Type to search

Birthday Traditions Birthdays

The Birthday Shoe- A Magical Birthday Tradition!


This Birthday Shoe Birthday Tradition has been handed down for 3 generations! It’s simple and a fun way to add a little extra excitement to your children’s birthdays. Plus, it pays to get older! 


The Birthday Shoe- A Magical Birthday Tradition

You have heard of the tooth fairy, I’m sure. You know, the little fairy that leaves you money under your pillow for your tooth? In our family, it wasn’t the tooth fairy that we looked forward to.

It was the Birthday Fairy.

Birthdays have always been a big deal in our household. However, even though they are a big deal, we love celebrating them cheaply and simply.  Because although everyone deserves to be spoiled and celebrated on their special day, that doesn’t mean you have to spend months of your life or your entire bank account to do so.

You can read all about our special birthday traditions and the ways we keep birthdays simple right here

The History of the Birthday Shoe:

So, you’re probably wondering what the Birthday Fairy is all about.

Well, let me tell you.

The Birthday Shoe has been a tradition in our family for 3 generations, starting from my grandmother Helen.

You see, when my mother was a child, she would leave her favorite shoe out on the eve of her birthday. In the morning, she would wake up to see that the birthday fairy had visited, leaving quarters for her! Since money was tight, these quarters were so meaningful and my mother got to spend them on whatever her heart desired.


How To Start the Birthday Shoe Tradition:

  1. On the eve of your birthday, the birthday person picks their favorite shoe to leave out by their bed.
  2. The Birthday Fairy comes in the night and leaves quarters in the birthday shoe.
  3. The rule for birthday quarters– they can be spent on anything the birthday person wants!

How many quarters does the Birthday Fairy leave?

Here’s the formula: 1 quarter for every year old the birthday person is. Plus one extra for good luck!

So, if you have a daughter turning 5, she would find 6 birthday quarters in her shoe!

The best part of this tradition is that it pays to get older! My husband and I still leave out our birthday shoes and you better believe I love buying a special treat (European chocolate, ah hem) with my birthday quarters!

Enjoy this simple birthday tradition!

And…if you’re looking for other simple birthday celebration ideas, including the Adorable Birthday Interview printable, you’ll love this:

Celebrate Simpler- Birthdays

How to Celebrate Birthdays Simpler- A Free Series from SoFestive.com

This post is part of the Celebrate Birthdays Simpler Series. In case you missed the last post, check out: The Overnight Breakfast Bundt! (Hint: a super simple birthday breakfast that will become a family favorite!) 



Melissa loves simply celebrating life through holidays, travel, photography, and the simple moments at home. Her best friend Brandon and her are raising their 4 adorable little ones just north of Salt Lake City, UT. Sunshine, gelato, a good run, planning a trip, and an organized house make her really happy. She loves sharing simple ideas to inspire everyone to celebrate life. Simply.

  • 1

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Up