Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Birthday

For those of you who don't already know I am clinging to my last few days as a 35 year old. Once again another year has just about crept up on me. I swear they are coming faster and faster with each passing one. I was born with the blessing and the curse of having a Christmas Birthday.

Actually, when I was little I thought it made me extra special. My mom went out of her way to make sure my birthday was not lost in all the Christmas celebration. We opened our Christmas presents Christmas morning, played with our toys all day then off to my Grandma's for dinner and the full Laber family gathering. Then after all that, we loaded up and headed home for birthday cake and my birthday presents. I am sure my siblings wanted nothing more than to get back to their new loot, but my parents forced them to put on a  happy face and watch me open my gifts.

Every time I have to renew anything at the DMV, fill out health insurance/doctor stuff or get carded, someone will say, "Man, that must suck to have your birthday on Christmas. Do you get gypped every year?"

Honestly, I never really have a good answer.
  1. Since I have never had a birthday any other time of the year, I couldn't tell you what that is like, nor make any sort of comparison. It is all I know.
  2. Being that I am the optimist, I liked it and thought I was special.
  3. I hate all the attention on me, so it is awesome that everyone opens presents on my birthday.
  4. If I didn't get something I really wanted on Christmas morning, there was always the hope that it was coming later that night.
  5. I have never had to work on my birthday and get to share it with all my family.
To be fair, there are some bummers about it as well:
  1. I have never celebrated with my friends on the actual day.
  2. I didn't have the 21st drunken experience (but maybe that is a good thing).
  3. At school, bringing in a birthday treat on the day of the holiday party and last day before Xmas break was a total bust. Teachers tried, but it was always over-looked.
  4. If I didn't get what I was hoping for that night, I would have to wait an entire year for a shot at getting the desired item.
When I was in the first grade my parents threw me a surprise birthday party. It was the first birthday party I had ever had with friends and everyone bringing me gifts. I remember several things about that day.
  • It was a Strawberry Shortcake theme and the house looked so pretty all decked out in pink
  • I was totally overwhelmed
  • I felt totally awkward opening the presents with everyone starring at me
  • I wanted to win the games we played but understood why I couldn't win the prizes
  • I was completely shocked that my parents pulled it off with out my knowing
 

But what I remember more than anything about the party its self was getting up that day and my dad said, "If you go put on a pretty dress, I will take you out to lunch." Now I should have known something was up, but I guess I didn't care. I remember every detail of the time I spent with my dad. Just the two of us and at that time we were a family of 5 kids I think so alone time with a parent was hard to come by.

I put on my Christmas dress and we enjoyed some fine dining at McDonalds (again a huge treat back in the day). Then we went over to the Conservatory and hung out in the live Nativity Scene for a while. Lastly I remember going to the back end of Tower Park by the military homes. Back then, the shrub was cut back and there were a few benches with a pretty sweet view of the Ohio River. Apparently we were killing time, but I thought it was awesome to just sit there with my Dad. Even if there hadn't been a party, that day would have stuck out in my mind as one to remember.

What's funny, I am sure my mom made all the plans, invitations, cleaned the house, prepared the games, made my cake and the food, ran the party with 12 or so 6-7 year old girls, etc... But in my memory, my dad made that day special. Goes to show you how easy guys have it.

2 comments:

Greg said...

Since I have a Dec birthday as well, I can relate to most of what you wrote. Birthdays in a big family tended to get lost in the shuffle. Dec birthdays especially so.

You lost me on that last line though. Maybe Dad had it easy. I sure don't!

Christina said...

Happy Birthday