Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Shaft: Why being born on Christmas Day sucks

December 25th.... Born on Christmas Day. A Christmas Birthday, yippee. Why me?

Luck... no. No way!! I think my mother had me induced because the doctor was leaving for Hawaii or something. My poor, old mom seizing the opportunity. Gee thanks!

The novelty worked for me growing up, however. I was the youngest in my immediate family. We always got together during my birthday. No one ever forgot. And I did get double gifts for quite a few years there. Ok... maybe I was spoiled a bit. Hey I didn't care, I was a kid. In retrospect, I guess I appreciated it. My mom always threw a birthday party a few weeks before. I always had a birthday cake. No pumpkin pie with a candle like those other stories I have read. I got real birthday cards and birthday wrapping paper. I never minded that my birthday gifts were under the tree. The jealously of my peers when I had my birthday AND Christmas on the same day was always a plus when they saw the double gifts you got. I had bragging rights.

There is a point when the novelty wears off. It's called adulthood. This is when the attention gets well... tired. When you pay for something or go to the DMV and the "smart one" behind the counter notices and says, "Oh look, a Christmas Baby".
My favorite responses:
1. As I live and breath...
2. Oh you noticed and acknowledged it, Thank you. Most people forget during that day.
3. Since when do babies get credit cards/licenses/etc.
4. I smile and think, "You bitch"
5. Lucky me, born on Christmas, I am special. What did I win?

But when someone does say, "Oh look, a Christmas Baby" the next worthless piece of small talk that usually comes is either... "I'll bet that sucks" or "I know someone born 3 days before/after Christmas and they say it sucks" But they never say they know someone born on Christmas. Actually I have never met someone born on Christmas so I can't have the privilege of telling someone else that it sucks and know that from personal experience. I wonder if others in my situation feel the same way. Think about it. You have something and people tell you it sucks. They don't and never will have what you have. Yet they comment on it like it's the plague.

Another thing that sucks having a birthday this day is the doomed feeling you perpetually have with getting older: You cross sad milestones during the happiest time of the year. Think about this for a minute. When you are a teenager you can't wait to turn 16 so you can drive. You couldn't wait until you turned 18 so you could be legal and vote Republican. Then you can't wait until you turn 21 so you can go to that bar with your older brother on New Year's. But then, like last year for me... You turn 30??? What do you get out of that? A gray hair? You still get carded to remind you how old you really are. The guy that cards you always says, "Whoa sorry, I bet that sucks." What next 40? 50? And all these happiest days of your life occur on Christmas. Thanks again Mom.

Lastly, what about the freebies you get for your birthday? The free meal at your favorite restaurant? Nope, they are closed. How about that free car wash on your birthday? Nope not here, they are closed. Ice cream? Nope... All closed on your day. All the free marketing stuff these businesses give for birthdays, wow not today. Did these businesses know they are disciminating against a small portion of the public? I should get a coalition of people born on Easter, New Years Day, February 29th and Christmas and make our 1% count and get our free stuff. We make exceptions to the blind and deaf or the handicapped. We didn't choose to be born on these holidays. We were born with it. It's an impediment. And those smart clerks who read our driver's licenses and point us out like a different nationality? Isn't that discrimination? They tell you it sucks or they tell you about a relative "born near it" like it's a side of town you don't want to live. And those bosses who give you the day off on your birthday? Do you get a second day? Hell no... Because your business is closed on Christmas anyway. Sucks to be you, Christmas Baby.

Famous people with crappy birthdays found here:

If you were born on Christmas or know someone who was, leave a comment. Leave it anonymous if you don't want to register.


Kat said...

I was born on Christmas day. yippeee!
common comments: do you get double/half the presents? oh that must suck/be great.

Anonymous said...

Im not a christmas born but a New years born. It sucks just the same. People are too hungover after new years eve festivities to give a hoot about someone elses birthday.

