The day I dread the most is quickly approaching. I have two weeks to face the fact that it will soon be here. December 22nd. I can accept it or not. I choose not to.
What is this day I dread? Why it’s none other than the day I was born.
It is such an awful day that I choose to hide and ignore it on an annual basis. Sharing my birthday with Christmas has not been fun to say the least. Or rather near Christmas. Either way it still equals the same neglect from others and apathy from myself. Everything from birth has been Christmas themed. Every birthday cake is Christmas themed and every present is wrapped with Christmas paper. I was even brought home from the hospital in a Christmas stocking that my mom still has 32 years later.
Growing up, I watched all of my friends have birthday parties and big celebrations. They had clowns, regular birthday cakes, with actual guests, and real birthday parties that could be celebrated anywhere; even at the pool. I never got that. My friends got tons of presents and visits from family. I had to pull a gift from under the Christmas tree and never had visitors. For a kid, this was tragic. I was abnormal. I often wondered why I couldn’t have been born at a more normal time of the year and have the big birthday parties like everyone else. So began a tragic pattern that would follow me well into my adulthood.
I have tried to celebrate my birthday and the vast majority of the time it has resulted in an epic fail.
The best birthday I ever had was my 21st birthday. It was the end of winter quarter. I was exhausted beyond belief but still had to pack and head home. There was all kinds of problems and delays that kept me from getting there. When I finally did get home all of my college friends and high school friends were at my house. What? It was a surprise party for myself and my fellow “December Blues Baby” friend, Evangelina. She has it even worse than I do because her birthday is actually on Christmas Day. But, for that one night we danced our butts off, drank with friends, and happily celebrated our birthday for once in our lives. I do have pictures of this birthday but because it was 21, I can’t share.
I’ve since attempted to celebrate other milestone birthdays but it hasn’t worked out.
Most recently, I attempted to celebrate my 30th birthday. I made plans at a nice restaurant and reserved a table for all of my friends, family, and co-workers to eat, drink, and be merry. Then it rained. It rained like it has never rained in Southern California. Streets and freeways were flooded and shut down. Of course this happened when I actually want to celebrate a birthday for a change. It’s supposed to never rain in Southern California, yet it rained all over me. I had to call everyone and cancel. Since then I have given up. I refuse to plan out another birthday and expect something good to happen just because I have the misfortune of aging another year.
Then there is the part where no one remembers your birthday. This is just one of the many burdens of being a Christmas baby. Of course you loathe your birthday when no one can ever seem to remember it. This includes, but is not limited to, the people who created you. Yes, my own parents have even forgotten my birthday. My sister and her daughter have also forgotten on occasion but I expect this from them. Many a boyfriend has also forgot my birthday. Hence, why I shall do happily without one. The only people that tend to never forget my birthday are my friends. Even before social media reminded them, they would always remember. Thank God for small favors and friendships. My friends are also the ones who drag me out of the house every year to do something to celebrate. Even if it is just dinner or happy hour.
This year for my birthday I am not planning to do much. Since it falls on the Sabbath and it’s the Christmas program, I will go to church and enjoy that. I will either request a red velvet cheesecake, chocolate cake with chocolate covered strawberries on top, or both for my cake and will enjoy it without an ounce of guilt. I will thank all the people who actually remember. Then I will try to forget it’s my birthday and that I am one more year older, one more year single and unmarried with no children, and one more year without having it all. I can feel the dread creeping over me already.
Are you a fellow child of the Christmas holiday? Care to share your birthday highs and lows? I welcome any and all December baby commiserations.