Son's 1st Birthday not together - what can I do special?

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Son's 1st Birthday not together - what can I do special?
By Judy (Judy) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 08:52 am: Edit

This will be my son's first Birthday that we won't be celebrating with him. I remember over the years putting so much love and effort into making his Birthday really special.

I have thought of sending a gift certificate to him to a restaurant he likes, The Cheesecake Factory, that I know just opened up in the city he is in, enough money that he could pay to take a friend out for dinner.

I would love to hear any ideas that your college kids have liked. I would like to send him a package with maybe some homemade cookies and other things.

So any suggestions would be appreciated. I am sad to not be with him for his special day. My Birthday is actually 2 days after his so it was always something special we shared together.

By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:11 am: Edit

I got this from another thread and the site looks yummy. Google Hope's Cookies to send a box of the best cookies.

By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:11 am: Edit

Here is the main website:

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:22 am: Edit

I always send flowers and a birthday cake with balloon, goofy cards and gift certificates.I overdo it. Can find flower shops in local city on the web.

By Elleneast (Elleneast) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:25 am: Edit

When I send cookies I also put in a DVD of a favorite movie of my daughter's or a vintage movie that I think she will like. She and her friends will have a movie night. I often send chick flicks but "The Great Escape" was a hit and would be a good choice for a guy, as well.

By Sep2000 (Sep2000) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:28 am: Edit

Judy-if you've had special traditions, you can include a "certificate" redeemable for an outing/meal,etc. for his first visit home. I think it's a great idea for him to also have a way to celebrate now. Happy birthday!

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 10:28 am: Edit

Backhandgrip, how do you get them to stay put long enough to get the stuff delivered? Could use some devious ideas!

By Midwesterner (Midwesterner) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 11:22 am: Edit

Send a photo of the family from one of those other birthdays - maybe in one of those retro photo cubes? You could stuff the interior with the gift certificates and other little goodies.

By Arizonamom (Arizonamom) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 11:54 am: Edit

Check with the school. Pomona had a cake, plates and forks for 8 and birthday baloons delivered to his dorm room even though his birthday fell on labor day.It was very inexpensive as well and an added surprise. Each school has a different set up for that.Good luck

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 11:55 am: Edit

I've heard that some of those school-supplied cakes are not very good. Another option would be to find a good bakery near campus and have them deliver a cake.

By Judy (Judy) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 01:39 pm: Edit

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Do you ever try and let the roommate know about your s/d's Birthday so they can be in on something?

Also - who do you contact at the school? I feel crazy calling the admissions office, or housing. Judy

By Arizonamom (Arizonamom) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 04:09 pm: Edit

I asked here on the Pomona section under individual schools to find out and it was the dining commons that had a surprise someone program. Call student affairs, they are used to these calls and will have a ready answer. My son's cake was great he said but I can't vouch for other schools. I considered calling the hall sponsor at the dorm but my S had warned me beforehand to not do anything on his B-day to embarrass him as it was just the second week of school. I didn't dare. As it was everyone joined in with eating the cake so it worked out

By Debelli (Debelli) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 11:33 pm: Edit

I know my sons college does have a service that you can order a cake from.

My S turned 18 on move in day. Many kids knew about his bday already from him being on another site, and then it was word of mouth. He invited all the people he had met that day to come for cake.

I found a local grocery store before I left to take him up to school that puts a picture on the cake. Since the BULLDOG is the schools mascot, I made a color picture before we left and took it up there. We had a full sheet cake made, which was gone really quick! Over 100 kids met outside his dorm and screamed happy birthday to him that night. It was a great ice breaker for the first day.

There are some great sites on the web that you can get some ideas from and make up your own birthday package for a fraction of the cost.

The Cheesecake Factory is a great idea, but if he has more than one roommate/suitemate, someone may feel left out, or it may be hard for him to choose who to take. Maybe order a bunch of pizzas from a local pizzeria to be delivered and tell his roomie to invite his friends for a surprise. I'm sure you can find a local bakery that would deliver a cake.

I'm sure whatever you do, he'll appreciate it more than you'll ever know.

Good luck!

By Binx (Binx) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 03:12 am: Edit

My S's birthday is tomorrow. I have done the same for him that I did for my older S three years ago: I contacted everyone in my and his email address books and told or reminded them that this would be his first birthday away from home, and though it probably wouldn't bother him nearly as much as it bothered me, I would like their help to make it memorable. (I included favorite teachers, high school friends, relatives, kids he knew from camp -- just whoever.) I asked them to send a card or email, and included both addresses. He was inundated with greetings from people he hadn't heard from for a long time, and it helped make the day special without costing anything.

The other thing I did was tipoff a friend who goes to the same school. Told her if she got him a cake, I would pay for it. I think she gathered a group of friends to take him out to dinner.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 03:31 am: Edit

If he's in a city, you can buy some sports tickets on and have them delivered to him, (unless you live in a foreign country that isn't on thei list, sigh).

By Momrath (Momrath) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 04:43 am: Edit

I told my son to throw himself a party. He invited his group out to dinner at a Thai restaurant and we paid. I understand a good time was had by all.

By Voronwe (Voronwe) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 05:57 am: Edit

Judy, you asked if anyone told a room-mate. I did, and got a really nice email back from the room-mate that said they were already on top of it - the entire floor had planned a huge bash!

By Tsdad (Tsdad) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 08:45 am: Edit

Fantasize about grandchildren.

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 08:50 am: Edit

I think RAs are often told of the birthdays of the students on their floors; it's part of their duties to organize something. Also B-day parties are a great occasion to have a large bash and enlarge one's circle of friends, so something on campus is preferrable to a a more expensive meal at a restaurant for just two or three people.
Pizzas and a birthday cake sound great.

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