What does your birthday mean to you?

As most of you know, I just had a birthday. Laura just did too so we’ll see how different the two of us are. If we are different. We are both pretty much Christmas babies. Or holiday babies. I even got a Christmassy name. I do love my name so I’m not complaining about my name.

I’m a person who doesn’t really think much of my birthday. Don’t get me wrong, I like presents but to me, my birthday is really just another day. It’s like yesterday pretty much and like tomorrow will be. My birthday was always spent traveling. We either spent Christmas in Canada with my dad’s family or Buffalo, NY with my moms. We always returned home on the 27th. Always. I never really got to have sleep overs or really birthday parties of any kind because we weren’t home and we were on school vacations. I did get to bring a treat for the class when we got back in school after the new year but it was never really the same thing.

Then we have presents. Mine were always wrapped in Christmas paper and I didn’t really ever get a real card. I got those little “TO” and “FROM” Christmas tags. Can you tell it bugged me? Then I’d get a combo gift that was for both Christmas and my birthday. I’d get a bike or a stereo and then in March my brother would get the same thing but he got a different Christmas present. I know he feels bad about that to this day. The adult in me knows how easy that would be. Money is so tight at Christmas and I don’t for a second think my parents did it on purpose or anything. It’s just the way it was.

Just for the record, my birthday isn’t like that now. Paul and the boys have seen to it that my birthday is always separate from Christmas. That stuff only happened to me as a child and I don’t for a second hold any grudges. I do get how it could be.

But I know a lot of people who feel their birthday’s aren’t really that big of a deal. It’s pretty much just another day. Then on the other hand I know people who think the world should revolve around them on their birthday and think it should be a national holiday and they should be waited on and pampered all day long.

How about you? Do you think your birthday is just another day? Maybe a cake and a few gifts and a nice dinner is good enough for you or do you think on your birthday you should be pampered totally and waited on hand and foot?

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32 Responses to What does your birthday mean to you?

  1. Sue says:

    I like my birthday! I don’t expect to be waited on hand and foot, but I don’t mind celebrating. I celebrated this year because it was the big 3-0 and it was the first “party” I’d had for my birthday. I didn’t even go out for my 21st!

    What I find funny is that you always say your birthday is just another day, no big deal, everybody has one, but yet you make the kids’ birthday’s special. You send them the birthday song and want them to hear it the second they get up. You tell them they get to pick what we eat for supper because it’s their day. You even bought the celebrate plate from Pampered Chef that they get to eat on just on their birthday. You get them whatever they want because it’s their birthday and that’s what they asked for! Why do you celebrate theirs so much but not your own? I think you do it so they don’t ever feel like you felt 😦 It makes me sad that you don’t like your birthday. What really makes me feel horrible is when I wrap your birthday presents in Christmas paper because someone didn’t tell me that’s what they were for!!!!! I still feel bad b/c I know how much you hate that!

    I think everyone’s birthday is important and should be celebrated!

    • Laura says:

      I HAVE that Pampered Chef Plate! And I use it, too!

    • Joy says:

      I LOVE to pamper other people Sue. Even if it’s not their birthday. The grandchildren, it’s fun to spoil them. But I did it with Jason and Toby too. I’d wait to hear them climb out of bed and I’d put that birthday song on the record player and just blast it for them. I can still see the smile on their face when they turned the corner of the stairs.

      Maybe I wish it had been different for me as a kid but I’ll tell you something. I LOVE the Christmas memories I have and if we hadn’t traveled, I wouldn’t have those. So, I wouldn’t trade that.

      I also didn’t mean to make this post sound like a “poor Joy” deal. It is what it is and you can’t have everything. I have wonderful memories of Christmas and it was just a fluke that I was born at that time. The only thing that would still bother me is the no card and no pretty birthday paper. I know it sounds silly but I missed that.

