I love birthdays!

One whole day to love on just one person.

One day that allows you to give a person a glimpse into how much their life means to you!

It is almost 22 years ago that our birthday tradition began.

It was my birthday during our first year of marriage and my day started off with a stack of envelopes.

Keep in mind that we barely had any money in those years but what followed made me feel so rich.

Each envelope was numbered and each envelope led to another adventure.

I couldn’t open the next numbered envelope until we had accomplished the one before it.

We did all of my favorite things.

We went to the bookstore and I got one book.

We went for coffee at my favorite cafe in DC.

We had lunch at the mall surrounded by all the museums I loved so much.

We went tanning (I know, I know…but I used to really love it before kids).

There were about 15 envelopes and we went from one fun thing to the next.

The point was the day was all about me and all of the little things that would make me smile.

After we had children I wanted to start “the envelopes” as we call them.

If you ask my children what they want for their birthdays they always yell, “Envelopes!”

Who can turn down a day completely filled with all the little things that they love?

Who can turn down the excitement of a day of surprises and adventures?

With everyone home right now you may be thinking how can you make someone feel seen and loved on if their birthday falls during the quarantine. I brainstormed with my amazing assistant Diane Reeves and our children to come up with some fun ideas especially for children using our envelopes tradition.

Each envelope is numbered and inside there is a piece of paper with an activity. If you use envelopes for a birthday in your home let us know and maybe these ideas will help make a birthday extra special during this time of uncertainty.

-Decorate their bedroom door with streamers and balloons so when they wake up they have to break through the decorations

-Their favorite breakfast

-A treasure hunt to find a gift

-A Nerf gun war outside or inside the house


-A movie night projected unto a wall, print out tickets, sleeping bags on the floor and a snack bar set up

-Play a lego building challenge in one room

-Set up a photo-booth and take photos with an Instax camera so everyone gets instant photos to share

-Set up a tent inside the house or in the yard and have a family camp out

-Hang 50 or even 100 reasons they are loved all over the walls in a another room or hallway

-Walk to a favorite park and if time allows send some of your family members out ahead of time to write surprise messages with sidewalk chalk along the route (if you have this freedom where you live)

-Create ice cream sundaes instead of cake and use a sparkler as a candle

-Set up their favorite game in a room

-Ask family members to mail them birthday letters

-Have a Zoom or Facetime call set up so their friends can sing Happy Birthday

-Play their favorite video game with them

-Play Just Dance as a family

-Have a hula hoop contest

-Have a fashion show and create a runway, funny clothing choices, makeup and take photos

-Create a fort and place fairy lights inside

-Play Murder at night (this is one of our favorite games to play as a family and when friends are visiting)

-Create a murder mystery dinner for older kids

-Have your children’s friends and family decorate their cars, create signs and all come by the house at the same time yelling out birthday wishes, flashing their lights and honking their horns. They will never forget this one!