This is a special memory from my own childhood.
Do you see the birthday cake sitting in front of me? It was 1952 and I was celebrating my 3rd birthday at my Grandparents house. I don’t remember that birthday but I do remember that house. I remember that for a long time there was a sink with a pump faucet in that kitchen and a real icebox. I remember the bannister that my sister and I were allowed to slide down when we visited and I certainly remember the Tastee Freeze down the street.
Now, do you see the present sitting next to the birthday cake? Do you see the Santa Claus on top of that present? That is a Christmas present. That is not a Birthday Present. I was only three years old in this picture and obviously very happy to be getting cake, a 3 layer homemade cake that had to have been delicious! I was thrilled to be getting a present, too even if it had a Santa on top. As I got older I would come to really hate having my birthday 9 days before Christmas. I would come to feel that on my birthday my parents just grabbed one of my Christmas presents and gave it to me, a present I would have gotten anyway!
December was just crazy around our house. Not only was there my birthday, Christmas and New Year’s there was also my Dad’s birthday on December 22nd and my sister’s birthday on December 30th.
I remember one year when I was maybe eight — I wanted to have a skating party for my birthday. That year my birthday was on a Saturday, it would be perfect. But nope, we had to have it the week before because of the Christmas skating parties that were already booked. I was bitter. One year my mom got me a birthday cake from the bakery. It was decorated in red and green holly! As I got older, I came to hate having my birthday in December even more. I don’t remember the last time I was able to go out some place nice for dinner on my birthday — all of the nice places are booked that night with company Christmas Parties. My friends all knew how much I hated the Birthday/Christmas combo. My really good friends knew better than to wrap my birthday presents in Christmas paper — which is all anyone is able to find in December!
I kept threatening to move my birthday and Jenna kept telling me just do it! It is possible she was tired of listening to me whine. Then I got to wondering, if I move my birthday when would I move it to. I wanted to keep it on the 16th of some month. January wouldn’t work as it would be too close to Sandy’s birthday and everyone is still recovering from Christmas and New Year’s. It couldn’t be February 16th — 2 days after Valentine’s Day. Worse problems than Christmas! March? Not the day before St. Patrick’s Day! April 16th? Income Tax and Amara’s birthday. No. May? Our wedding anniversary is May 7th. June? I love June! Everyone who knows me knows that I love the summer and the beach and June is just the perfect month for me to celebrate.
So in 2007 I did it! I moved my birthday to June 16th. Now I do realize that I can’t legally change my birth date but I can and have changed when I celebrate it. I love Christmas and December so much more now. Come June I feel like a kid looking forward to my birthday celebration. Moving my birthday was a great idea. I am pretty sure that Daddy would approve!