They say it’s your birthday…

image courtesy of Wikipedia

Recently, I took a whirlwind trip to New York City to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, and we had a wonderful time. It was a nice departure from the usual birthday party and it got me thinking about birthday traditions. I did a little research on this annual event and found some pretty interesting origins and cultural variations in tradition.

Did you know that birthday parties may have started in Europe as a way to protect the celebrant from evil spirits? People believed that you were more vulnerable to being attacked by evil spirits on your birthday, so all your family and friends would make it their purpose to surround you all day in order to keep you safe. There are so many beautiful birthday traditions all over the world, and in case someone you love has a birthday coming up, I’ll give you a few of my favorites. Why not try something new?

Brazil: In Brazil you pull on the Birthday Boy/Girl’s earlobe for every year they have been alive, and sometimes once more for good luck. Ouch!

Canada: You grease the celebrant’s nose with butter or margarine, this way they are too slippery for the bad spirits to catch. This tradition has it’s origin in Scotland.

Denmark: A flag is flown outside the house to designate that someone in the household has a birthday that day. For children, parents place the child’s presents around their bed so that is the first thing they see when they get up in the morning.

England: A Fortune Cake is made, which is a regular cake with small symbolic tokens baked into it. If someone get’s a coin in their slice of cake, then they are destined to be rich.

Korea: On a child’s first birthday, she/he is placed in front of a table of foods and objects, such as a string, brushes, ink and money. Whatever the child chooses from the table determines his/her fortune. Food represents that they will never know hunger, the string represents longevity, money represents riches and the brush and ink represent intelligence.

South Africa: On a person’s 21st birthday, their parents give them a key. This key symbolizes the young person’s readiness to unlock the door to their future.

Sweden: Traditionally, Swedish children are served breakfast in bed. Parents surprise the children by singing a traditional Swedish birthday song and bringing a birthday breakfast and gifts to the birthday child. The breakfast typically includes a hot roll with a candle in it and a beverage.

Vietnam: In Vietnam, everyone’s birthday is celebrated on New Year’s Day!

So, what do you think? Have you been inspired to switch up any of your usual birthday traditions & if so, where will you start?

How to Make a Mother-Daughter Business Work

image courtesy of snoringscholar.com

We had the pleasure of speaking with AMEX Open Forum about our experience making a mother-daughter business work. As you can imagine, this topic is close to our heart and something we think about every single day. It’s also quite personal, but we’d love to share our experience and some advice with you, our wonderful readers.

Many of you are yourselves small business owners and whether you work alone, with a family member or with close friends, the challenge is pretty universal. The important thing is that we’ve all built something we’re proud of and when that goes well, this fulfillment brings us even closer to the ones we love.

We’d love to hear about your own experiences with working closely with family and friends. Any advice you’d like to impart? Tweet us your thoughts @LinneasLights or visit our Facebook page to continue the conversation.

Last Minute Father’s Day Inspiration

image courtesy of marthastewart.com

With Father’s Day coming up on Sunday, I always find myself scrambling for ideas up to the last minute. Does the same thing happen to you?

One sweet idea is giving him something homemade, made with love. For my husband, I love the idea of my daughter and I baking the cute sugar cookies pictured above together, and found this easy enough recipe from Martha Stewart.

Since you’re probably here though as a fan of ours (lucky us!), did you know we have a pretty new masculine candle, Vetiver? Earthy, rugged and altogether masculine with notes of vetiver, light musk and ozone. It’s actually one of my favorites as well, so now you can share your passion with the man in your life!

Check our site for a list local retailers if you want to pick this up near you, though we recommend calling first to make sure it’s in stock!

Here’s to a wonderful Father’s Day and spending a beautiful day with the ones we love.