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Holiday birthday: Celebrate separately

December 23, 2008|By EVA NIESSNER / Pulse Correspondent

For most people, Christmas and birthdays are two separate pleasures, both involving time with friends and family, parties, and of course, presents.

I've had some wonderful Christmases and birthdays, and have gotten excellent presents such as a bass guitar and a new bike. However, my birthday is Dec. 29, which presents a few problems that people with birthdays not within a week of Christmas don't consider.

My first complaint: People think that because my birthday is so close to Christmas, they can get away with the old Christmas-and-also-birthday present. Unless it's something expensive (case in point - my bass and its amp were a Christmas-and-birthday present), I hate it. Would you like it if I gave you a present on Christmas and said it counted for both? It shouldn't matter when your birthday is. No matter what holiday you're born on or near, you deserve a present just as much as the kid with the summer birthday.

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The other complaint is the holiday-themed wrapping paper. This goes along with the last one: I wouldn't do that to you no matter when your birthday was. The date shouldn't matter; it's my birthday, not an extension of Christmas. I understand that it's convenient, but I still feel like my birthday isn't being acknowledged.

I have a friend whose birthday is the day before mine, even closer to Christmas. When I went to her party, I made sure her present was wrapped in cloud-print paper and had a blue bow. She seemed pleased, because she has a similar dilemma. I knew that I would appreciate that, and my friends and family are sure that no Santa or reindeer is on my birthday present, which they try to make separate from my Christmas present.

It's just common courtesy to not lump somebody's special day in with the nearest holiday. No one can choose their birthday, so don't hold it against them.

I hope this column will make people realize that this is so and that they'll treat the birthdays of their Christmas-born friends exactly as they should - like birthdays.

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