Dear Annie: I’ve been wanting to write to you about this for a while. About one-twelfth of people have December birthdays. Mine is in the second week of December.
When I was a child, my birthday celebration would get lost amid all the holiday events. It’d get mashed together with some big get-together or sometimes be pretty much forgotten. There was no event just to celebrate me.
I don’t think my birthday should have been any less celebrated than my parents’ and siblings’ birthdays, but it was. Some people’s birthdays are even closer to the 25th than mine, and they probably had it worse.
I realize I’m writing this to you in late March, but if I wrote to you in December and you chose to publish and respond in December, most likely nothing would change, even if some agreed with my viewpoint, because they’d be too busy at that point.
I’ve thought several times that maybe family and friends could plan something like a biannual birthday celebration for those of us whose birthdays get lost in the Christmas holidays. How wonderful it must be to have a celebration in which you are the guest of honor.
I am grateful for so much in my life, but it sure would be nice to at least once have a celebration just for me, which most others get. – December Baby
Dear December Baby: First, to anyone reading this and thinking that birthdays aren’t a big deal, don’t be so quick to judge. I bet you like to feel special on your birthday. Most everyone does.
Now, “December Baby,” you’ve already thought up a great solution: to observe your birthday on your half-birthday. Are you waiting for your family and friends to develop mind reading capabilities? Tell them your idea! Or just start planning your party for mid-June and let everyone know. You’ll most likely have a blast.
And lastly, this is neither here nor there, but seeing as you mentioned it, I wanted to look into it: It turns out that statistically speaking, December is actually the least common birth month. Less than one-twelfth of the population was born in December. So you’re more special than you realized.
Dear Annie: I am writing in response to “Birthday Non-Celebrations.”
There’s the golden rule: Do unto others as you’d like others to do unto you. Then there’s the platinum rule: Do unto others as others would like done unto them.
They’re not always the same.
Maybe her husband, like me, is an introvert, and he puts up with her big parties and plans but really would prefer a much quieter birthday, with little to no fanfare. Many people, possibly including “Birthday Non-Celebrations,” just assume that what they want is what everybody would want. That is so not true!
It’s possible he’s doing the same thing: giving her the birthday he’d like to get, which is almost nothing at all.
It doesn’t sound as if they don’t communicate much. And you picked up on that, too. She never says he seems to really like or appreciate the big shindigs she puts together for him. I know I wouldn’t.
I have read “The 5 Love Languages” and would also highly recommend it! – Mel H.
Dear Mel H.: I love that you shared the “platinum rule.” I think you can often pick up on what someone would like through context clues. For example, if you’re not sure what kind of gift a friend wants to receive, look at the kind of gift that friend gives. But I agree that the best way to figure out that sort of thing is through plain old conversation. This is especially true for romantic relationships. If you aren’t forthright about what you want and need from your partner, one miscommunication leads to another, until you look up and realize how far apart you’ve wandered.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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