As the second child born to my family I was resented by my older sister in two ways. One, it meant she was no longer an only child and even worse I was born the day after Christmas. Until I was three she called me, “The After-Christmas Booby Price.” It was difficult for the family to celebrate my birthday. Everyone was busy buying gifts, preparing Christmas Eve dinner, decorating the house. My blessed day went unnoticed . . . sad, but true.
I particularly remember one birthday morning I awoke only to find my family was heading out to take advantage of the after Christmas sales. Everyone was going except me. My dad said it would be crowded and I would be much happier staying home playing with my toys. They asked our neighbor to babysit me until they returned. Hooray, I thought they are going to get my birthday gifts! Four hours later they arrived home with over-stocked wrapping paper, bows, Christmas cards and marked down cheesy sweaters. None of which had anything to do with my December 26th birthday. Later that afternoon the neighbor asked what they had planned for my birthday saying how I’d been so excited that I was now seven years old! I remember my mom saying, “OH CRAP! Is it the 26th?” I thought, “Why yes it is mother – it always follows the 25th!”
My dad ducked out the back door and the next thing I heard was the sound of our car wheels zooming down the street. An hour later he arrived home with a stuff reindeer wearing a party hat. They fumbled to sign a card then yelled, “Happy Birthday!” I was presented with my day after Christmas sale reindeer and a card that read, “Happy Holiday Birthday, may you day be speciel.” Seriously, I did not misspell anything, that’s exactly how the card was printed. The box of Holiday Birthday cards they’d purchase was on the discount rack for a reason. Even at the tender age of seven I knew there was something terribly wrong with the grammatical structure of the sentence.
My loving sister however did not forget my birthday. She gave me two beautifully wrapped gift boxes. She proudly said, “Happy Birthday little Sis. Here, open this one first!” I was so excited. I thought she hated me but I guess I was wrong. I sat on the floor beside the Christmas tree and opened the box. Inside was a sock. Not a pair . . . just a sock!
Grinning from ear to ear she said, “Now open the other box!” I ripped it open only to find the match to the first one. “It’s your Christmas and Birthday gift!” Surprisingly, I was not amused.
Mom was so embarrassed she insisted I take her birthday which happens to be in July. Maybe that’s where the expression Christmas in July originated?
So to all of you who are unfortunate enough to share a birthday with a holiday let me be the first to wish you a very HAPPY HOLIDAY BIRTHDAY and may you day be speciel!