My birthday is approaching. I will turn 36 on December 22. Those who know me well know I am not the biggest fan of my birthday. Not because I dread getting older, I embrace my age and the wisdom that comes with it, but because my birthday is a mere three days before Christmas.
Having my birthday so close to Christmas has caused me a ton of grief growing up.
I could never have a birthday party with all of my friends on my birthday because, let’s face it, Christmas was only three days away and people had a ton of stuff to do. I didn’t get to bring cupcakes to school on my birthday and be the center of the class’ attention for the day because the holiday parties often fell on my birthday or winter break had already begun. Then, there were the gifts. I would often get gifts, wrapped in Christmas paper, given to me on the 23rd or 24th by my relatives. They would hand me my present and say, “This is a combination birthday-Christmas present.” A combination present would have been fine if it was an amazing present, like a doll house or a bike, but it wasn’t. Most often it was pajamas or a single doll. Definitely not the kind of gift that would warrant being called a “combination” gift, especially from the perspective of a young child. Kids are all about the gifts and I was no different. I was smart enough to know, even at a young age, that I was being cheated. Cheated, I say!
I even made a point of laying down the law to my husband, who was my then boyfriend at the time, about how to approach my birthday. Even my closest friends have picked up on my birthday rules. People have a ton of relationship and friendship rules, well, I have birthday rules.
Rule #1 – Remember that it’s my birthday. You’d be surprised how many people forget it’s my birthday because of the hustle and bustle of Christmas. My own siblings have forgotten my birthday in the past.
Rule #2 – My present must be wrapped in birthday paper, the prettier the paper the better. Never Christmas paper.
Rule #3 – I must have a birthday cake and it cannot have any red or green frosting on it. No Christmas themed cakes allowed!
Rule #4– No complaining about Christmas shopping or how difficult it was to buy me a Christmas present because my birthday is so close to Christmas …blah, blah, blah.
Rule #5 – No combo gifts allowed. My birthday and Christmas are two separate occasions. Enough said.
Birthdays are special and should be treated as so regardless if they occur three days before Christmas, on Christmas or in July. Clearly I have been traumatized by being a Christmas baby and like all childhood trauma, I blame my mother. She started associating my birthday to Christmas within days of being born. Ladies and gentlemen, exhibit A.
Here is a picture of me, wrapped as a present, the day my mother brought me home from the hospital. Like Charlie Brown, I say, good grief.
And here’s another one. This was my first birthday. Take note of the Santa decor, red and green streamers, the poinsettia tablecloth and the Christmas themed cake. I think I even see a tray of Christmas cookies. (And, yes, my party was in the “unfinished” basement).
And lastly, I think this was my 5th birthday. I had my party at McDonald’s and guess who just happened to stop by? Freaking Santa.
Are you a Christmas baby? Do you have any of the same rules? Do you have a Christmas baby in your family? What do you do to make his or her day special? Let me know!
Happy Birthday to ME!