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A December Birthday

The Guideposts executive editor explains why he’s grateful for his post-Christmas birthday.

Five days after Christmas. It used to be a sort of chant of mine as a child. “When is your birthday?” people would ask. I answered with pride: “Five days after Christmas.”

“Wasn’t that terrible?” people would say. “Didn’t people forget your birthday in the Christmas rush? Or didn’t they just bunch it up with Christmas and forget to give you a present after all?”

I guess so. But I don’t remember ever being disappointed in a birthday. They were all great. If I got a special present at Christmas—like a car track—I could always get more stuff for it on my birthday: more cars! I never had to go to school on my birthday. Didn’t have to suffer the indignity of being dragged to the front of the classroom with everybody singing, “Happy Birthday to You.” 

“At least you were a nice year-end tax deduction for your parents,” some adults would say. (I never understood what that meant.)

There are a lot of December birthdays here at the office—Hi, Edward, Hi, Amy—and we all celebrate with glee. A December birthday gives the season an added bonus and if it’s like mine, after the 25th, you can remind yourself that the good things of Christmas, the cheer, the kindliness, the generosity, don’t have to disappear. Finally, if you’re really shy about acknowledging your advancing age then you can quietly blend into the December merriment.

As it is, I’m grateful for every birthday. I’m grateful to God for my health, my friends, my family, my work, my church. My loved ones are my birthday present to myself and they are around every day of the year. 

So amidst the carols of the season, sing a round of “Happy Birthday” with me. Five days after Christmas is today!

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

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