My Itty Bitty Pity Party

photo courtesy Laura Sun on Photobucket

photo courtesy Laura Sun on Photobucket

Having a birthday on a holiday can either be very cool, or a real drag… depending on the holiday. My brother’s birthday falls on Columbus Day, which doesn’t really affect his celebration at all, except for the fact that the banks and post offices are closed so he can neither cash a check nor get mail on his birthday. This is not such a big deal. The bigger issue is that there are people who, upon learning that he is born on Columbus day, will repeatedly ask him if he came over on the Nina, Pinta, or Santa Maria. This is funny the first, oh, 100 times it happens, but can be pretty annoying after hearing the same stupid joke for forty years. Still, it is not as annoying as the hordes of people who always ask another member of our family who is born on Groundhog Day, if she saw her shadow that morning.

832252_31218291My daughter’s birthday is on the Fourth of July, which is definitely one of the better holidays to have your birthday on. For years she used to think that all the fireworks and celebrations were just for her birthday. The same is true for a friend of mine who was born on New Year’s Day. Everyone is always in a great mood at midnight when she turns a year older. Unfortunately, they are usually surly, sullen, and hungover on her actual birthday the next day.

Then there’s me. I am born on Christmas Eve. Being a Christmas baby sounds like it would be a great thing but it actually has a number of downsides. First there is the inevitable Combo-Gift. This is the lame gift someone will give me that isn’t even a good single occasion gift, and yet they call it a combination x-mas/birthday gift as though that gives it some added importance and value. The truth is, a curling iron is a stinky gift, no matter what you call it… especially when you have extremely short hair.

Then there is the fact that there are very few restaurants that are open on Christmas Eve. When I was growing up, every year we would either have my birthday dinner at a Chinese restaurant or a deli. Is it any wonder that now, as an adult, I crave egg rolls on my birthday?

682665_29568654I don’t really mind that my birthday presents are usually wrapped in x-mas paper, or my birthday cards are often Christmas cards that have “… and Happy Birthday” written in on the bottom. I have gotten used to people at the DMV looking at my driver’s license and, upon seeing my birth date, saying “Oh, you’re a Christmas baby. That must stink.” To which I say, “Not as much as standing here at the DMV having you make stupid comments about my birthday.”

All of this doesn’t really bother me so much. What bothers me about having a birthday on Christmas Eve, is sometimes, I get forgotten. With all the parties, and hoopla, there have been times my birthday has gotten lost in the holiday shuffle. I used to get pretty upset about this but now I use it to my advantage. Sometime after the holidays, someone will say to me, “How was your holiday,” and I will say, “Good… it was my birthday.” Their face will drop and they will apologize profusely for forgetting me and then they will beg for forgiveness and ask, “What would you like for your birthday?’

“Hmmm,” I will say thoughtfully. “How about an egg roll?”

©2012, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
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Filed under Growing old ungracefully

8 responses to “My Itty Bitty Pity Party

  1. Megan M.

    I, too, know what you mean about the combo gift. My birthday is New Year’s Day and when I was still living at home, my mom made sure that everyone knew that Christmas and my birthday were separate days. However, this didn’t stop some people. As I got older though, my wish list had items that were expensive so I let the combo gift thing slide. I often ask for gift cards for clothes b/c I never get new summer clothes. It’d be cool to celebrate my half birthday!

  2. My brother was born on St. Patrick’s Day. Can you guess what people have to say to him about that?

  3. Great post! Yep, it’s hard to compete with the baby Jesus! And you can’t even joke about it because you’ll offend SOMEONE. 🙂 Have you ever considered “moving it” to another date? My birthday is on 9/11 (ouch), so I officially moved it to 9/12 forevermore. Nobody notices but possibly the DMV. 🙂

  4. Yup, Christmas and Christmas Eve really s**k as birthdays. So I’ll say Happy Birthday now, before I forget – and I know I will.
    My birthday is on Valentine’s Day, sort of fun now, but was the pits as a kid. “That’s why you have red hair.” Or as a teen, “Happy birthday, too bad you don’t have a date for the Valentine’s dance.” Husband #2 had the same birthday. We used to scrimp on Christmas so we could have a BIG celebration on V day.

  5. Thanks Sharon. Fortunately with Facebook, I don’t get forgotten much anymore. But I still get combo gifts!