Birthday Traditions

Today’s thoughts are still focused on birthdays. I wonder about how we celebrate our birthdays.

When we were kids, we anxiously looked forward to our birthdays. We couldn’t wait to be another year older and have a fun birthday party and get gifts! Our parents would lovingly do anything to make our birthdays special.

But as adults, I wonder about our traditions for giving birthday presents to each other. Why do we still feel obligated to give birthday presents to other grownups? What is the purpose of the gift…we didn’t really do anything to deserve a gift. We were born, plain and simple.

I do understand wanting to celebrate a birthday and telling someone that you are so glad they are here and shared another year of their lives with you. The celebration part is wonderful…you are happy to be here another year. But, do you really deserve a gift? What does it signify? Let’s see, I’m happy that you are another year older and I so I buy you a new shirt? I think some traditions (started by parents) are just hard to break.

Being a mom, every year on my children’s birthday, I always remember the day they were born. They each have their own unique stories that I love to share with them on their birthdays. I love to share with them the overwhelming joy I felt when they were born. All the fun little things that happened while we were at the hospital and our first days home with them. Their birthday is such a wonderful day for ME. I celebrate because I became their mom on that day. I want them to know how lucky I feel that I became their mom.

I’m sure my feelings are shared by other moms too. So, on my birthday I thought about my mom. I’m sure she went down memory lane on my birthday. My mom always tells me the funny story that happened on the way to the hospital. My dad saw a house on fire and wanted to stop at a payphone to call the fire department. Good thing they didn’t stop because I was born shortly after they arrived at the hospital!

This year, my mom made a beautiful handmade card wishing me a very happy 45th birthday with a generous gift. As I think about traditions, I think we might be missing something. I think I should be the one making her a card…saying thank you for becoming my mom all those years ago. I thought about giving her a gift to say thank you for bringing me into this world.

So, on our birthdays we should remember…it’s not all about us. It’s really a shared celebration of another year of our life.

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