I don’t believe how quickly this month has come around. Already we are into the third day of it and I haven’t posted a prompt nor thought of one. No – one has just come to me. The celebration of birthdays seems to have undergone significant change from when I was a child to the child of today – or is it a geographical difference rather than a generational difference. Perhaps it is a difference of economic or social status. I grew up in a rural area of Australia as a Baby Boomer and the celebrations for my birthdays were predominantly quiet family affairs.
Please join in giving your location at the time of your memory and your generation. An explanation of the generations and the purpose of the prompts along with conditions for joining in can be seen at the Times Past Page. Join in either in the comments or by creating your own post and linking. Looking forward to your memories.
Baby Boomer Rural Australia
Our birthdays were celebrated but normally with a family party. I don’t remember in my childhood ever having a party where I invited friends, although my brother had at least one. He would have been in high school which may have made the difference. We
had moved to the city by the time I went to high school. This was a period I have absolutely no recollection of even having a birthday. My brother’s party consisted of simple food – probably cocktail frankfurts, which we called little boys, some sandwiches and perhaps some sweet biscuits. We would have played the games (hide and seek and some other game that involved holding a tennis ball between foreheads) and then sat down to eat. The cake was the important item in our family. The children would then have ridden home on their bikes. It would have been unlikely that they went home with a bag of lollies.
My Mum, who was not really at home in the kitchen, always went to a lot of trouble to provide a cake that we would like.
Mine were invariably dolls whilst my brother got trains and space ships. Looking back now I hope we let her know we loved these cakes at the time for with the passage of time I know these would have been a real effort for her to make.
There was the odd child that invited us to birthday parties which were similar to my brothers with games followed by a feast. From most of these we did go home with a box of lollies but these weren’t given out — they had to be earnt. Perhaps winning Pin the tail on the donkey or musical chairs or from the treasure hunt. We didn’t miss having the big birthday parties – for a family of introverts perhaps it was rather a relief.
Bayby Boomer – Australia Capital city
Generation Z – Switzerland City
My nephews have quite a different experience to my own. Each birthday has been highly celebrated and this is the norm. Even the first birthday was celebrated twice – once with the family and a huge party for the kids. Almost every weekend one of the children will be off to a birthday party.
Parties themselves are quite different. Some will be themed – theatre, paintball, spiderman, zoo and the list is endless of the possibilities available. If a party is held at home it will most likely have a jumping castle.
Generation Z – Germany Rural town
This nephew has a similar experience to my own. He always has a family party – although his family is bigger than mine with grandparents, cousins and aunts and uncles. A table is set up with his presents and he opens them as the guest of honour. He spends time with each gift giving it all his attention – clearly thrilled with it, before moving on to the next present. When he had his birthday at our place in Australia his grandmother set it up exactly as it would have been at home.
And remembering back to the cakes I loved so much as a child, and with me having the same culinary skills as my mother, I attempted to make the unforgettable cake.
What do you remember of your childhood birthdays? I’m looking forward to reading you memories…….