Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen

Tell me about your sixteenth birthday. Did you get anything special? Also, have you given anyone a gift for their sixteenth birthday that was a cut above the usual, just because they’ve reached this “milestone”?

Yes! When I was growing up, our birthdays consisted of just the four nuclear family members. The birthday kid would get a few gifts and the non-birthday kid got one as well. Their favorite dinner, a cake.

I rarely went to birthday parties; I remember maybe one that a schoolmate threw.

So, on my 16th birthday I was in senior year in high school and in French 4. Not that many kids stuck with French all four years so it was a small group who knew each other pretty well. I had a lot of study halls (it must have been a Friday) so I was hanging out in the computer lab. Somehow they got me to come back to the French classroom and there was a cake with candles going!

I never had experience with what “normal” people do on birthdays, let alone a surprise!! It was so sweet :slight_smile: .

The only thing that made it special was I was allowed to apply for my driver’s license. No other special recognition.

Everyone in my family (including me) completely forgot it was my 16th birthday until a few days afterwards. My birthday is in winter, and I was busy preparing for a youth group ski trip. It just slipped everyone’s mind. All in all… everyone thought it was pretty funny; myself included.

A 1979 Saab 900 - Ahhh those were the days. I skipped school, smoked a joint and went fishing with my best friend.

Hey it was the early 80’s there wasn’t much else to do!

Nope. While my family acknowledges birthdays we don’t tend to celebrate them. My father’s 50th was a few years ago and we didn’t do anything special. If anything, it was dinner at the local fish and chips place.

So my 16th, it might have involved dinner with the family. But nothing more than that.

Note: This also applies to Christmas/Mother’s Day/Father’s Day or any other holiday where people tend to give gifts to each other.

I got a 1957 Nash Metropolitan for my 16th “belly button” birthday in 1983. Pretty cool.

For my 16th year without drugs and alcohol, I got a great life, serenity, peace, good friendship, a great family and a ton of joy. Tough to beat that!


Rock on! Keep Com’in!

I honestly don’t remember my sixteenth birthday, so I’m guessing it was nothing special. Probably cake was involved.

Got no idea about mine. My youngest turned 16 last month, and I don’t think she got anything terribly special. She got her driver’s license that morning, she got the White Strips she wanted for her teeth, and we went out for dinner.

When my son turned 16 2 years ago he had his scout Eagle ceremony on his birthday, and we gave him a black powder musket he wanted.

We probably did dinner and cake with the extended family, just like every other birthday. I don’t remember any of my siblings having any special sweet sixteens either, come to think of it.

The license thing, however, trumped any party Mom could have come up with. Got up at the crack of dawn, primping my hair and makeup for my first ever DL picture, bugged everyone for a ride to the DMV and was there when it opened, got my paper license and was allowed to drive back home, very cool stuff.

Congratulations, EJsGirl!

I don’t remember my 16th. My birthday is 8 August, so no-one at school had anything to do with it (for which I was grateful). Every September, I’d come back with 1 added to my age.

It was the summer before I went into grade 12, so… what was I doing… drawing, thinking about solar-powered houses, obsessing about computers and electronics, wishing I could ask that Japanese girl out… not that much has changed.

And yet everything has. The Japanese girl is long-gone, for one thing. And I could probably do a lot better at the social stuff.

I had a nice family party. My dad did the goofy thing where you open the card and it has a clue to some other place in the house (for example it might say “What do you put in your cereal?” and when I went to the milk in the fridge there was another clue). After rattling around the house for 16 clues, I ended up back in the living room where they had gotten out my present while I was gone – a money tree!

On a related note, my niece now lives with us. Her 16th birthday is in November. Keeping in mind that she doesn’t come from the best of families, thus part of the reason why she lives with us now, I am SHOCKED at her sense of entitlement. She is expecting a big bash with everyone she has ever met coming (where to have it though? Maybe rent a room she thinks). She thinks her dad is going to send her a car and her mom is going to send her a laptop computer. She’s sure that either her MamMa or DH & I are going to get her a digital camera. She actually said “No one can say no for my 16th!”
We were thinking a little cake & ice cream party, maybe cookout, here at the house with family and a few friends, and maybe let one friend stay the night. But this is just one of many fights we are prepared to have with a kid who has gone from no parenting to plenty of it.

