Sinclair traditions: birthday appreciation

I was very excited when I received an email that goes to all the Sinclair ladies telling that we would be starting a series on traditions. I love traditions. I’m probably the most guilty for telling Mumsie after doing something once, “But we always do that!” Traditions make things special — gives you some specifics to look forward to.

I quickly responded to the email by writing: i want to write about birthday appreciation. it’s the best. and i’ll actually do it. i won’t forget & i won’t stop & then drop it. i promise.

So I’m here to not only show that I can complete projects now and then by posting here, but to tell you about one of my favorite things in the whole world: Birthday Appreciation.

It’s probably the simplest tradition you could ever come up. What does it require?

A birthday.
Two people at minimum — any number at max.
And words. This requires words. And it requires thought.

And this is how it works:

The family (whoever is present) gathers to celebrate a birthday. Somewhere along the line (before the meal, after the meal, before cake, after cake, before presents — whatever) we stop for a few minutes and everyone in the family — no matter your age — is asked to share something they appreciate about the birthday person. Little Jack-a-boo always mumbles something (usually what older brother Gabriel said) about how he appreciates that you play with him, read books, buy him candy while older siblings/parents share about different character qualities, different aspects of who you are, what you do, that bless them.

It has got to be the one thing that I hated so much when I was younger (I felt awkward receiving accolades and I felt awkward vocalizing love and appreciation towards others), but is one of my favorite things now. I love it because of the blessing it is… this speaking words of edification and words that will build up a loved one. And I love it because at a young age I was required to start speaking the awkward — purpose to encourage with my words. For some, like me, it doesn’t come naturally. But it’s a God thing.

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” — Ephesians 4:29


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  1. This is awesome.
    Thanks for posting it!

    Posted by LisaC. | October 10, 2008, 6:39 am
  2. This IS awesome. Can I just say there are pages and pages in my journals of recorded birthday appreciation, because the things people said to me meant so much? Real, genuine words of life. Awesome.

    Posted by danica | October 10, 2008, 7:04 am
  3. This is what I get for going backwards through this site (I saw the pic before this post). LOL. I think this is a FANTASTIC tradition and may just have to use it, too!

    Posted by Mary | October 30, 2008, 12:01 am