A card is a nice sentiment, but the birthday blessings reach the heart.
Encouragement does a heart good. Everyone appreciates sincere words of affirmation. But on the spot it can be difficult. In the past, I have attempted to encourage my children to say something about the person. We have experienced some of those awkward moments… “I don’t know what to say!”
In a few simple minutes, your family will have a way to truly honor the birthday person without spending lots of money or staying up all night creating the ultimate surprise. As a family you come up with the number of blessings per the age of the birthday person.
This year we started a new concerted effort for the birthday person to feel love and appreciated. For each year of life the person receives that many slips of paper with a blessing on it. The older you are the more encouragement you receive.
One of the best gifts we can give others is our words of encouragement.
This year my husband turned 40. We have 3 children. Each one wrote out 8 blessings. I wrote out 16. They weren’t sure they could come up with the things they appreciated about dad…but I showed them that I easily came up with 16. I realized that this one activity was cultivating an appreciation for him.
What a gift for him to hear from us all the ways he has positively impacted our lives.
A Bowl & Colored pieces of paper (one color per person)
1. Cut slips of paper. One color per person contributing.
2. Divide and conquer. The younger the person the less you will put in. If the birthday person is little. Each family member could come up with one thing they appreciate about him or her.
3. Give examples of what would be encouraging to a person. For example, the color of their hair may not be meaningful. However, the way they ” help others” would be great to point out.
4. Once the slips of paper are filled out put them in a bowl.
5. The birthday person chooses the slips and hands them to the person who wrote it.
6. The author of the blessing reads the paper aloud. This keeps it personal, and its prepared ahead of time.
Things to think about:
If you have a small family get ready to write.
If you have a large family you can agree on a blessing and put it in together. You may have more people than the age of the birthday person.
Younger children will need someone to help them write their blessings.
For the adults who are being celebrated, the birthday person could choose certain number of paper pieces and then open a gift. For my husband, he selected 10 slips of paper, opened a gift, then 10 more slips of paper and a gift. etc. That divided up the reading and put presents in between. We also talked about how the blessings were gifts as well.
This puts the focus on being grateful for the person.
You can join our family by incorporating the birthday blessings as a part of your family’s birthday celebrations. If you liked this idea, perhaps you would like to find out about our other celebrations. Go to Celebrating Birthdays as a Family.
Go ahead and give the gift of encouragement.
Let me know how it works for you!