We wish you a merry birthday

We knocked the birthday candles out of the park this year.

Our oldest granddaughter’s birthday fell on Easter, her mother’s birthday fell on Mother’s Day and my sister-in-law’s birthday fell on Thanksgiving.

One was overshadowed by the resurrection, the next melded into a towering pile of handmade cards and the last was in competition with turkey, trimmings, pilgrims and Plymouth.

Frankly, it was a lot of two-for-one.

Happy Birthday and He is Risen!

Happy Birthday—how was your Mother’s Day?

Happy Birthday! Pass the dressing, please.

A son-in-law and his oldest daughter have birthdays on either side of July Fourth. Now, that’s the time to birthday—cookouts, parades, fireworks and flags—it’s all about you, baby! Well, it’s not really, but why not pretend it is?

Having a birthday on Christmas is an entirely different matter.

I had a beloved great aunt whose birthday followed Christmas. It was always a dilemma what to give her so soon after an avalanche of gifts. Mom usually wrapped a pretty package for her containing lotion or fragrance.

Her birthday was overshadowed by a major holiday, but she always smelled good.

December 25th, Christmas Day, ranks first in the U.S. for the least common birthday. The second least common birthday is New Year’s Day. The third least common birthday is Christmas Eve.

And yet a few squeeze by: Jimmy Buffet was born on Christmas Day, as was Isaac Newton, Clara Barton, Humphrey Bogart and Justin Trudeau.

The downfall of a birthday on Christmas? You rarely have a party. For starters, nobody can come. Seems they’re all busy doing other things.

Candles on the cake pale next to the brilliance of a Christmas tree with a thousand sparkling lights.

Your gifts have tags that say, “Merry Christmas/Happy Birthday.”

On the other hand, a good thing about a Christmas birthday is that nobody forgets it.

Plus, some of those Christmas birthdays come with riveting stories about a harrowing journey preceding the birth. Ice and snow, plows and ambulances—there’s even one about a trip through the desert on a donkey.  All of which is followed by the giant exhale and cloud of euphoria once the baby safely arrived.

Nearly every December birthday is somewhat swept up in the whirlwind of joy and celebration that permeates the season, an air of giving and human kindness that can puncture the most dismal of headlines. That’s a lovely ambiance for a birthday or any day.

A Christmas birthday also shares a timeless truth with a unique birth that has been celebrated on Christmas Day for centuries—a baby changes everything.




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