Everytime I hear someone say their birthday is on or very near Christmas I have immediate deep empathy for them. I am a Thanksgiving baby. June never let me forget that either. I was born on a Tuesday and she had to be in the hospital on Thanksgiving Day eating cardboard turkey. Not my fault, I was the innocent babe.
As I was growing up of course birthdays were very special because the whole family would get together for the holiday and I got presents. It was always fun. In retrospect I can understand why Christmas babies feel cheated, and they probably are. I always got what I considered to be a goodly amount of goods.
I believe the anniversary of the day you were born is the most important day in the whole year. It is your day. It is special because everyone of us is special. I love my birthdays, even as I grow older, I love my birthdays. I love presents too.
Once I married and had children of my own things changed. The people who in the past had planned the parties and baked the cakes were not doing that any longer. I was making Thanksgiving Day memories of my own for my family and my birthday celebrations fell by the wayside. I always had a German Chocolate cake and I have not had a home made birthday cake in absolute years.
If you have a holiday/birthday then you probably also have the same feelings. Worse yet is if people do remember it is usually too late for them to pop a card in the mail to get to you on time. I do get a card from Larry’s daughter and her family every year and it does arrive on time.
My BFF, Judie, always gets my gifts to me on time. Judie makes the effort because she is always about her birthday and guess what? Judie’s birthday is on or near Memorial Day. She knows how it feels. Holidays screw with mail delivery. My kids cards usually get here before my birthday, but not always. Larry of course is always the first one to tell me Happy Birthday. He has never missed the day, and never would. However when it comes to his grand children he would never be on time. I am the one to remind him every year to pick up the phone. His family doesn’t celebrate adult birthdays except for cards and calls, and I think that is a real shame. I think parents should never be left ungifted. It is a respect issue, and the fact that you appreciate what your parents did and sacrificed for you as you grew up.
Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that these days many kids no longer “Honor Thy Parents”? That is a plural word, parents. Not one, but two and if you have two parents (still) then I hope you are honoring both of them.
Bernie B wrote sent her ideas of why the honor commandment has changed and here it is:
I believe “Honor Thy Parents” went out the window when we tried to give our children a life better than the one we had growing up. I guess we did not realize that, by making life easier, we were not giving our kids the chance to experience difficulty and the lessons learned there from.
Boy Bernie you are right on target. The parent who seems to have given the most also at times gets the short end of the stick.
When Larry and I first hooked up I had hoped that I was marrying into a family who would come to appreciate the traditions I wanted to share. I have since learned that this infringed on the traditions their parents had forged as they grew up. When I think back I can see and understand how I was the intruder. It took me years to get to this point and understand. It also took a lot of time and energy spent on the soup to nuts dinners, the gift buying decisions, and making excuses to my family as to why I was not with them. At this point I have forged new traditions for Larry and I and I stay out of the family thing. I remember a very wise person once told me that when she became a step mom she told his kids whether you like me or not is your decision but my opinion and feelings count with your dad, as they should, and I can be your best friend or no friend at all. I was only looking for friendship and while I am disappointed that did not happen at least we are all very pleasant to each other.
This year I have a commitment on both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have a 4 hour commitment to be on the phone on the breast cancer hotline that I volunteer with, and I am proud to be there. The gift of time is one of the best gifts to give or receive.
Going 40 miles out of your way to visit a family member at the holidays is a gift of time that should be given too.