      LOL about fana’s gifts!!!!!!! She would have wrapped them like that too. She never would have seen anything wrong with using Christmas paper. Jason cracked me up when he saw my presents wrapped in Christmas paper!! To think I thought they never listened to me while they were growing up. I guess they do.

  2. javajunkee says:

    at the age I am now I just want it to be another day…if I forget about it maybe it won’t make me older.

  3. Vicki says:

    As I get older my birthday is just another day,not a big deal, I prefer the day passes quietly..another year older. ugh!! When your younger the years go so slow..when u pass a certain mark they just fly by.

    • Joy says:

      You know jj and Vickie what’s so funny is I never think of my age. I never got sad about any birthdays or getting older. I’ve even forgotten how old I am. I thought I was 53 this year and Toby had to tell me I’m only 52!! LOL!!! A few years ago I thought I was going to be 50 and he again reminded me I was only going to be 49!!!

  4. SKL says:

    Well, I come from a pretty simple background. There wasn’t much my parents could do, materially, for our birthdays. But they made it special in other ways. We never had what most people would call a “party.” Never had anyone over outside our nuclear family. We didn’t take treats to school, didn’t exchange cards, etc. But the birthday kid would get out of doing chores for the day, and would get cake & ice cream, a few presents and, when we were old enough, we got to go with our parents (no siblings) to a nice restaurant. We’d get a double allowance that week. Maybe a couple other things. But mostly we’d be reminded that we were individually special – which is nice when you have lots of siblings. (I should note that none of our birthdays were very close to Christmas.)

    I grew out of the whole birthday thing sometime in my teens, I think. I don’t like attention on me, for the most part. And as an independent adult, there’s nothing I want that I don’t go out and buy for myself. I don’t feel like I need a day that’s all about me. If I were to have a whole day to just do what makes me happy, I’d go away to some wild place, alone, not spend the time with people.

    The older I get, the fewer people remember my birthday, and I’m OK with that. Really. I get a lot more joy out of celebrating other people’s milestones; I’m pretty much done getting excited about mine. A couple of friends do insist on making a small fuss, but frankly, I’d appreciate it more if they did less.

    My wee one’s birthday is coming up, and someone asked me today why I wasn’t planning a “party.” I don’t do that for my kids, at least not annually (maybe once every 5 years or so, I could get talked into it). The thing is, a big party wouldn’t even be about her. She’d feel more special if we just focused on her – a couple of mylar balloons, a cake with purple decorations, dinner at her favorite restaurant, and lots of extra hugs and such.

  5. pammywammy says:

    To me,my birthday and everyone elses is a special day.A day to celebrate,because thats the day you came into this world πŸ™‚ I love my birthdays.I dont expect to cook on my special day.I pamper myself in that one way.No cooking for me.I will be 50 in March and I am excited πŸ™‚ I look at turning another decade as a new adventure.I always have.You leave all the bad stuff behind.I dont forget those hardships,I try to learn and move on πŸ™‚ And hang on to and cherish the great stuff πŸ™‚ I look at turning another decade as starting a clean slate.Each decade just gets better and better πŸ™‚
    I grew up with celebrating birthdays and I did and still try too with my kids.At one point in their youger years,I would blow up over a hndred balloons πŸ™‚

    Joy—I celebrate your special Day πŸ™‚ I am so happy and thankful you have your own Day.Cause I got to know and love you.Always remember that “The world became a better place the day you were born”

  6. Poor Joy… Sounds like birthdays weren’t all that fun when you were a kid :(. I think when I was younger I wanted my birthdays to be the biggest and best and greatest and most special days of the year. Slowly, though, as I grew up, I stopped feeling that little kid “birthday glow” that I’d had, and I started getting depressed about my birthdays since they felt like any other day. I think I’m definitely coming to terms with that now, though – I mostly just want to be with people I love on my birthday.

    • Joy says:

      I really didn’t mean this to sound like a poor me post. I also know my parents did the best they could and we just traveled during my birthday.

