In the past I had put unrealistic expectations on myself on everything from the food, decorations to the Birthday girl's outfit. Ridiculous I tell ya! My kiddos don't care one bit about all the things that I think should go into a day of celebrating their lives. I decided to free myself of the pressure that has become the "pinterest Birthday party." I'm in no way judging those that can throw an awesome Birthday bash and keep their home peaceful in the process, that just ain't me. When I set out to do a stress free gathering my mind kept going back to our outdoor movie nights that we hold in the fall and how much I enjoy that gathering of friends and family. Everybody brings "a chair and a snack to share" umm hello?!? You mean invite people over and have them help bring the food? Oh yes I did and it was so helpful and awesome! I asked them to bring a food item to share in lieu of gifts. This eases the pressure for both sides and it creates a huge food spread for everyone to enjoy. Who doesn't like a ginormous table of food choices?Anyways, it was simple, sweet and special. Our kids felt celebrating and loved. They had a mama that was "normal" the day before, the day of and the day after. We all enjoyed ourselves so much and felt so blessed by all the people we live life with. I think I might make this the joint Birthday gathering tradition and then do something special for them within our little family. Do any of you have a unique stress-free way you celebrate Birthday's in your family? I love hearing other ideas.