“Thank you for planning a wonderful birthday party for our gal, Nana. . . “
I smiled at the text from my son-in-law. Yesterday, Frank, my two grandsons and I had celebrated my daughter’s birthday, in grand and excited style – for less than ten dollars. I would have spent much more, but that was what I had. I was grateful God provided a way to take good care of my darling daughter, just as He has done for more than three decades now.
Our secret? The same tactics He taught me throughout all her pre-teen years, those sweet, sweet years of innocence. I used lots of prayer for help, inexpensive items and then made a big celebration out of it. With two grandsons, gifts were easy. The boys (two and three and a half) gave Momma the gifts to unwrap but promptly claimed them as their own, according to my plan, and delighting everyone, Momma most of all.
The most expensive thing was a bedtime book. The other gifts were from the Dollar Store – two tiny yellow shopping bags, two small memo books, two sprigs of plastic flowers, and two paint brush boxes. Wrapped separately in white tissue paper (which cost one dollar), with festively generous curling ribbon, that made eight gifts for Momma to receive, open and watch her toddlers happily claim as their own. Ta da! No jealousy issues (at least for a few minutes.)
As for decorations, I hung one half of a “Happy Birthday” penant string from lights at the side of the room and the other over the room divider, then dangled long, curled strands of ribbon from the edges. With bright “Happy Birthday” plates as the centerpiece, I covered the table with two dozen “curly cues” strips of the curling ribbon. The oldest grandson kept asking me again “What did you call these, Nana?” as he tossed them in the air and uncurled them so he could watch them spring into curls again.
Our traditional birthday cake is a box mix cheesecake Sharon has enjoyed since she was eight and everyone, except the two-year-old, loved it. We lit candles, blew them out and repeated it all until the smoke–and laughter– overwhelmed us all.
I looked at my daughter and saw her down through the years, when it had been just her and me, with the same type of celebration: numerous small gifts, carefully wrapped, decorations everywhere in our tiny apartment, and much prayer that she would feel as cherished as she was.
Thank You, dear dear Father, so very much for showing me how to give her good birthdays all these years. What a gift it always is to me, from You, to see her smile. And now, to see her do the same with her own children. How loving You are and how faithful!