  7. Laura says:

    My birthday was just the opposite of Joy’s when I was growing up. Even though our big Christmas celebration happened *on* Christmas, and my uncle has the same birthday as I do, AND we always have cousins from out of town…. we’d do the whole Christmas Gift thing early in the day, then the big meal. In the evening, a birthday cake would come out, and there would be a little gift-giving time. For my birthday, my parents always made sure that there was cake and a family party with my brothers and their girlfriends/wives. I also had friend parties. I did miss the whole “bring treats to school on your birthday” thing, but all in all, having a Christmas Birthday was a fun thing for me, thanks to my parents. They made SURE that it didn’t get lost in the Christmas shuffle. I rarely got a dual gift, like Joy did. I did, once or twice, but then it really was a good thing. Like a tv/vcr for college.

    Now that I’m “grown up”, I don’t make a *big* deal about my birthday, but I don’t dread or ignore it, either. I don’t mind getting gifts…. ok, I LOVE getting gifts. But when other’s birthdays crop up, I love making a fuss over them, so I don’t feel bad about expecting a little fuss over me, in return.

    I think it’s important now, as a mommy, to accept birthdays gracefully, and teach Josh that it’s just as important to make a fuss about other people’s birthdays as it is for us to make a fuss over his. So my mom had him help do up a birthday cake, and I got to use the “Celebrate” Pampered Chef plate that Sue referred to. Others cooked dinner for me, and we had a little gift-opening ceremony, where I was roundly abused and called an old lady. And I proved them wrong the next day by sledding all day. It was a couple of good days.

    • Joy says:

      It’s kind of nice how you celebrated “on” Christmas but during another part of the day. Maybe that would have worked for me but we never did that. I think what I really feel I missed was a cake and pretty paper and cards. I know I wouldn’t have traded my Christmas memories for anything so I’m not sure what else could have been different. I also don’t blame my parents in any way. DAD, if your reading, I really don’t.

    • Tessa says:

      Sounds like a fun birthday! I wish I had gone sledding while in town (Minnesota). My mom always made our birthdays special too and we try to do the same for her.

  8. Just a Mom says:

    My mom’s birthday was 12 days before Christmas and we always made her a special dinner and had cake and presents. We always bought her a tree ornament but we also got her a birthday gift as well.
    My brother and I share our birthday. I was born on his 3rd birthday! We are 10 days after Christmas! My mom always made our day special. We each had our own cake and when we got older he got a sleepover one weekend and I got one the following weekend. Now I just appreciate having a nice dinner and a cake.

    • Joy says:

      I love how you gave her an ornament. That’s a neat thing. It’s also cool about you and your brother about each of you getting your own cake etc. I have triplet nieces and nephew and they have three cakes on their birthday too.

  9. Gary says:

    Going out for a nice dinner or something like that is all I need. It’s nice to get a day to yourself but I certainly don’t need to be pampered. That would actually make me feel a little weird. πŸ˜€

  10. I like a little acknowledgment on my birthday. Wishing me well, making me a nice meal, that’s all.
    Our daughter’s birthday is Dec. 16th. We always make sure her day is special and non-Christmasy. She’s even free to spend her birthday money before Christmas. Makes it easier on Santa so he doesn’t get her something she already has.
    Belated Happy Birthday wishes to you!

  11. Laura says:

    The thing that I DIDN’T like about the Christmas Birthday was (and still is) that people gripe and groan about the fact that they *have* to buy me *two* presents… right close together. So what? If you don’t want to buy a present, don’t. If you want to, buy one. But don’t complain to me about it. I can’t help when I was born, and I’m not forcing you to do anything.

