We've continued the tradition in our family, adding to the homemade signs streamers in the dining room, a much-used "Happy Birthday" banner hung on the dining room wall, balloons, and a special dinner plate (with chosen birthday dinner) for the honoree. From the moment the birthday boy (or girl, only one out of the four we celebrate each year) awakes in the morning, it is obvious that this is indeed their special day.
The boys love it. They make their signs with sweet sentiments, illustrated with whatever they are currently interested in. If I kept the signs each year (and many of them I have) they would be a pictorial journal of the boys growing up.
Today it is my turn to be on the receiving end of signs, balloons, 'happy birthdays' with kisses and hugs given early and often. I love it too. One of the signs, made by my more artistic son, shows a space shuttle blasting off to 'Planet Mom', while my numbers-loving kid made a sign with a long math problem which ultimately adds up to my age. And of course my husband's beautiful card and flowers greeted me as well. We have cake and ice cream to look forward to. It is a happy day in our house, and I am thankful for these little traditions we've carried on.
And if anyone is mildly curious as to my age, just complete my son's math problem below.