My favourite though, is that everyone else in my family gets their own special birthday dinner on their birthdays. Me? Well not so much. We have an annual new years day dinner... that has been tradition for 20 years prior to my birth. Sooo the only thing that makes it my birthday is the obligatory cake thrown in at the end. Awesome. A "Birthday dinner" that continues even if the birthday person cannot make it.

I also dislike very much the missed freebies on a day when everything is closed.

The sad part is... I was born on my EXACT due date. Parents didn't think that one through too well.

Martin said...

I'm a Christmas Day baby, from the UK but I just moved to France, so now get it all over again in a different language! "ohhh un bébé d'Noel!!"...i used to follow the Queen's lead and have my "birthday" on the 25th June. it was good because people would forget whether they gave me a present and so give again on Christmas day. Main issue that I have? Religious family! No lie-in for me, just 9am in Church!

OlderMusicGeek said...

i actually have a friend who was born on christmas. not a close friend, we're in the same support group.

and an internet friend who was born on christmas, "spookychan", an artist you can find on twitter and myspace.

and of course, i have the relative, my mom, borned 2 days before christmas. and she thought it sucked too! :)

Steve said...

Amazing how many hits this post gets every year. There used to be a lot more comments.

Katia said...

I was born on Christmas 1988 and yeah, it totally sucks. That thing about being an adult and having the getting older birthday blues is so true. Everyone is so preoccupied with all the holiday festivities and they don't even notice that you're about to have a nervous breakdown.

Anonymous said...

I was born on christmas day 1984. Wierd thing is though I went to school with 2 other girls who were also born an xmas day the same year and same hospital as myself. It DOES suck I always get the brillant one when I show my ID "OOOO You are a christmas baby, do you get cheated?" Yes and thanks for the reminder"
You can NEVER have a party on your birthday, You always get to watch others open gifts on your day and you also get to watch them open gifts on thier day as well. I say all us christmas babies make a law that says if you know someone born on christmas you are obligated to give them a gift on your birthday because you get to open gifts on theirs

Anonymous said...

I was born on was my twin brother, not only do I have to share a holiday but I have to share a birthday too. Don't get me wrong I love my brother but I totally agree with you on pretty much everything you said.

Anonymous said...

I'm another twin born on Christmas Day (female) with a twin brother. Friends of my parents suggested we be called Carol and Noel! They decided against it. I hate missing out on birthday cake at work - I'd be delighted even if someone just wished me a happy birthday. I've even had P.S. on Christmas cards.

Steve said...

We get something for Christmas every year: OLDER

Gemma said...

my boyfriends birthday is christmas day. so is my little sisters and so is my nephews so christmas is a busy day. my nephew doesnt like it but my fella n sis think it is ace as we have birthdays seperate celebrate xmas in morning and birthdays in afternoon.

Carol said...

A nice Jewish girl born on Christmas...a friend is actually having a Dinner on my birthday and some people are actually coming! What a concept. And, there will be chocolate cake. I do think that Oprah ought to throw us all a party.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog. Being an xmas baby has always sucked. When people ask how it feels, ask them how they would like to have to shop for about 20 other people for THEIR birthday and maybe only get 1 or 2 acknowledgements! Haven't gotten a card in 3 years from my mother or gift in many... But she sure put in her Xmas list to me! Oh by the way, her name is Mary! No kidding

I have only had 1 birthday party in my whole life at 21.

I would say the only thing that makes it special is that my children brag about their mom being born on christmas. It is quite cute!

Kylynne said...

I'm also a "Christmas Baby". I've had 20 years of Christmas Celebration with my family, yet multiple people say every year... "oh yeah its your birthday too" I dread that day every year.

Anonymous said...

I was born on Christmas...lovely. Never had a birthday party in my life doubt I will for my 21st. I never get a day for myself not even my own birthday...haha

Anonymous said...

ive given birth to my baby boy christmas day 09 and i really dont want him to feel left out, he was due on the 13th but held on. im definatley going to get him to lots of seperate presents and make sure he as a party. any more tips to make him love his special day?

Anonymous said...

Yes, i was also born on Christmas
day 1956. My Mother always made me
a cake with this ugly white reindeer on it. She also wanted to name me 'Merry Noel'. I think we should all meet in Las Vegas every year and throw our own party.