I got a horse skull, dug through solid rock with hand tools, and got to wear clean clothes. It was awesome.

My birthday is in early August. That year I was on a five-week volunteer trip from mid-July to mid-August. We were camping in a National Park in Kentucky and spending eight hours a day reclaiming a long-disused trail. The trail had been there long before white dudes even showed up, and had been used heavily for troop transport during the Civil War. Then it fell into disuse for a nearly a century. The Park Service wanted to restore it, so we spent eight hours a day digging up root systems, cutting down overgrown and dying trees, and creating a drainage system, which at points involved chiseling ‘drains’ into the bits of solid rock beneath parts of the trail.

On my birthday, rock duty fell to me (we alternated), and I spent most of the day dripping with sweat and working with my trusty pickax and sledge, carving ‘steps’ into a fairly decent sized rock formation just under the surface soil.

Then someone digging a bit further down the trail found a horse skull. We’d found bones before and they’d been ID’d as civil war era horse bones. I didn’t get to keep the skull, the park service did, but it was a damn spiffy find.

After work, owing to it being my birthday, we got to invade the ranger station to do laundry for the first time in three weeks. We each had two t-shirts, a work shirt that got aired out every night and a ‘slightly closer to clean’ shirt for around camp. You can imagine how rank we were by then, and how very very nice clean clothing felt!

I got my drivers license when I turned 16, so for my birthday I got a cell phone (so my parents could track my every move when I was out driving around, some present pfft).

Most of my friends had 16th birthday parties that involved having their parents take all their friends out for a nice dinner. I never got one since my birthday is right in the middle of cram-for-APs time, so my parents threw me a “sweet 17” the next year and took my friends and I all out for brunch.

My mother took me and a friend over to Daytona Beach for the weekend. She brought my aunt along to keep her company, and we all had a great time.

I was inspired to ask about this because my daughter’s sixteenth birthday is coming up and Mom wants to do something extra special for her. I hadn’t really thought about it much, so I was curious whether people actually do go the extra mile for a sixteenth birthday, or is this sort of an outdated expectation. Apparently RachelChristine’s niece has heard of this idea! :slight_smile:

MTV My Super Sweet 16 might be to blame. Has she been asking for more than one outfit to where that night, a Hummer limo to transport her, a sports car as her gift from Dad? :eek:

<<My Super Sweet 16 takes you on a wild ride behind the scenes for all the drama, surprises and over-the-top fun as teens prepare for their most important coming-of-age celebrations. Meet the kids who are determined to go all out to mark this major turning point in their lives, the parents who lavish every wish, and find out first hand what it’s really like to turn 16 these days.
Whether a Sweet 16, Quinceaneara or Coming Out, each week My Super Sweet 16 will document one character’s outrageous journey as they plot, plan and prep for the party to end all parties. These kids expect and will only accept the absolute best. Now, it’s up to them to make sure jealous siblings, stressed out parents and school rivals don’t get in the way.>>

Mine was a couple months ago.

We didn’t do anything hugely exciting. My mom promised me I could go horseback riding, but she’s said the same thing every year since I turned eight.

My best friend had just had a baby five days earlier, so the attention in school was understandably not really on me. So there was nothing special in the way of decorating my locker or anything.

But it was nice anyway. I got some new tap shoes and we went out for sushi.
Next year will be way better anyway. It’ll be right around the time my class graduates, it’ll be five days after my best friend’s baby turns one, and it’ll be around both the end of our last high school musical and the end of what may be my last big show with my dance studio, so there will be a lot to celebrate.

And you’ve never actually gone?!?

I don’t remember my sixteenth. My brother died twenty days earlier and I think everyone was still in shock. I don’t even remember if I got a cake or any presents.

My sons sixteenth we had a cook out with his friends and his grandmother. No presents as he prefers money. He is also hard to shop for. I have no idea what new game is out or for what system that he would want anyway.

For my daughters we arranged a surprise party for her. We have a small house so we decorated just her bedroom and had everyone hiding in her room. She was really surprised. She just hung out with her friends and had cake. She really didn’t ask for anything for her birthday so I gave her money. She prefers that anyway so she can buy what she wants.