Friday, March 28, 2014

5 Little Celebrations & Rituals fit for a Birthday Star!

Birthday doodle - capturing the magic of childhood birthdays - chandana banerjee

As children, everything we do is touched with magic and excitement. But each year takes away a little of that star dust, a layer of that undiluted joy, a lot of our ability to seek gold in the mundane. 

These days, I hardly notice my Birthday approaching, or even feel that bubble of excitement from my childhood, when I finally wake up to March 30. And honestly? I miss that fervor, that enthusiasm, that unbridled happiness at being able to celebrate the little things, the simple moments that make up the fabric of our lives.

Here are glimpses into some of my favorite birthday memories – simple stuff that added silver magic dust to my day.

1. As a small girl, I lived for my birthdays, for that one day when I’d be the star, a Birthday Star, Queen of the World, if you wish. Out of the 365 days in a year, the only day that mattered was March 30; the rest were a countdown to D-day. 

2. My mother would bake me a chocolate cake with white and pink butter icing. This was a mandate every single year, right up to the time I got married. And this cake baking & frosting tradition continues. The cake’s chocolate, the icing white and pink, but it’s my husband who bakes and frosts it now, and adds sprinkles or sugar roses, depending on the supplies he has on hand.

3. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Yup, one of our meals on my birthday was chicken curry, cooked the way I liked, with delicious gravy and potatoes. (Ahem, and we still cook that as a way to add flavor to the day.)

4. My mother would hand-sew a brand new dress for me. Project Birthday Dress would start almost a month before D-day. We’d shop for fabric with an interesting pattern, lace and buttons, and thread to match. I’d follow the progress closely everyday, watching my mother sew, imagining how the dress would finally look on me. By the time it was finished and the last buttons stitched on, I couldn't wait to slip into this cheerful little outfit and twirl like a birthday star.

5. I got to slurp up the leftover icing in the mixing bowl. And yes, you guessed it right, I still tuck into the extra dollops of icing when my husband finishes up frosting the cake and hands the bowl to me.

What are your favorite birthday memories?

P.s. The Birthday GIVEAWAY ends on March 30. I’ve posted 5 blog pieces over the week, and you’re welcome to comment on any of those, to participate in the Giveaway. I’ll draw a winner and announce the name on Monday. So, jump right in with your comment. I'm looking forward to sending over 'Me before You' by Jojo Moyes to you.

Have a great weekend, while I try to re-capture some of that unbridled joy at being a Birthday Star! 


  1. Wonderful post! I had the exact same feelings about my birthday and they lasted till a couple of years back,after which, I sadly grew up .My birthday falls in May when schools had summer vacations and I could never fulfil my deepest desire to distribute sweets to my classmates.:-(.My mom used to stitch a new frock for me too and bake a cake with silver sprinkles on the icing.Oh those wonderful brought them back for me.Happy Birthday in advance!

  2. Pallavi, our birthday memories from our childhood days seem to be set in silver, sin't it? Simple joys. Thanks for your wishes. And hey chill about the typos...I tend to make them too, however careful I try to be.


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