I have always felt sorry for people with birthdays at Christmastime.
My birthday is at the end of June. My twin brother and I were born on our older sister's birthday, so we enjoy major celebrations every six months in my family.
Since I am accustomed to these bi-annual gift-giving extravaganzas, I often worried about those dealing with December birthdays, especially closer to the 25th. Do they get twice the number of gifts? Or, not as many? Do their parties always have Christmas themes? Do they even get a party?
I remember a good friend in elementary school with a birthday the week before Christmas. She celebrated a couple of days after it when her family came together for the holiday.
I get that it's easier to have one big celebration or one big gift. I'm sure it takes less time and money from the budget, but it still seems unfair.
In a quest to prove not all December birthdays are as ill-fated as my childhood friend's, I decided to perform an informal analysis of family and friends born during the twelfth month of the year.
It turns out I know several, and none of them seem to mind as far as I can tell.
Both my brother-in-law and sister-in-law celebrate birthdays close to Christmas. As kids, they enjoyed parties with superhero themes and typical frosted cakes. They received gifts not found in their letters to Santa, because Mom and Dad knew he would need something to deliver. They both claim a definite separation between birthday and holiday.
My nephew also enjoys a December birthday, though it comes early in the month. Admittedly, he has had only one, but it was everything a first birthday should be with Elmo's face splashed on all the paper goods, tons of number one shaped balloons, plenty of cake-in-the-face photo ops and enough toys to fill Santa's sleigh a few weeks later.
In a gentle nod to the season, my sister dressed the birthday boy in red striped pajamas identifying him as "Santa's Little Helper." He was cute, and they didn't overshadow the fact that it was his birthday. Not even close.
A friend of mine born two weeks before Christmas basically has one big party starting on her birthday and going through Christmas night. It's not unusual for someone to come up to her with a present in each hand, one wrapped in balloon-themed paper and the other sparkling silver bells. Not surprisingly, she always has something shiny and new to wear to holiday parties.
I don't know if the little girl I once knew was just unlucky or if she made her Christmas birthday situation seem worse than it was, but my modern day assessment of December babes is that they embrace their day, and they don't feel slighted in the least.
I'm starting to feel less sorry for them. In fact, I might be a little bit jealous.