Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Like Birthdays

I like birthdays. My whole life, my mom always set an example for me by making a big deal out of my and my siblings birthdays. She always bought us new clothes and let us choose a special meal for our birthday.

I really feel that it was my mom who taught me that when it is someones birthday, everyone else should treat that person special on their birthday. The funny thing for me is that, growing up, I often felt neglected on my birthday, because my birthday is in the middle of the summer. I was only in school on my birthday for one year of my life when I happened to attend a 12-month school for sixth grade. Unfortunately for me, the most popular girl in my grade had the same birthday as me, so none of my classmates remembered me. I said it was funny, because feeling neglected on my own birthday nearly every year, never made me feel any less enthusiastic about making a big deal out of other peoples birthdays.

When I was in high school, I especially made a point to remember other peoples birthdays. It didn't matter if the person was my friend or not, if I knew they had a birthday, I'd do something to help make that day special for them. One year, I remembered a friend of mine named Ga-Nesha. She and I had been friends since 4th grade, but in our Junior year of high school, we did not have any classes together so we were not very close friends during that particular year. Still, when her birthday came around in January, I remembered and I brought her a gift. I had to go find her in one of her classes during a passing period since we didn't have any classes together. I remember when I found her and gave her the gift and card I had brought for her, she started to cry. It turns out that no one else had remembered her birthday so far that day (I think it was already after lunch.) About a week after her birthday, she came and found me in one of my classes, and she had a gift and a balloon for me! It had made her so happy that even though we were not close friends at the time and we didn't even have any classes together, I still remembered her birthday, and she said it meant so much to her that a simple thank you just wasn't enough. :-)

I guess I'm telling this story because, I think it is really important to remember people on their birthday. Sometimes, you have no idea how far a simple gesture will go. Just giving someone a card or makeing them some cookies, or buying them a bag of candy and putting a bow on it. It makes me so so so so happy to see someone else being happy because I remembered them on their birthday. I love it when someone is a close friend or a family member and I know them well enough to buy them the perfect gift. It's so amazing to watch someone open a gift and to see them get so excited when they see that you've really paid attention to who they are and what they want.

So, if you normally don't make a big deal out of birthdays,... just try it differently next time. I challenge you to do something extra special and creative for the next birthday that you know of.


  1. This was a great post today Heather. I try to remember people's birthdays and Facebook really helps me with that. That's very kind of you to remember your friend's birthday. It really just showcases how each of our actions, really can affect another person!

  2. I remember for my (I think) 19th birthday I didn't get a single text or call from any of my friends. And I think I got like 2 presents. It was pretty depressing. If I forget someone's birthday or just miss it I try to still make the effort to say happy belated birthday.

  3. My mother always made sure we had birthday parties when we were little but after about age 10 or so it wasn't a big deal. There were still birthday greetings and gifts but no real fuss, and none of us particularly missed it. It was more or less a regular day for us, just maybe a wee bit more interesting than the rest.

    Because of that, I've never paid much attention to birthdays myself. Not mine, not anyone else's. But I do know that it's very important to some people, and as a friend I feel that I should be better about paying attention and giving at least a little acknowledgment. This post made me think about my actions (or rather, lack thereof) quite a bit. Thank you for the gentle reminder.

    PS - Yes, I'm WAY behind on reading blogs (not to mention watching videos) as usual! But hey, at least I DO read them... :D