but my Nan gave us grandchildren something every year that was extra special. For years, she always gave each of us a silver dollar until they became very hard to find. Then she gave us two half-dollars. But the special thing we all remember from those childhood years is our "birthday boxes." She would fill a box with a collection of things, nothing expensive or unusual in and of itself; it mostly contained small things like magic markers or a T-shirt or trinket picked up on one of her many extended stays away from home. Poppa worked away from home sometimes for months on end and she'd travel with him. When she was away and had to miss our big day, the boxes arrived in the mail. She would collect things all year long for those boxes. That's what always made these boxes special--just knowing that we were on her mind year 'round. We couldn't wait to open them and see what treasures awaited us! It was a wonderful way to make each grandchild feel important. That's no easy feat when you have 15!! Because of the sheer number of us, and the expense involved, the birthday boxes ended when we turned 18. I know I took a lot of this for granted at the time, but I have one cousin that said she bawled when she got her last box. When I had grandchildren, I knew as soon as they were old enough to appreciate a "birthday box" this would be one tradition I would carry on. This year I took a picture of the one I just sent Rebecca for her eighth birthday Thursday. Because my next grandbaby could come any day now, and because Becca lives in Arkansas, I mailed her box to her this year. Hope I get to watch her open it in person next year. Becca called to thank us and her momma told me that Becca LOVED it and was SO excited. I hope she knows that much more than a collection of small things was packed into that box!

PS Thanks for making me a "Mimi." :)
What favorite family traditions are you carrying on, or are planning to carry on, with your children/grandchildren?

1 comment:

  1. Penny,
    I found your blog from the comments on McMamma's blog. What a neat idea for the grandkids. I have 8, and it is so hard to figure out what to get them. I always buy a bond for their b'dys and Christmas, but I like to get them something special too.

    Give me some ideas about what else is in the boxes. Do you wrap each thing? How do you know what to get them? My grandkids range from a 16 (almost) y/o boy, to a 2 y/o girl...3 boys and 5 girls.

    I'm going to put your blog in my Google Reader.