Thursday, August 1, 2013

Holidays: Thriving on Birthdays (Part 1)

This is part of the Holidays: Thriving, Not Just Surviving series. If you missed the first two posts:
Holidays: Thriving, Not Just Surviving Part 1
Holidays: Thriving, Not Just Surviving Part 2

We had only been on the field for a couple of weeks, and it came fast! Michaela's birthday was upon us. We had a dilemma. I did not know where to find balloons, candles, or any birthday decorations. I barely knew where to find the ingredients to make a cake! I did not want her first birthday in our new country to be a disappointment. So, we had to think fast. I was able to find a boxed cake mix and some icing. BOY was it expensive. At that time I did not really know how to make these things from scratch; so, I just ignored the price.

I kept looking for candles, but when everything is new, it is near impossible to decipher the items on the shelves. It is actually quite overwhelming! Product packaging looks different from what my eyes have been trained to look for in the States. We ended up using a basic candle we had for during power outages. It gave us all quite a laugh.

Michaela loved the cake and even loved the candle. We took her to one of the few restaurants we were familiar with. They served pizza! And our gentle, tenderhearted, compassionate, and thankful little girl was on cloud nine with her pizza, cake, and emergency candle. But I was determined from that point on that birthdays would only get better and more special.

Her birthday gifts: A tiger, a new traditional outfit, and a bicycle.

The New Birthday

 The hidden beauty about changes in holiday plans is that it is a perfect time to think about why we do what we do. Our family always got together with the grandparents for birthdays; but since that is not an option here, it has given me a chance to think about... why are we celebrating?

So, why do we celebrate birthdays? What is our goal? If I know the why, the how becomes a lot easier!

1) It is a great time to thank God for placing that person in your life for one more year.
2) It is a perfect time to show that person you are glad they are part of your family.
3) There is never a bad time to eat chocolate cake.

OK, so the last one was a joke... sort of.

So what are some creative ways to accomplish the above?
Since this post is getting a little long, and since I love to surprise you, I think I will save the "practical" part of birthday celebrating for the next post.

By the way, did you know next week is the second "birthday" of this blog? I have heard there are some special things planned for the week... Think of it as a week-long cyber birthday party!

As far as this post... To Be Continued...

Also see:


Joyful said...

I'm sure your daughter will always remember this special and unique birthday.

Lou Ann Keiser said...

Charity, I loved the candle! She will never forget it. I think birthdays are all about the person having the birthday. But, I found out here in Spain, the birthday person is supposed to furnish the cake, treats, and everything for his friends. Certainly turned around! :o)

Charity said...

We finally got to go to a birthday party here. I cannot wait to tell you about it in a couple of weeks. We found something we definitely want to add to our celebrating!