No regrets for a personal celebration that collides with Christmas
Posted in , Dec 19, 2016
It’s spoken of as an unbearable burden, a sufferance, a trial for those so inflicted. I refer to those of us who have December birthdays. “You probably never get a party,” people will say to me. “Do you get any presents? People probably forget all about your birthday.”
On the upside folks will observe, “Your parents must have been pleased to get a tax deduction just in the nick of time.”
A tax deduction. Is that all that can be celebrated about December birthdays? Mine is…if you must know…December 30, five days after Christmas. And I have never had cause to regret it. Do you or anyone you love have a December birthday? Here’s why I give thanks.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
1) I never had to go to school on my birthday.
Think of that. All the fuss that kids made about birthdays in school, quite frankly, it was a relief NOT to be the center of attention for that, no turning bright red when they sang for me in the classroom, nobody chasing me around in the schoolyard saying, “Ricky has a birthday!” I could celebrate at home during the school break.
2) Second chances at getting the perfect present.
So I didn’t get what I wanted for Christmas? I could ask for it for my birthday. Or if I did get what I wanted, I could get the necessary add-ons: the extra cars for the train, the second and third volumes in a series, the tie that would go with the shirt.
3) Always feeling younger than my year of birth.
As soon as I could add and subtract, I was supposed to be able to come up with my age. (“Subtract your date of birth from the current year…”) But no, I’m never that old. Not yet. Not till the very end of the year. It gives me a feeling of being perpetually young. Or at least one year younger.
4) The whole world celebrates with me.
My birthday celebration seems to start around Thanksgiving, when all those decorations go up and the lights get strung from trees and wreathes are hung on front doors and carols are sung. If December was good enough for Jesus’ birthday, why should I complain?
My nephew just had a newborn baby this December. My brother-in-law was born in December. My son’s girlfriend was born–get this–on Christmas Day. Those of us with December birthdays feel privileged. Go ahead and feel sorry for us if you must. We don’t feel sorry for ourselves. We give thanks–and eat more of those leftover Christmas cookies.