I turned 34 on Monday! September is a very popular month for birthdays – it seems like I have a friend or relative celebrating a birthday almost every day this week! – and it’s not just in my head: Did you know that September 16th is the world’s most common birthday for people born between 1973 and 1999? And September 9th is right on its heels as the most common birthday for babies born in the US from 1994 onwards. I’ve always said that September babies are awesome!
The world has changed a lot in my 34 years. According to a recent survey, 60% of today’s parents say that birthday parties aren’t what they used to be due to stress of expectations and money:
It’s so easy to get caught up in making everything “Perfect” that we can forget that often, the smallest things are the most memorable. When I was a kid, my mom baked me a homemade birthday cake every year, which she would decorate with little toys. It was always a big surprise to see what would be on my cake!
Every cake she made was special, but the most epic cake ever was the year I turned 10. I had just started watching Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and was obsessed with it, and the toys were impossible to find – this was the year that parents were getting into fist fights over the rare action figures! But my parents happened to spot a set of small Power Ranger figurine cake decorations at a grocery store and snagged them right away. When they brought out my birthday cake with all of the Power Rangers on top of it, it was such a great surprise and I was so beyond thrilled! I played with those Power Rangers constantly, and I have kept the figures to this day.
This year, I got a birthday surprise in the mail that took me back to those special childhood memories when Netflix sent me a little care package!
Netflix’s present came in celebration of Birthdays On-Demand, a brand new collection of clips that feature all of your children’s favorite characters singing “Happy Birthday”! What could be more fun than getting a serenade from someone like Barbie on your special day? And since you can’t have the birthday song without cake, I received a cake decorating kit to unleash my creativity!
My mom was the person who taught me to be a great baker, so making this cake brought back those memories of her skills and all the awesome cakes she made for me as a child with my favorite TV characters on them.
I thought I’d pair this cake with a special birthday weekend dinner to share with Jai!
I made pork chops and roasted potatoes paired with red wine – yum! You might be noticing the date on the table – for our wedding, Jai resurfaced our old dining table that used to belong to my parents, and incorporated it into our wedding as the table that we signed our marriage license on. Because we got married during the Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st, Jai actually used a magnifying glass during the partial phase of the eclipse to burn our wedding date onto the table and make this piece of furniture a true family heirloom. We thoroughly enjoyed this romantic dinner on our anniversary table!
After dinner, we lit the candles just in time for the traditional birthday serenade! And yes, I am aware that they didn’t send near enough candles for how many years I’ve been alive. 😉
If all that wasn’t enough, Netflix also gave me another birthday present: The debut of The Bad Batch on September 22nd – the newest movie starring my favorite actor, Keanu Reeves, released just in time for my birthday! And yes, it was a good thing that we watched this after dinner…
Creating a memorable birthday isn’t about who can spend the most money or throw the most elaborate party; it’s about the moments we share with each other, and paying attention to what your children enjoy. I’ll never forget how delicious my mom’s cakes were, or the thought that went into finding little toys to decorate them with. I’ll never forget how every year, they let me choose whatever special dish I wanted to have for my birthday dinner – a tradition that, as you can see, I carry on with Jai to this day! Birthdays aren’t a competition: They’re about celebrating the birthday girl or boy and how much they mean in your life!
Visit Netflix.com/Birthdays to make your child’s birthday extra special with a birthday wish from Barbie, Pokemon, Beat Bugs & more!
What day does your birthday fall on? Do you have any special birthday traditions?