Tomorrow, December 20, is my birthday—almost Christmas. As a child, I always regretted having my birthday overshadowed by the biggest holiday of the year. Mother and Daddy let me open a Christmas present early—“since it’s your birthday”—but that never seemed as exciting as receiving a special gift another time of the year. I envied my classmates who could share birthday cupcakes at school or have swimming parties during the summer.
My parents did do one special thing on my birthday, though. They waited until December 20 to buy our Christmas tree. Of course, by this late date, the leftover trees on the lot were a little bedraggled, but we always managed to find one without too many defects. We carried it home in the trunk of the car. Then Daddy clamped it into a metal stand, hauled it into the house, and turned any bare spots toward the wall. Mother poured water into the metal dish at the bottom, spread an old sheet under the branches, and we all helped to decorate it. By nighttime, the sparkling lights, shiny glass balls, and glittering tinsel had magically transformed our forlorn, little orphan into a beautiful princess.
These days I love having a Christmas birthday. If I’m not out of town visiting our children and grandchildren, then I’m dining with friends here in the Village, and the occasion is always quite festive. Tomorrow a dear friend is treating me to lunch, and Robin and I will celebrate with other close friends tomorrow evening.
This morning at the Fitness Center I talked with another woman who mentioned that today was her birthday. I told her mine was tomorrow, and we had fun sharing similar sentiments about Christmas birthdays. However, she lamented how old she would be.
“I still feel young,” she said, “but my kids are all in their fifties now.”
“I know. Isn’t it strange? Our kids keep getting older, and we keep getting younger. Do you suppose that one of these days they’ll catch up with us?”
We both laughed.