I am one of those lucky people who has a birthday squashed in between Christmas and New Years. We late December birthday people are getting more and more company all the time. There is a news article today about how that week is becoming the most popular week of the entire year for births, and that statistically significant numbers of parents are having births induced just before the first of the year so as to get tax breaks. In fact, that's what my very practical mother did lo these many decades ago.
I like my birthday, though that doesn't mean that I have not at times felt scorn, disgust, and disappointment with those who treated it like an inconvenience or as an opportunity to efficiently combine Christmas-birthday celebrations. In fact, I hope there is a special place in hell reserved for the creator of "For Your Christmas Time Birthday" cards (especially the ones with birthday cakes surrounded by poinsettias and holly).
Given that we are fast approaching late December and the Holiday Season, I would like to provide parents, other relatives, and friends of people with late December birthdays with some helpful hints for how to be more sensitive about the situation.
Hint #1: If you sigh and say "I'm just too busy dealing with gifts for Christmas and planning my holiday parties to think about your birthday now, but I'll try to send you a card in January" or otherwise act like we are burdening you with our inconvenient birthday, we will hate you.
Hint #2: If you give someone a card/gift and say "This is for Christmas AND your birthday", we will hate you.
Hint #3: If you take your own useless Christmas gifts and stick birthday wrapping paper on them and give them to us, we will hate you.
Most - but not all - of that was meant as a joke.
In recent years, I have become exceedingly fond of my birthday because it is during the semester break. Many years ago when I was celebrating a Milestone Birthday, I decided I wanted to spend it in an ancient place, surrounded by ruins and History and beautiful landscapes and culture, so my husband and I went to Greece. Then life got busy with a baby and new jobs and getting tenure and stuff like that, so I didn't really do anything exciting for my birthday until my next Milestone Birthday. Then I decided I wanted to spend it in an ancient place, surrounded by ruins and History and beautiful landscapes and culture and so on, so my husband and daughter and I went to Italy. We had so much fun that we have gone somewhere fun and interesting every year since. Next week: Portugal.
My relatives will just have to regift their unwanted toasters and embroidered Santa socks to someone else. Five of my relatives have birthdays in January..
12 years ago