Happy half-birthday


My friend recently invited us over to share homemade pizza and half-cake for her daughter’s half-birthday. Isn’t that such a sweet tradition? Half-cake. I love it!

There was a really interesting story in the Times, not too long ago, about traditions and family entitled “The Family Stories That Bind Us.” Essentially it suggests we should make an effort to establish family traditions—the funnier the better—that are likely to get passed down and help build a narrative.  The best story for a family is one that oscillates and includes ups and downs that can be recounted over and over.

That and half-a-cake are making me seriously consider celebrating half-birthdays from here on out.

P.S. You can use one 9-inch round, cut in half to build a two layer “half-cake.” Or, make a three layer like this one, where one-half of a second 9-inch round is, um, disappeared. Also, chocolate frosting (just multiply the recipe).

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Let’s Discuss

  1. Oh I love this.. for a while I was so ‘anti celebration’.. thinking it was silly and that I was somehow more edgy and serious by not partaking. But the truth is, we need to find more days in the year to celebrate life!

  2. My husband once gave me a birthday card for my half birthday, cut in half. :-) I still keep it in my wallet. Our four and 1/2 year old (noting that he is merely four now is not enough, “NO MAMA, I am four and a HALF now!”) thought he was entitled to a full birthday party with all of his friends. I vetoed that but we did go get a cupcake.

  3. jackie

    we do the same thing! chocolate bars cut in half, cake etc. love having more reasons to celebrate each other!

  4. i had my first half-birthday last year, and i loved it! as a xmas baby (dec. 22nd) i never really get a party – people are always too busy with xmas parties, gift-wrapping, or family celebrations…not to mention going away on holidays (lucky things!). so last year i decided that i’d celebrate my birthday on june 22nd, and it was great! one of my friends baked half a cake (she joked she’d give me the other half on my actual birthday), people brought gifts + cards, and i was able to have an ice cream cake (my favourite kind) and open the windows to let the breeze through – both things i can’t do in december in canada! it was so good, i’m planning another half-bday party for this year…though it’ll be more special, since i just turned 30, and i might have to do something really crazy for it. :)

    • Helen in France

      My mother was a December baby and for many years she celebrated in June. meant she got decent presents halfway through the year and it was easier on everyones pockets to be able to just buy a tokan gift for her actual day.
      Being a June baby I never suffered from this problem.
      I have now got to that stage in life where any excuse is good enough to celebrate.
      For many years within my family we had several members who had to work at Christmas so we had our family ‘Christmas’ in June. We always had a tradional lunch on the Sunday and spent the rest of the time outside enjoying ourselves and each others company.

  5. Beth

    Because daughter #3 has a summer birthday…we started celebrating her half birthday…February 14th…She is now 14 and half…and we still do it…she is spoiled with gifts too! lol

  6. Marlena

    My parents started the half birthday tradition we have to this day in my family so that I could celebrate my birthday at school with friends (being a July baby I never would have otherwise had the change to bring in treats, or wear the birthday hat or any of the other elementary school honored traditions). So each year in January I would bring treats to school, and then at home I got to pick what we had for dinner that night, an ice-cream flavor and a movie to rent from the video store down the block. My four siblings, while all born during the school year also celebrate their half birthdays. Its funny to realize how much a part of my life its become, even at 22, my mom still sends me a message on my half birthday wishing me a happy half birthday, and in college I’ve had friends surprise me with a dessert and a movie since we all disperse during the summers. It;s one of my favorite traditions!

  7. My birthday is my brother’s half birthday (and so it goes without saying, his is mine) but I’ve never considered making myself a half birthday cake when I make him one! I think it’s definitely going to have to happen this year :) Growing up we also had “un-birthday parties” with our cousins, because we were far away from each other and never got to celebrate any of our real birthdays together!

  8. what a sweet idea! my son’s half birthday is on my husband’s birthday so we’d already have a cake handy:)

  9. bisbee

    I guess this is a cute idea for children…although, to tell you the truth, my grandchildren get to celebrate quite often – so many friends’ birthday parties, and their own parties require weeks of planning and buying (my daughter-in-law is really into themed parties). I think there can be too much emphasis on birthdays. Families can find many other reasons to celebrate events other than birthdays – I think building traditions is great, but they can be built around other things.

    A lot of adults have posted saying they like this idea of half-birthday celebrations for themselves…you must all be very young! I’ll be 62 on Friday – I don’t really want to mark my half-birthday as well as my “regular” birthday – except to celebrate the fact that I am still here and enjoying life! That should be done every day!

  10. As a former teacher, I really loathe the idea of the half-birthday. Of course we want to celebrate our children, and that is why on their birthday, we remember and celebrate the day of their birth. Half-birthdays, in our consumer culture, are just another way to spend money, generate waste, spoil children and over-inflate their egos.

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  12. Lisa

    My birthday is in April, my husband’s in November. I’ve always felt guilty that mine was in spring, and his the dead of winter! Mine, during the time of year when airfair magically drops and new, discounted tickets become available, his is too cold and wet and rainy to even get motivated to go out for dinner :( but now, with this half birthday idea, it lessens the impact of the actual birthday and spreads it out to the opposite season! Now I will also enjoy a fall birthday, and he will enjoy an early summer birthday! Thank you!

  13. Sue

    My daughters half birthday is valentines day. I celebrated several years with a special dinner and a half birthday cake. No gifts were involved but she loved it! Special memories.

  14. Laurie

    When my daughter was expecting we planned a ‘half way there party’ when she was twenty weeks along. Menu was half a baked ham, twice baked potato halves, and half a cake for dessert. It was very sweet and we bought the going home outfit for the baby since we new the sex by then.

  15. Carol

    My mom and my son are true 12/25 Christmas babies and I’m 12/26 so we are used to the birthday candle in mincemeat pie! One year as a teen I did throw my mom a half birthday dinner. It was fun convincing the bakery to put a pointsettia on the cake!

  16. Olivia

    Have been doing this for my kids for ….hmmmm, almost 30 years! Hopefully my older brain can continue the tradition via grandkids and the adult children’s spouses too!