Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas and Birthdays

I realized this week that a lot of people I know have birthdays in December, as I have. I thought when I was a child that it was a ripoff because my birthday got lost in the Christmas celebration. In reading I ran across a wonderful story about Robert Louis Stevenson's gift of his birthday to a young correspondent whose birthday fell on Christmas Day. I knew Robert Louis Stevenson was a noted writer, but I found him to also be a sensitive and kind human being whose gift spoke volumes. 

Your birthday is sort of a private event, a day set apart. I came to understand the significance of birthdays even more when three of my children were born Christmas week. As they grew up, we made  sure of the distinction between the birthday celebrations and Christmas. The birthdays fell on the 17th, 18th and 21st, I managed to provide birthday cakes and special days for each daughter, or so I thought. I always wondered if they felt slighted.

When I reflect on it now, I realize the blessing it was that my fourth daughter was born late. At the time, I was in great distress that she was due on the 15th of December and didn't arrive until the 12th of January. She weighed over 9 lbs. It was a relief to get a break in the birthday cake menu. 

Now I have come to realized the joy of knowing these special people, and I also understand that how they handled the Christmas/birthday conflict is a part of what made them unique.

No comments: