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Athlete Tirunesh Dibaba’s sister Melat celebrates her birthday

My favorite days are birthdays! I adore the notion of giving the birthday child or adult the opportunity to feel like the center of attention for a single day. While hosting a party with friends is the “traditional” way for kids to celebrate their birthdays, this is by no means the only way. In fact, my boys’ favorite birthday memories are ones that involve our family activities. Perhaps you recently relocated and don’t know many people. Perhaps your kid doesn’t want to throw a party. Perhaps throwing a lavish birthday party is beyond your means. Perhaps your child requires medical attention. Perhaps you simply avoid throwing kids’ birthday parties. Regardless of the cause, there are many ways to plan a memorable day or days and make it a birthday to remember. Throw a birthday celebration at your house for your family only, complete with party favors, decorations, and a birthday cake. Make popcorn for everyone, close all the curtains to make the room dark, and give each person a box of candy. Find a new movie to watch OR choose a favorite. Organize a traditional slumber party on the floor with parents and siblings as the guests, build a fort in the family room, or set up camp in the backyard. Alternately, organize a themed indoor sleepover by renting a teepee from a nearby company. Bring out ALL of the crafting and coloring materials, and let each person create something on their own. Give the birthday child their very own spa day at home, complete with a wash and blow dry, pedicure, manicure, massage, or facial. Put on a costume or crazy outfit, turn off the overhead lights, bring out the Christmas lights, find or make an upbeat playlist, and bust a move. Create new moves by using YouTube.

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