A long time ago, I realized that what I most wanted to give my children was a global viewpoint and a love of exploring. Instead of a Sweet 16 party, a car with a bow on top, or another typical celebration, I made up Build A Better Birthday. When they turn 13, each of them gets to pick anywhere in the world and I take them for one week. Just my daughter and me.
I've experienced Fiji (with a stop in Auckland, New Zealand); Paris (with a stop in Rome); and a safari (with a stop in Cape Town.) Yes, you can see that they've managed to squeeze a few extra days in there!
But the basic idea remains the same. They help with the planning and the research, thereby gaining knowledge and some new skills.
The end result? Incredible memories for them, and for me, and a bond that will withstand whatever the teenage years throw at us!
Birthday muffins in Fiji and birthday crepe in Paris.
Don't know why we never do a cake...