Monday, December 20, 2010

Thoughts On A Christmas/Birthday

A Note To A Fetus
It's a bad choice to be born on Christmas.
First of all kid, it's pretty rude to interrupt your family's holiday. My mother went in to labor with me around noon on Christmas day. So the story goes, she was cutting the turkey for my father, brother and sister when her water broke. We went straight to the hospital and I was born five hours later. When my mother and I returned from the hospital on the 27th she asked my family for a little bit of left over Christmas dinner, but they had eaten it all. Poor Mom, I've been cooking for her ever since to try to make up for it. She did say however, that I was the best Christmas gift she'd ever gotten.

#2 Being born on Christmas means that very few people come to your birthday party that aren't related to you. My family is pretty cool, but every once and a while you'll get the drunk 3rd cousin who forgets you're related and tries to hit on you. Side note: Your Jewish friends are awesome for whisking you away from said insanity and taking you to a bar.
#3 Being born on Christmas means that you have to celebrate half birthdays or 'one month later' birthdays, which is forced and weird the older we get. Unless people throw them for you which is always nice.

#4 Being born on Christmas means that your birthday presents are under the tree too, and indistinguishable because they are wrapped in Christmas paper and at the end of the day, you really don't know the difference.

#5 Being Born on Christmas means that you always have to celebrate your birthday with Jesus. Which is like having a much more popular, higher achieving brother who gets all the attention. It's especially hard when you know that historians have speculated that his actual date of birth was April 17th, but nobody believes you.
#6 Being born on Christmas means that you will very often get a candle in a pie and birthday/Christmas presents. You don't get double unless you're four.

#7 Being born on Christmas means that you rarely get birthday cards for some reason, although one year I mailed out birthday cards instead of Holiday cards to everyone on my list. That was fun. There are a few exceptions to this however. My Godmothers always come through with these Hallmark Birthday-Christmas cards. Yes they make them specifically for us freaks. My favorite one reads "So, you were born on Christmas, and you know what that means... your parents sure knew how to celebrate St. Patrick's day!"
#8 Being born on Christmas also means that everyone has your birthday off of work (unless they are strippers, cocktail waitresses or fire fighters). So you get a lot of phone calls... probably more than other people. They are long phone calls too because nobody has to get going to make it to a meeting.

Okay fetus, lets review, being born on Christmas means that you get to spend time with your family, that almost everyone has the day off, that your Mom says you were the best Christmas present she ever had, that you learn to share, that people throw you extra parties on days that aren't your birthday, that you get a lot of phone calls, that you'll eat a great meal, that pie is actually fine for candles, that you learn how to be less materialistic (because nobody needs all that stuff anyway), that people who love you and who can show up, do, that your Jewish friends save you from incestuous 3rd cousins and that a little creativity and a little less self pity goes a long way...

...So fetus, I actually may be wrong here. Maybe being born on Christmas is just complicated. Maybe it's about perspective. Maybe it's a lesson of gratitude for what you have. I can remember when I was really little, I genuinely thought that the day after Thanksgiving, everyone was putting up lights and decorations for me. It was very exciting (and understandable when you know that I was first handed to my mother in a red stocking with a baby sized Santa hat). Even after I learned that Christmas was a separate holiday and now as an adult, I still get excited when I see my first blinking light. My birthday has a little magic in it, even if it's not for me. So go ahead I guess, be born on Christmas. And when your aunt gives you an ornament for your birthday, call me. I'll be there for you with a pie and a candle and a lot of Jewish friends.

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