When I was a little girl, we would always spend holidays at my Grandma Omdahl’s house. All the aunts and uncles and cousins would pile into this small home and bring their Easter baskets or presents, depending upon which holiday it was. One thing that was a sure thing was that there would be plenty of food. My Grandma was a great cook and would spend days baking and preparing dishes, and then everyone else would pitch in and bring food as well and we would end up with tables just heavily laden with so much food. You quickly learned to take just a tiny bit of your favorite foods, because even that   would give you a huge plateful. If I had room for seconds, I had to really think about it because the dessert buffet would soon be spread. You were not going to go hungry at Grandma’s house during the holidays. In fact you might be so full you feel sick. It was a tradition.

In our house, we have some things that are traditions. Things that I wonder if my kids will carry forward to their families someday in the future. One of these is decorating bedroom doors.

2013-08-28 07.36.55 lizziesbday 2014-01-21 06.56.35

I’m not really sure how I came up with the idea, but when my first, Brett, was little, I put him to bed on his birthday eve. Of course he was excited about his birthday being the next day, and I was excited for him. I love birthdays. So after I tucked him in and he fell asleep, I streamered his bedroom door so that the first thing he would see on his birthday when he opened the door was a birthday celebration. The enthusiasm in the morning was all it took. A tradition was born.

When Skyler got to be about six or seven, she insisted upon decorating my bedroom door on my birthday eve. The catch was, though, that she went to bed much earlier than I did. I remember she and Brett just insisting that I needed to go to bed. They were sure I was tired. I played along and I heard them whispering and cutting tape, excited to surprise me.

No matter where we’ve been, if it’s someone’s birthday, their door gets decorated. The beach, Disneyland, Hawaii. The streamers, tape and scissors get packed along. It does require staying up late, getting up in the middle of the night, or getting up at 5 am to make sure that the birthday person is sleeping, and over the years there have been times that I’ve kicked myself for starting this tradition. After all, a person gets tired! But it has been such a fun way to make the person of honor start their big day feeling special and loved.

Today, Lizzie turns 15. She’s going to get presents, a family dinner, a homemade red velvet cake and ice cream. But, first, she’s going to start her day with a little celebration of her and her day when she opens her door!


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