Birthday Parties With No Fuss

My family was all about simple birthday parties. We had cake, ice cream, and a few gifts and didn’t really refer to such events as parties. Since James’s family did the same, we’ve continued the tradition of both of our families. I’m not much of a party planner anyway, but that doesn’t mean I’ll never have a “big” party for my kids. It just hasn’t happened yet, so our birthdays stay inexpensive.

Birthday Meal

The birthday boy/girl gets to choose a favorite meal. Sometimes, it’s a regular meal we already eat. Other times, it might be something extra special, like dinosaur nuggets or toast. (I really did have a child request toast for a birthday meal!)

The Cake

What’s a birthday without a cake? I always make my own because they taste much better than anything from a box or bakery. Since I’ve been trying to be healthier over the past few years, I only make cake on birthdays, which makes it an extra special treat. Some of my family members have a cake they request every year, but for those who don’t, I have them choose something new to try. I don’t think I’ve eaten the same cake twice on my birthday for at least 10 years.

birthday parties

Gifts and Wrapping Paper

I once saw an idea for giving 4 gifts at Christmas, and I think it applies very well to birthdays:

  1. Something they want
  2. Something they need
  3. Something to wear
  4. Something to read

Though our budget for gifts has increased over the years, I still try to get meaningful, inexpensive gifts. Since my family’s birthdays are spaced out over the year pretty well, I’m more likely to do some homemade gifts as well.

I don’t use wrapping paper. Instead, I have a collection of homemade gift bags made from scraps of cloth. They have drawstrings and are of various sizes and colors. I do save gift bags that I’ve been given, but I use those for gifts that leave this house, most often for my kids’ friends’ birthdays parties.


I don’t do cards either. Anything made by Hallmark is seriously overpriced, and it’s just a piece of paper. If I make a card at all, I probably printed it off from Google.


This is where I get really lazy. I just don’t decorate for holidays except Christmas. I guess I don’t care enough, and I’d just have to take them down the next day anyway. Maybe as my kids get older, they can be in charge of the decorations. The dollar store and Walmart have a good selection of things for $1 each, but that can add up quickly.


For my family, small celebrations work. I enjoy our simple birthday parties because they don’t take much planning or money.

Now, if only I could get time to slow down. How is my youngest son already 3? This week’s adventure will hopefully be potty training!

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