December birthdays are the worst. I know because I have one. Somewhere in my early 30’s I became apathetic to birthdays – I do not care about my own birthday and, frankly, don’t care a whole lot about yours either. I care about you, but I am ragingly jealous of your non-December birthday, your week-long celebrations with family and friends, and your fancy parties and your getaways and gifts not purchased from the Christmas clearance racks.
Friends, today is my birthday. A floral company did a survey and confirmed that today is the worst day of the year to have a birthday. According to the survey, most cited that they were least likely to receive gifts or have friends attend their parties on this day.
Why might that be?
I’ve got a couple of ideas…
The Weather: Who hasn’t looked out the window before a party and decided they’d rather stay at home and snuggle on the couch to catch up on Fargo reruns than go to someone’s birthday party all the way across town in a loud restaurant with mediocre food. It’s, of course, snowing, because that’s all the weather knows how to do this time of year, so, yeah, let’s stay home and promise to take her out next month when “things aren’t so busy.” Spoiler alert: It’s even colder in January and that promised get together is never happening.
Money: Nobody’s got any! Black Friday just happened a few weeks ago and the credit card statement showed up the other day and now you’ve got to watch your spending. The dollar section is lookin’ pretty good right now! And Christmas wrapping paper is on sale! Score and score!
Sickness: Not only are people actually sick, but it’s an excellent excuse to avoid birthday parties and stay home and wrap Christmas gifts instead. You don’t even have to work up a cough to get away with this one; just tap out a text and wait for the, “I’m so sorry, I hope you feel better,” text that comes back and go dig out the scissors and tape and you’re scott free for the night.
Scheduling Conflicts: It’s not uncommon for someone with a December birthday to be upstaged by a Christmas program, a Christmas gathering with the in-laws, the company Christmas Party, or Great Uncle Arthur’s 78th birthday that was actually in October but nobody could make it then, so we’re going to get together now and have a mini Christmas with him at The Home in Dinkytown 100 miles away (in a snow storm).
In addition to these excuses to not get together, there are a few other obnoxious things that happen to people with December birthdays.
The Combo Gift: Not a myth. It’s happened to every single person born in December, though it’s less common now because I’m trying to raise awareness. Mostly, we sound like ungrateful whiney-pants, but this is the first world and I can cry if I want to.
Finals Week: This affects a small fraction of December birthdays, those only in the couple weeks preceding Christmas break. I am a member of this elite group and let me tell you, my 21st birthday was a drag. When did succeeding in life become more important than partying? Somebody tell me that.
The Christmas-Themed Birthday Gift: I swear to you that I am going to buy up Christmas merchandise like crazy after Christmas and give it as birthday gifts all year long. You’ll be getting snowman candy dishes in June, a box of ornament hooks in April (and I’m going to shake it up real well so it’s a tangled mess, and it’ll be like one of those brain teaser games, too), Christmas M & M’s in September, expiration dates be damned.
The Post-Christmas Slump: I understand this happens to everyone, but for us December birthday celebrators we have nothing to look forward to until next December. Just Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July, Labor Day weekend, Halloween, Thanksgiving and a sprinkling of other postal holidays. We party it up (as best we can alone) and wait all year to do it again.
All is not lost my friends with December birthdays…
There are certain things we get that no one can get in any other month.
First and foremost, we share a birth month with Baby Jesus, which isn’t actually true, but since no one’s petitioned to move Christmas to September, the distinction is still ours.
Also, how many people can get a personal birthday greeting from Santa? One-twelfth of the human race, that’s who!
And of course there is always a chance for a snow day on your birthday! How great would that be to stay cooped up inside all day with your mom and brothers and sisters while the weather outside is frightful and the electricity goes out, so no cake, and Dad can’t make it to Walmart to buy you your gift, so you’ll have to celebrate another day, but there isn’t another free night for weeks on end so they’ll do it up extra special for you next month on your brother’s birthday.
If I’ve learned anything from having a December birthday, it’s how to love myself better. I buy myself the best gifts and I come up with lots of fun for me and me alone.
Honestly, it could be worse: I could have a January birthday.
This is cross-posted over at Bright Above Fargo.