Anyone born around the holidays knows what it is like to not really have a birthday. The resurrection of a Savior, independence of a nation and birth of Jesus, are tough acts to follow. Most of the people who I know that have holiday birthdays, spend all year celebrating others… Not just on their birthdays, but in wonderful ways for no reason at all. Maybe we are secretly compensating for what we rarely receive, or simply realize that it is not hard to make someone feel special.
The Gift of Being Remembered
Lack of finances is always the excuse as to why holiday babies don’t have real birthdays, but we all know that it is the thought that counts, never the cost. Being remembered is one of the most extravagant gifts. There is no need to be rich to enrich someone’s life. This year, I won’t make any promises that I will remember all the people in my life who have holiday birthdays. As a mom of six, I’m doing good to remember the birthdays of my own children. I am going to give my best effort to remember myself, and hopefully in doing so I will encourage someone else to do the same.
Overrated or Understated?
My favorite birthday memory from childhood is when my dad gave me a handkerchief, lemon drops and a comb from the five and dime store. I was so happy that someone acknowledged my birthday it did not matter how odd the gifts were. The gesture of being remembered that had me head over heels. I have always thought to myself, “birthdays are overrated,” but I wonder if that is the storyline I told myself to cope with feeling forgotten and unseen. This is not intended to be a “woe is me”plea for attention. I am sharing because this is a part of my journey. As I approach Forty I am not afraid to tell my truth.
The Gift That Kept On Giving
I have never had a birthday party and I can only recall a handful of truly “happy” birthdays. My husband makes a big deal about celebrating me but it always feels like too much. Rarely do I desire material things. I always long for things with meaning. One year I gave each one of my friends a self addressed stamped envelope as a gift to myself. I asked them to send me letters through out the year. This may sound narcissistic, but lovers of words will understand. I am willing to be misunderstood if it allows me to articulate something other holiday babies have been longing to express. Random letters in my mail box through out the year felt like I won a sweepstakes every month.
Give People Their Flowers
This may sound cliche but I have always thought we should give people their flowers while they are alive to enjoy them. I have never understood why we send flowers after people die. I have every single letter that was mailed to me until this very day. I have been asked repeatedly, “What do you want for your birthday?” My consistent reply has been, “to feel special and be seen.” Your subscription to my blog and companionship on this journey has really caused my little love tank to overflow. Thank you for reading my words and listening to my heart. I am a middle aged, middle child who appreciates your attention more than mere words can ever convey.
Pay It Forward (To Yourself)
Here is my disclaimer, please don’t read this post and get the bright idea to do something in honor of me. Your comments, emails, and encouragement to keep writing has been more than enough. 40 days until 40 is the greatest gift I have ever given myself. What would bless me more than anything is to know that you are willing to give yourself permission to do something you really love. What is something that has been a desire hidden deep within your heart? Don’t you think it is time you started living life from the inside out?
Think about your friends, is there someone who makes a big deal about celebrating you? Are they a holiday baby? What are some creative ways that you can let them know that you care? If there is a unique way in which you plan to celebrate life this year, feel free to share in the comments below. Someone is bound to be inspired or encouraged by your idea.