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Celebrating birthdays in a new country

If you have school age kids and are an expat parent, sometimes celebrating birthdays can be a bit tricky. Do you try to follow local tradition? Is your kid still ‘the new kid’ at school? Does your family want to make the trip to join the celebration? There can be a lot of difficulty in figuring out a way to make the most of your kids’ birthdays. Here are some ways we try to make it a bit easier, does your family have any special strategy?

Easy Options

I know a lot of people like to go all out for their kids birthdays and I enjoy that when I have the time and resources, but that isn’t always easy for an expat family. Sometimes easy is the best option for everyone, simply because it is easy. Take a small group of your kids’ closest friends from school out to see a movie. Treat them to popcorn. Take them to the local play land and let them run around for an hour, or just fill your living room with some balloons, a home made cake, and a bunch of games. Seriously, they will be fine.

Involving Those Near and Far

Sometimes family wants to be a part of the big day even if they cannot make the trip. These days that has gotten a lot easier. Set up your Skype and connect to the TV. This way you can make sure that your family can chat with guests and see what is going on – just remember to put your web camera above the TV so that your family abroad does not end up talking to everyone’s legs.

Make it a Family Affair

If you are new in town, you can always just keep things small and make sure the birthday is a family affair, taking the pressure off of everybody. Make it a special night and go out to the restaurant of the birthday kid’s choice. Take them shopping and let them pick out a gift and then spend the evening playing games as an entire family. This way everyone can enjoy the day and your birthday kid can still feel special.

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