A better way to celebrate birthdays

A better way to celebrate birthdays. A real birthday

A birthday invitation to my family and friends: please join me in opting out of the birthday-present tradition. Why do we deserve presents on our birthdays? If and when I find or think of the perfect gift for you, I want to give it to you right then and there, regardless of the date. Children, up to a certain age depending on the child, may get birthday presents. Then, after reaching an age of understanding, they should not. That’s my theory. But there’s more.

A better way to celebrate birthdays

For many years, I have felt that only one birthday gift makes sense, and I’m embarrassed that it has taken me so long to implement the idea myself. On one’s birthday, the only person who deserves a present is one’s mother.

Birthday cards, calls, and emails are fine but not necessary. Personally, I like them, in both directions. Gifts on other occasions are fine. I’m not against gifts. I’ll accept them any time, even on my birthday. But I really wish that tradition would go away. Give me a gift when you find the perfect thing, or if I especially deserve one. Not just because the calendar flips to the anniversary of my birth.

I know why it’s taken me so long to actually do this: I’ve been chicken. It’s severely counterculture. I don’t want to be perceived as stingy, cheap, or uncaring. I don’t want to be the only one doing it. And I’m pretty sure this new practice will be an unpopular option.

But here I go. I’ll lead, and hope to start a new tradition. Who’ll join me? In whole or in part, in theory or in practice, scroll down a bit and commit with a comment here, if you dare.

What do you say? Is my way a better way to celebrate birthdays?

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  • But OK Bambi: you win. We’re going into town tomorrow to get refunds for all the presents we bought you. We probably would have bought them anyway but it’s hard to tell. We may have been forced by convention. We can’t be sure. ;)

  • Of course there are other cultures where it goes the other way around. Where the person with the b-day is expected to treat others instead. Inte sant, Bambi? ;)

  • I’m way to compulsive to give up the birthday tradition and would never want to give up the “fun” of conspiring with my sisters on what to get. YELS

  • Oh Terry, you’re such a hopeless, stodgy, conservative. You just can’t see the way of the future. I will get followers, I’m sure (and I won’t have to threaten them about “unfollowing me”). You’ll come around. Everybody knows you’re always a decade off.

    Anyway, you didn’t comment on the main action called for in my new tradition: gifting one’s mother on one’s birthday. Neither did you comment on the darling newborn photo.

  • Wait wait wait….. you seem to think your birthday is all about YOU!?

    Other people get pleasure from giving you gifts. They get pleasure from the little energy and act of bothering to remember your birthday, from giving you a present ON your birthday.

    And you would deny them all this simple pleasure?

    I’m a busy man. I don’t have time to being randomly giving everyone I know presents. For goodness sakes, it’s very useful to me that you have a regularly scheduled birthday – I can put it in my calendar, have my secretary get you a present, and have my computer send you a friendly greeting.

    But no, it has to be all about YOU.

    Why not suggest that we just wish you happy birthday whenever we feel like it? Any day of the year, multiple times per year, just “Happy Birthday Bambi!” out of the blue.

    Is nothing sacred?

    Next you’ll be coming out in favor of gay marriage. Heaven help the species if your radical liberal ideas get a foothold.

  • Well, I can’t stop.
    And, I’m glad your b-day gift is late. Now we’ll just call it: a-gift-we-found-that’s-perfect-for-you-so-we-had-to-get-it-but since-we-just-happened-to-be-thinking-of-you-at-your-birthday-time. Whew! No guilt here.

  • Well, it should come as no surprise to you that your MM uncle agrees completely with you. I have always liked giving “just for the hell of it” gifts. But for you, my view is unpopular and has gotten me in trouble in the past. Worse than birthdays, however, are the idiotic marketing holidays such as Valentine’s day. That one, to me, needs to go to the dump before birthdays. Why do families have to wait for thanksgiving to get together. Who even thinks about the pilgrims? Why deal with travel on that busy day? Yada yada yada. Up with the iconoclasts and down with the traditionalists.

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