From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
THIS MONTH'S QUESTION
How do you make birthdays special?

BRING ON THE BALLOONS
The night before my children's birthdays, I decorate the whole house after they go to bed. They wake up and the house is filled with balloons, streamers and a "Happy Birthday" sign. The look on their faces is priceless!
—Lisa Davies, Lakeport, Calif.

NEXT MONTH'S QUESTION:
What's your family's favorite fall tradition?

GO SHOPPING
I take my daughter to lunch at her favorite place and spend the day shopping or at the museum—wherever she wants to go—just the two of us.
—Elizabeth Ricks, Fort Worth, Texas

Start the Morning with a Surprise
When our kids were younger, my husband started a tradition of waking them up singing "Happy Birthday to You" and presenting them with an apple with a candle in it. That happened to be the first thing he found in the fridge that day, and we still do it.
—Beth Anderson, Longmont, Colo.

LET THEM EAT CUPCAKE!
I started a tradition using Wilton's giant cupcake pan. It serves up to 10 people and they can decorate it however they'd like. My three kids can't wait for their giant cupcake.
—Michelle Tauber, Longwood, Fla.

A Simple Keepsake
Birthdays are a big deal at our house, but something simple is always part of the day. When my children were small, I got an inexpensive vinyl tablecloth that had "Happy Birthday" all over it and a simple paper sign. Even though my children are getting older now, they still look for those two things. Whether it's an extended-family party or a quiet one at home with just us, the tablecloth and sign are always there.
—Deb Ohlman, Hudsonville, Mich.

SPELL IT OUT
My sister started the tradition of giving a gift for each letter of your name. It could be something small or just something you love. Like with my name:

C-CANDLES
I-ICE CREAM
N-NIGHTGOWN
D-DINNER OUT
Y-YELLOW FLOWERS

We all love it.
—Cindy George, LaGrange, Ky.

Win a free CD!
E-mail us at country@peoplemag.com with your answer to next month's question or to share a funny true-life story or photo. If we use your answer, we'll send you a free CD! This month's winners will receive a copy of Rascal Flatts' new release Unstoppable.

FUNNY TRUE-LIFE STORIES
Have a Laugh!

MULTITASKING TOT
While my 2-year-old granddaughter was being potty trained, her mother caught her looking at her book with her grandmother's glasses on.
—Sharon Moye, Dexter, Ga.

Pet photo of the month

NOT-SO-COOL CATS
I stepped away from doing laundry to get the phone and my cats, Kharis and Cairo, claimed the warmest spot in the house.
—Judith Clarke, New York City, N.Y.

HAIRLARIOUS
When my sister and I were little, my mother saved money by giving us haircuts at home. One day, after Mom finished my sister's hair, she wadded up the towel with all the trimmings and set it by the bathtub. An hour later we heard a howl from the bathroom. My father had taken a shower and picked up the towel to dry off. When all the hair spilled out, he thought he was going instantly bald!
—Susan Fuquay, Mooresville, N.C.