Birthday Celebrations as We Grow

The picture is thanks to Clara Redmond at Quotes Gram

As kids we are always looking forward to our birthdays and what that day bring us; presents, a party, toys, friends, money and it is probably one of the most exciting days of the year, besides Christmas, but as we get older birthday celebrations are not as important. The following is just a little of what I believe happens to us as we get older. As I was finishing up something occurred to me, I think what I just wrote is mostly directed to men, I could be wrong.

Birthdays bring us closer each year to a whole new experience. As babies and celebrating the first couple of years, I am pretty sure they are not sure what is going on. All they know is that people are happy, singing something and whatever that thing is with something bright flashing on top that tastes incredible is part of this whole thing – whatever it is. As they become toddlers and start to think about superheroes, firefighters, doctors, or taking care of their stuffed animals they begin to understand that these celebrations are for them, where they get to choose party decorations and the flavor of the cake. I think as toddlers and young children the more present they receive the better the party, so they try and invite as many people as they could to accomplish this. I am sure it is not because they are greedy or spoiled, well maybe not in all cases, but the fact of getting something new to open and play with is simply the best thing ever, and the more times you do it, the better the experience. As we get older and become pre-teens, between 10-13, the presents are different, not so much on toys, but more about their self-image, maybe a poster for their room, money to but that skin for Minecraft, it is not about the number of gifts but the meaning of the gift. The guest list becomes less, and not everyone in the class is invited. Of course, as they move out of the pre-teens and move to the teenage stage, the presents become more elaborate, or better said pricey; whether it is a new smartphone or speakers for the room, maybe a whole new bedroom make-over, the thing is that the presents are more expensive and not as many and the celebrations are now with just closest friends. The people you celebrate with are exclusive to those closest to you, and the presents are no longer about gifts, but about money; friends show up slip you a twenty, wish you a happy birthday, and the party begins.

After high school the birthday celebrations become more about growing up, moving to the next level in adulthood. The celebrations include those high school friends you kept in touch with or maybe the new friends you meet after high school; whether it is at college or a job, but these are the people that are celebrating your birthday as though it was their birthday. The gifts are no longer material, or monetary, they become a shared gift among your closest friends, where they all pitch in for a birthday lunch or dinner, sometimes a gift. Of course then comes that all-important age of passage, 21, where you feel that you are now an adult and the world is yours to take on as you wish. It is that moment in life, that birthday celebrations are shared with those already in adulthood or that are not far behind – it is a crazy time. The gifts are obsolete, it is no longer about gifts, or money, but about the interaction with your friends.  The birthday years that follow the 21st, become one big blur because it is much of the same and by then you probably outgrew your high school friends and made new friends. The gifts at this point go back to being gifts, things your friends think you need or you have told them you needed.

There comes that year when you decide that birthday parties are not particularly needed, that you rather go out or stay in with just those people left in your life. You begin to tell everyone that a gift is not necessary when they come to your birthday celebration, that them coming is the gift. You do have one or two that either give you something, because they know you or those that slip you a gift card, which you try and reject, but later gladly accept.  I wonder though why is it as we get older our birthdays have less meaning to us; is it maybe because we rather celebrate our kids, our nephews, or that younger generation of friends you happen to make, birthdays? It seems these birthday celebrations become about others maybe or for those that say they don’t want a birthday, actually really want a birthday celebration? I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had a real birthday celebration in 10 years, which doesn’t bother me, but deep down inside I wish I could have had one maybe in between all those years.

You know, my birthday is today and I am hitting an all-important age in my life, 50 young. I look back and wonder where has the time gone, have I accomplished the things I wanted to, so far? I know, and I hope that I have many more years, but I wanted to say and be honest, that it would have been really cool if I could have had a birthday celebration with people – a lot of them. I do not need gifts, all I want is to interact with people, laugh, cry, hug, remember, and not just celebrate my day, but make it a day for everyone. I know that this pandemic makes it difficult, especially this talk about a new COVID variant, but I guess there isn’t anything wrong with wishing – right.

As always, I am humbled that you stopped by to read my blog and I leave you with this thought, “If you really like to celebrate your birthdays, and it isn’t about the gifts, do them – celebrate them because the memories you get from that one day are going to be priceless and I am sure there are people that would love to celebrate your birthday with you – just celebrate your birthday”.

Published by iPapito

Strange but true, I was born in San Salvador, as an abroad US citizen. It sounds strange, but you see, my mother was 5 months pregnant and happen to be visiting San Salvador. She slipped and fell in a pool and well, I was born. I am a twin, but unfortunately, he did not make and I did. My mother’s side of the family happens to be well of, and I had the opportunity to live a nice life early in my childhood. You know, private school, servant, nice home, and vacations. Things change when my mother decided to follow my father to the United States and well, that is where my story begins. I started a blog a while back, but life sort of hit and I left it behind, but now as I am a bit older, I decided I needed an avenue to share my experiences with others, while at the same time allowing me to open up and talk like I am on someone’s couch, I guess you could say. This blog will be more like an open book, created by experiences that I have had throughout my life. Experiences that many could relate to and what I did or how I handled it, you know after the fact. You never know there just might be a piece of information, idea, an option that someone could use and it would help them through the experience. Just remember these are my experiences, things I have been through, work through, and lived through – it does not mean I am right, but it does not mean I am wrong – it is simply an experience.

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