I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but holiday birthdays seem to err either on the super amazing or super crappy side. I feel like there isn’t much in-between. For example, my mom’s birthday is three days before Christmas, so a lot of people cheap out and get her one mediocre present for both. She doesn’t care -- she’s more of a giver than a taker -- but I care FOR her because I’m a greedy asshole.
However, I’m a good daughter, and even though I also only get her one present most of the time (see, asshole), it’s always a great one that I’m too cheap to get just for a single occasion. Like tickets to see Elton John, or a crazy awesome spa day. None of this table-lamp-from-IKEA-plus-a-book-of-hug-coupons nonsense.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to have a birthday on actual Christmas Day. If it were me, I’d probably play the “Oh, you share a birthday with Kurt Russell? I share a birthday with JESUS OF NAZARETH” card just to make myself feel better about both JC and Santa Claus hogging my spotlight.
Josh’s birthday is Nov. 26, which sometimes corresponds with Thanksgiving. This is always cool because there’s no better birthday present than a huge spread of delicious, fattening food and watching the news the next day about Black Friday shenanigans. You can also pretend the Macy’s parade is for you and you alone (but even that is tainted with Kris Kringle’s attention whoring). Also, if you like whiskey and puns, this works nicely.
Josh’s brother’s birthday is on New Year’s Eve. This all must have been very annoying for their parents.
My birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day, AKA the aforementioned Kurt Russell’s birthday, AKA the holiday for which people from Ireland get the day off to celebrate the patron Saint Patrick in respectable ways while people from my country dye things Crayola green and drink themselves into the ground.
When I was a kid, I was pretty neutral about having a St. Patrick’s Day birthday because I wasn’t knocking back 40s and I wasn’t and am still not a fan of corned beef and cabbage. Also, my birthday usually fell somewhere around Mardi Gras, which was like a billion times more awesome than St. Patrick’s Day. Mostly because king cake > corned beef and cabbage, and Mardi Gras parades > St. Patrick’s Day parades.
But as I got older, I realized that the fact that I have Irish heritage (if you can’t tell from my borderline translucent skin) makes this kind of cool and, more importantly, I enjoy alcohol. This helps when people insist on pouring free booze into my face.
As I get older, I like -- or I guess I should say my body likes -- it less and less, and it’s not as cute anymore to pass out in Savannah parks or kiss random older ladies who get the entire bar to sing happy birthday to you and are super awesome for guessing that you’re four years younger than you are.
But it could be worse, or better. I started thinking about the good and bad of having a birthday on some of the bigger holidays that I haven’t already mentioned:
Halloween: I’m pretty sure there is literally no downside to this. Adult Halloween is like St. Patrick’s Day except instead of corned beef and cabbage, there’s candy and pumpkin-flavored things. And the day after there is DISCOUNTED CANDY. Also, you get to dress up and no one thinks you’re crazy.
Easter: Again with the candy, but this time, Cadbury. Also, you may get a bunny as a birthday present, and you can make zombie-Jesus jokes to your Roman Catholic family members without people scolding you, because it’s your birthday.
Valentine’s Day: There’s a candy theme here that I’m really jazzed about, but really, chocolate (especially themed chocolate) is never to be ignored. Also, if you don’t have a date, you’ll at least be out celebrating because it’s your birthday, so who cares.
Memorial Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Columbus Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.: You should take some time to remember those whom these days are really for, but after that, enjoy your day off of work if you get it. And stay away from theme parks. That’s about all I’ve got.
Fourth of July: Fireworks, barbecue, and a watermelon-shaped cake…with candles in it FOR YOU. The only downside I see to this is the blazing heat and humidity, but if you live somewhere with temperatures that don’t resemble hell’s (i.e., not Florida like me), this might be fine. Especially if there is a pool and/or water hose involved.
Mardi Gras: I’m including this because I’m a NOLA native, but this was always a lot like having a Halloween and St. Patty’s birthday because you drink and dress up, and there are parades (albeit with more naked people). It’s probably actually better, because if you live in NOLA, you likely get the day before and day of off of work if you work somewhere corporate.
There are also general cool things about having a holiday birthday, such as greeting cards that say “Happy [Insert Holiday Here] Birthday!”, and the fact that you can get justifiably annoyed when friends and family forget it.
So in short: in my experiences, having a holiday birthday is amazing. And the fact that I look good in green is a nice bonus.
Does your birthday fall on a holiday? If so, which one? If it doesn’t, do you wish it did (and vice versa)?