  12. Tessa says:

    Nice post. It’s funny because a few months ago it was one of my best friend’s birthdays and she said “It’s just another day”. So many think this way, but I think deep down everyone wants someone to make them feel special especially on their birthday and know they’re loved by some nice gestures! I let my close friends and family know that their birthday is very special and an important day, because it is the day a great friend, a loving mom, or a great dad was born. It is easy to think your birthday is just another day, because to you it is, but to those who love you it is a special day a certain person they love was born. I am happy to be alive, so I love to celebrate my birthday.

  13. Karen Joy says:

    Well of coarse I want to be waited on hand and foot!!Kidding,but I do enjoy celebrating my birthday and being pampered a little!We have always celebrated bdays in our family.My mom always threw us a partys as kids and even when we were older.We made/make a point of that being the ONE special day that is all ours!I still like it that way.Going out for a nice meal and a movie is what my husband and I do for our bdays,no big presents and thats the way we like it now.
    Geeze Joy,your bday gifts could have at least been wrapped in bday paper!!I am SO glad I was premature.My Moms original due date was december 25th.Phew!!

  14. Nikki says:

    I for one think birthdays should be celebrated and never together with any other holiday or any other child. Unless of course they have the same birthday but still I think that one day should be yours and yours only. We let Bailey do whatever his little heart desires on his birthday. If he want to have chocolate cake for breakfast then that’s what he gets! He wants to spend the whole day fishing even though it’s windier than all get up then that is what we do. It’s his day! I also don’t particularly like to share him on that day either. Jason has always taken Baileys birthday off and it’s always just the 3 of us. That’s our lil tradition and I hope he remembers those days and does the same for his kids.
    As for my birthday, I like to do something. Whether that is going out to eat or having some friends over. Nothing ever big but like Sue said for her 30th…that’s a big one and next year I would like to plan a party. If I’m going to get older I may as well enjoy it right?!
    Joy, I have to tell you….Jason wanted this years birthday to be special for you. I hope it was, at least exciting a little bit. πŸ™‚ You should have seen him coming up with different clues. He has such a big heart especially for you. You should feel loved and important all the time and at least when it’s your birthday for sure! You’ve done so much for your own kids and now your grandkids you deserve some of that back! You even got a Strawberry Shortcake birthday cake for me! I don’t know anyone else that would do that for me…just you! πŸ™‚

  15. Morocco says:

    Totally, completely just another day for me.

  16. pammywammy says:

    Joy.I just remembered something my Dad said once.He said cause his birthday was 2 days after christmas,he never got birthday cards and people seemed to forget,cause they were all wrapped up in the christmas thing.But he said his mom never forgot.I will always remember on christmas day,we all opened up our cmas gifts.Sitting there in the livingroom and admiring them.Grandma would dissappear for a moment.She would walk back into the living room,walk up to dad and say Happy Birthday Max,and hand him his birthday gift from her.And it was wrapped in Birthday paper.I would smile,she told me once that it was a seperate day and she wanted my dad to know.Of course as she handed him the gift he had a big smile.To my dad,I dont think it mattered what was in it,as much as,his mom never forgot πŸ™‚

  17. TRS says:

    My birthday is in June – so I never got to hand out treats in school for my birthday either. a bit of a bummer.

    Then in college – we’d celebrate everyone’s birthday -but everyone was back home by June and I never got the fun girl’s night out like the rest of my friends.

    It’s better now though!

  18. cheri says:

    cheri. I just remembered something my Dad said once.He said cause his birthday was 2 days after christmas,he never got birthday cards and people seemed to forget,cause they were all wrapped up in the christmas thing.But he said his mom never forgot.I will always remember on christmas day,we all opened up our cmas gifts.Sitting there in the livingroom and admiring them.Grandma would dissappear for a moment.She would walk back into the living room,walk up to dad and say Happy Birthday Max,and hand him his birthday gift from her.And it was wrapped in Birthday paper.I would smile,she told me once that it was a seperate day and she wanted my dad to know.Of course as she handed him the gift he had a big smile.To my dad,I dont think it mattered what was in it,as much as,his mom never forgot

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