I will simply never understand how someone can confidently say they ‘aren’t really into birthdays.’ The words do not compute in my mind. To me, hearing them directly correlates to ‘I despise making myself and others feel joy.’
My being itches for a birthday. Someone else’s? Do you mean I get to embody a professional baker and blow up as many balloons as my lungs will allow?
My own? As in, I get a whole day of feeling special and reconnecting with old friends who were kind enough to send messages — plus the possibility of wearing a crown?
My mom’s? Weeks of preparation and informing my brothers and my dad of their duties in a military-like sergeant style?
To all of the above: yes, please.
A need for celebration transcends beyond birthdays. Its reach includes Valentine’s Day, The Fourth of July, Groundhog’s Day — I’m from Pennsylvania, home of the famous Punxsutawney Phil, so this one particularly deserves more appreciation. Whether the holiday is Hallmark-created, federally-sponsored or of a religious basis, the chance for an accessory you can only wear for one day is just too tempting.
This mindset only manifests itself stronger as the air turns crisp, signaling that my world is on the cusp of my holy trinity of holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
A three-month marathon of themed baked goods and a revolving door of appropriately festive wreaths dawning the front door. How is this not someone’s dream world?
I understand this love for celebration may have embedded itself in me due to the town I grew up in. Doylestown sits about an hour north of Philadelphia and is about the closest one can get to actually being in a Hallmark movie. I’m talking about a Fall festival, Santa on a firetruck lighting the Christmas tree at the center of town and utter outrage when the Borough tried to cancel the annual Memorial Day Parade — the oldest one in the country, thank you very much — due to COVID-19.
So sue me. I get excited when Trader Joe’s stocks their pumpkin-flavored products. I start playing Christmas music in early November — holidays deserve more than their singular day. Moreover, I deserve to feel that nostalgic joy that you can only get from annual festivities for as long as I please.
As you may have picked up, I adore a fully organized, preconceived holiday. However, the best celebrations occur spontaneously.
On my parents’ wedding day, they were told to always keep champagne in the fridge. To me, this embodies a double meaning.
Primarily, you never know when you will have something to celebrate. Things can come out of the blue: a job promotion, a house sale, a pregnancy. All events that, by nature, deserve a pop of a bottle.
Secondarily, there is always something you can celebrate. The dog got a bath. Someone made dinner. A good sale on a new coat. Finding something to commemorate, no matter how trivial, only adds excitement to one’s everyday life. By constantly looking for something to give a toast about, you are conditioned to appreciate life in its most mundane form.
There is no reason to wait to recognize how grateful you are for certain moments in life, nor is it written in stone that you can only do so on certain occasions. Any day can hold the potential of wonderfulness.
Waiting around all year for specific days where you are assigned to feel joyous and reflective is, frankly, pointless. Make your birthday last all month. Christmas from November until January. And that random Tuesday in March? You made your bed. Congratulations!
And so to all my birthday-hating, holiday-squashing persons, I propose: find a bottle of champagne to stash in your fridge and — more importantly — find a reason to pop it.