As of today, my birthday week begins! The exclamation mark is there just to fake a lot of excitement. I do not like birthdays, I don’t dislike them either. I like to receive gifts, but I’m not a party person and I never do anything big or crazy on my actual birthday. Yet, I manage to make every single birthday just a little special.
All around the world there are different birthday traditions. For example, here in Italy we do the pulls on the earlobe: the birthday person’s ears are pulled as many times as how old he/she is turning. We also put candles on top of a cake based on how old the person is turning.
Usually, those things are done during a party. But if you’re not a fan of big birthday parties, there are some alternative things you can do to properly celebrate your birthday.
Eat dinner with your family
No matter what else I might have planned, I always have dinner with my family for my birthday. My sister’s birthday is just 4 days before mine, so we usually have a big dinner with my parents, my grandparents, aunts, and uncle to celebrate both our birthdays. Sometimes I would even invite a couple of close friends.
This year I’m having 3 dinners. 2 already happened. Last Thursday I got to cross off my bucket list having dinner at Nobu (my sister has pictures of this). During the weekend I finally went back to one of my favorite restaurant and treated my parents to dinner (I have pictures on my IG). Then, next Saturday, I’ll have dinner with the rest of the family.
Dinners are definitely the best way to hang out with people you don’t get to see that often because of everyone’s busy schedule. Chatting and catching up over a good meal is such a good and casual way to celebrate a birthday.
Go to a concert
This might be the best thing to do on your birthday (if you’re into live music as much as I am). Unluckily, you don’t always get a band you like to play in a city near you, so this might be an issue. But you can always celebrate a bit earlier or later.
The only time I got lucky enough was when Sum41 played in Milan just the night before my 18th birthday. So I got tickets for me, my sister and two other friends and we went there. Then, we spent the rest of the night eating cake at my house.
In 2013, I’ve decided to celebrate my birthday 10 days later and go to Warped tour in Bern. The wait was very worth it. I wish I’ll be able to celebrate my birthday at concerts more often in the future.
If you have the time (and the money) you can plan a couple of days away, either alone, with a significant other or with friends. You can also include something special during the trip, like a zip-line adventure, a day at the spa, or a special dinner in an unusual restaurant.
One of my favorite birthday trips was the one I made to Eindhoven a couple of years ago. It wasn’t on my actual birthday, but my sister and I decided to celebrate it a little earlier since there was a concert there. I got to see my favorite band live and this might be why I loved this little weekend trip so much.
A cheaper alternative could be a road trip not too far away. Or even just a visit to a museum or an attraction in your hometown.
Have lots of cake at home
Buy a cake (or 5), invite someone over (or not) and spend the day chatting (or watching tv) and eating just cake (or you can do ice cream, if that’s your thing).
If you have already planned something for your birthday, you can always include this activity after that.
Make someone else’s day amazing
If you really despite birthdays and you do not want to celebrate or make it special for you, you could make it special for someone else. Donate to charity or invest your time volunteering for a day or a week. You might enjoy that and even keep doing it for the whole year.
What do you usually do on your birthday? Are you a fan of big parties or do you usually plan something different? Is there any specific birthday tradition where you live?