I was a Christmas baby.
“Oh that had to suck!” people tell me all the time. “Did people forget about your birthday?” “Did you get birthday/Christmas presents a lot?” “Did your parents combine your birthday and Christmas?”
The answers to these statements and questions is: No, it wasn’t that bad; No, No, and NO.
I was pretty fortunate. My birthday was, is, and always will be December 12th. That’s almost exactly two weeks before Christmas, so there was plenty of time between my birthday and the “big holiday.” My parents were always good about separating Christmas from my birthday, and family and friends never combined my gifts into one.
As far as I was concerned, my birthday was always a prelude to Christmas. An appetizer, if you will. The tree was always already up, and my gifts were placed under it. The house was decorated in red and green and there was usually snow on the ground outside. Christmas carols played on the stereo, and everyone was in relatively good cheer.
Other birthdays didn’t have the pizazz that mine did. They didn’t have the colors, the lights, or the festive atmosphere.
As far as I was concerned, I considered myself LUCKY to be a Christmas baby.
Of course, as the years went on and I got older (and older), birthdays didn’t matter as much. Family parties were long a thing of the past. It got too hard to coordinate everyone’s schedules for a party for cake and coffee and the traditional opening of gifts. So those parties turned into phone calls or emails, and maybe a gift card sent in the mail with a birthday card.
And that’s OK. Birthdays are something to celebrate, but the festivity around them should be reserved for kids. After all, you may not remember what anyone gave you for your birthday last year or the year before; but I bet you remember getting your first bicycle, that special dollhouse, or that super-special toy you just HAD to have when you were a kid.
So as I celebrate the end of my 37th year, and the beginning of my 38th, I want to thank everyone that I’ve come into contact with in the last 37 years; for the friendship, love and support; for the good advice, the kick in the ass when I needed it, and the shoulder to cry on when I had nobody else to turn to; for the wild and crazy times and the quiet, reflective moments; but most of all, for being part of my world.
Because that’s the best gift anyone can possibly give.