A birthday is for life, not just for Christmas
THIS Christmas, spare a thought for the forgotten ones. How many times can you look away?
I'm talking about fellow humans who need your empathy, your kindness and generosity of spirit at this special time of year – I'm talking about those of us who have Christmas birthdays.
Today is my birthday! Along with the handful of folks who know this fact are the others who have the information sprung on them.
They always without fail, do the sad head tilt and say: "Oh, you poor thing, do you mind it being so close to Christmas?" ("No, I planned it all along" is my stock reply).
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Then there's those who come out with: "Here's your present, it's also your Christmas present."
Not that I mind one bit having just one thing to unwrap.
I'm no princessy diva who erupts into a foot-stamping tantrum a toddler would be proud of. Receiving any present is great. It's the thought that counts. And everyone's skint, of course.
However, excuse me a minute while I just update my spreadsheet of gift-giving to note I don't have to buy you a birthday present come your big day. Because it was also your Christmas one.
I love having a Christmas birthday. Remember all the cavalcade of jollities we had last summer with the Jubilee, hotly followed by the Olympics? I get this option every year round Christmas: two things to look forward to. A double bill of excitement.
A birthday on the cusp of Christmas is all the excuse you need to open the Twiglets and Cheese Footballs early, brush up on your party conga technique and have some pre-prandial fun. Why wait until the 25th?
If you're a party-loving kind of person, that is.
If you're not, I'm happy to hire out my birthday as a diversionary public service.
If the thought of a festive knees up makes you want to go crackers, then feel free to use my celebrations as an excuse: "Oh sorry, I can't come to your egg-nog soiree, it's Katherine's birthday."
A Christmas birthday is an invitation to go your own way, do your own thing.
It's the hen night to the wedding day – the impromptu, fun stuff versus the formality of tradition.
Or, if you want to keep it all low profile, you can quietly tuck your birthday under the festive radar and no one pays too much attention. You try doing that at any other time of the year.
Which reminds me of the time a beau found himself caught up in a combined birthday/Christmas present buying situation, so to make amends, decided to throw me a birthday in July instead.
While the thought behind it was noble, it felt all wrong. Like having a Creme Egg in January, like I'd stepped into the wrong room in the boozer and into someone else's party. I was plunged off kilter.
I like having a yuletide birthday, it's part and parcel of who I am. A birthday is for life, not just for Christmas.
Plus, it throws a little curve ball into the rigorously organised and complex schedulings of all the professional Christmas doers. The sorts who have everything planned down to the last bauble. A birthday at this time of year takes the heat off having the perfect Christmas. It's my gift to you.
So this Christmas, stuff the turkey, why not have some birthday cake instead?