Thursday, January 16, 2014

Merry Birthday II

Some folks still may be laughing it up as we reach the end of the season to be jolly, but about this time of  year members of my family often suffer from celebration burnout. Our problem is caused by a concentration of birthdays.

There's a somewhat unusual history of holiday birthdays in my family. My grandfather was born on Christmas Day in Germany in 1855. My father was born on Christmas Day in Wausau, Wisconsin, in 1891. I broke the chain. My birthday is on New Years Day.

I don't know how being a Christmas baby affected grandfather's life, but it had a bit of negative impact on
dad. He was subjected to "one for two" gifting. He got more than his share of packages at our Christmas morning present openings marked "Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday."

My New Years Day arrival might have been expected to improve dad's fortunes to compensate, but it didn't. Merchants in my hometown showered gifts on the mothers and fathers of the year's first-born. It was a small city, and  sometimes the first baby of the year didn't arrive until Jan. 3 or 4. However, the one doctor who specialized in assisting at baby deliveries was busy on my birthday. I was the fourth child born that day. My family got no gifts nor headlines in the local paper.

Well, I did present dad with a full year's tax deduction, right? Yes, but his business was doing so poorly at the time that he had no profits and therefore no income taxes to pay. My new dependent deduction had no value.

Lee broke the family tradition of male holiday births when he waited until February 11 to arrive, but he contributed to our present birthday burnout situation. Karen's birthday is Jan. 8 and Sandy's comes not long after on the 21st. The four of us who live in close proximity thus require gifts and parties four times within about six weeks. That's a lot of partying, especially closely following the Christmas season.

Karen proposed a plan to make the 2014 B-Day time happier for all. Each birthday will feature the usual gift opening, but this time at a low-key private gathering for dessert and drinks in the evening. We will have one gala event on Jan. 25 to honor all four of us. It should be a good party, and one will be quite enough, thank you. 


Kay said...

My son-in-law and his brother were both born near the holidays and he hoped his child wouldn't have the same fate. Sigh... She followed in his footsteps anyway. It makes for a very, very busy time for my daughter since her birthday is also at the end of the year.

It's amazing that you had so many relatives (and yourself) with holiday birthdays. It must make for a lot of cake eating.

Anonymous said...

I sent a comment via email, but don't see it here. Happy birthday to you!

Anonymous said...

NO cakes for us....Dick has always had blueberry pie, Lee has strawberry pie (or anything strawberry), Karen has brownies, Sandy has pecan pie.

Little bug