Growing up, my mother pulled out all the stops on my and my siblings’ birthdays. The birthday banner was unfurled; the birthday tablecloth came out of storage; the birthday boy or girl received a free pass on any chores, and also got to choose that evening’s meal.

All simple gestures, yes, but each one practiced every year taught me one thing: A person’s birthday is her special day, and should be celebrated in any little way possible. Today happens to be my birthday, and being the queen of good deals (though I may have to share that title with editor Marlena Chavira-Medford), I have come to love the "little" celebrations offered by restaurants and retailers around Dallas. I’m always looking for the best place to spend my actual birth-day — what is great about these deals is that you can typically redeem them during your birth-week or even birth-month.

• Cold Stone Creamery: Free "Love It" creation
• Genghis Grill: Free birthday bowl
• Smoothie King: Buy-one-get-one-free smoothie
• On the Border: Free empanadas or dessert with purchase of an entree
• Carino’s Italian Grill: Free appetizer with purchase of an entree

I’m sure this list isn’t exhaustive; any other suggestions are welcome.

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