Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Freaking Birthday to me.

This time last year I was standing on a beach in Kauai surrounded by my most beloved boys.

Not so this year. As of this writing, I don’t even have plans – but I’m not complaining. Last year ROCKED, so it’s fine to have a couple of low key birthdays. I think I’ll just have a couple of tacos from CafĂ© Rio, watch Pride and Prejudice or Twilight and give myself a mani-pedi. Maybe I’ll hang out with the boys and play the Wii. Or watch Harry Potter. Whatever. It’s cool.

The thing about having a December birthday is that it seems like I wait all year for my birthday. This was particularly difficult for me when I was a child, but my traditions run deep in my psyche. I used to make my family wait to decorate for Christmas until after my birthday. My reasoning was that no one else had to have a holiday interfere with their birthdays, and I had to wait all year for my birthday, and it wasn’t fair to celebrate Christmas before my birthday. It’s not like my birthday is late in the month, it’s the eighth for crying out loud. We had plenty of time to decorate. Depending on the year, sometimes we decorated ON my birthday. I was fine with that as long as we did it after presents and cake. I was also okay with my stepfather putting the lights on the house before my birthday, as long as we didn’t turn them on until after my birthday.

The first year I was away from home and on my mission, my family was very proud to announce to me that they had the lights on December FIRST that year.

I carried this tradition on to my single life. I refused to decorate before my birthday. The only roommate I ever had was my best friend who had known me my whole life and thus understood the no-Christmas-until-after-my-birthday rule, so she played along. I found however, that with my talent for procrastinating and stressing out during the holidays, we wouldn’t get around to decorating until the week before Christmas.

This also carried into my married life - until one year.

It was before we had children – DH had to work, but I had three days off for Thanksgiving. I decided to follow the rest of America and decorated for Christmas during the Thanksgiving holiday. I was done on Thanksgiving. Wow. Done. It was amazing! We had such a great Christmas that year! I was so relaxed and my mind was free to enjoy the season. I think that this was the first year that I actually enjoyed the snow too. It was so great. That year when I talked to my family on my birthday and they told me that they already had the tree up I shocked them by announcing “Me Too!”

Since then I have tried to make it my goal to be ready for Christmas before Thanksgiving so that I can sit back and enjoy the holiday. I’ll admit - unless I get my tree up by the Sunday following Thanksgiving, it won’t be up until Christmas Eve. That has happened more than once since we moved into our house six years ago.

So I guess that makes me a grown-up. I’m not all demanding about the holiday decorations being not up until my birthday any more. I still enforce a no Christmas on my birthday rule. The decorations can be up, but we had better not be going to a holiday party or visiting Santa on my birthday. That is an absolute no-no.

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