Anonymous said...

i was born on christmas in not all that excited about it. i was born in 1992 so im turning 18 this december. I've never really liked my birthday not like i get double presents or get to celebrate it on another day. i don't really get to see anyone cause they're busy with their own families and so for the most part every year i just spend it with my family =(

Anonymous said...

Well, we all have a Christmas birthday coming up. yippee. Every year it seems to get more and more miserable. Just went through a seperation with my ex. What do I get for Christmas this year? heartache, grey hairs, and a shitty shitty lonely birthday. maybe a nervous breakdown too

Anonymous said...

im also a Christmas baby and i could connect to all this ! sucks but in one way i feel special :)

pary said...

born on christmas...
yay...... oh great i dont even get double gifts people just like to mix them all together it sucks so bad
im 14 and i dont even want to grow up anymore
and yeah i hate it too
"you were born on CHRISTMAS?!!"

Ncky said...

I was born on Christmas day 1976, which makes me 34 today (I'm in the uk). I'm the kind of person who puts others first, apart from on my birthday! Ok that's a bit of a lie, as I have a 10 year old son, and really Christmas day is about him. But here are the reasons I hate having my birthday on Christmas day (still at 34)

1) when I was little my brothers had their favourite dinners, and I always got stuck with all the roast, Christmas pudding etc which I hated.
2) I never had a party, I tried for my 30th, but every one was broke or out for other partys, and I consider myself to have good friends.
3) most people forget to buy you a present, or buy you a joint present.
4) JOINT CARDS, I can handle joint presents, but writing happy birthday in my Xmas card is just cheap!
5) when I was a kid I had to wait 365 days for any toys I wanted. My sons birthday is in June (I'm such a good mum,lol)
6) used to get a Christmas cake as my birthday cake (I hated fruit cake) when my brother got a special hand made cake.
7) my mum every year says "sorry your birthday present is wrapped in Christmas paper" you've had 34 years to prepare!!!
8) as a teenager I wanted to see my boyfriend, but couldn't as it was a family day!
9) in my early 20's I wanted to go clubbing, they were shut as it's Christmas.
10) as a mother, I want a day to call my own with breakfast in bed! Forget I love my son too much, and my birthday now belongs to him.

I really sound like a spoilt cow, but it's the one day of the year I feel sorry for myself. But I have no one to blame other than myself, I was not due until 23rd jan, but could just not wait!

Thanks for the vent, catch up with you all this time next year! Oh happy birthday all you other Christmas day babies!


Jessie said...

Me and my twin were born on Christmas in 1995. Thanks for telling me what's ahead in the future!
But so far, it does totally suck. Most everyone else gets a birthday AND Christmas, tow different opportunities, to have fun and give gifts. Not me. My family only celebrated Christmas (with an occasional, Oh, and Happy birthday) the one time we ever tried to celebrate it on a separate dates was a failure. My sister got hers celebrated, but the same n=didn't happen for me. And for the past couple of years, it's as if i don't have a birthday! no one even mentions it anymore.
"Oooh, your born on Christmas? You must get extra presents!" please.
Why couldn't i be born on Halloween instead?

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Anonymous said...

I know exactly how a person feels who is born on Christmas day. I was born on Christmas also and I would say I dislike/like this birthday 50/50. I gotta admit, to me, being born on X-mas makes me feel special b/c you don't meet many people who are born on this exact day. I turn 17 soon and sometimes I'm just in that mood where I just don't like having my birthday on that day and my friends and others don't understand why. People barely acknowledge your birthday and if I ever receive a gift from a friend they call it a birthday/Christmas gift... Yet they give Christmas presents to everyone else too. It doesn't make my gift seem special. My parents usually double my presents and I don't mind celebrating on Christmas, but I just feel a bit sad sometimes b/c I gotta admit, having a birthday on Christmas is a bit lonely.

khanke85 said...

I was born on Christmas and can relate to everything in this article. Guess its the same for all of us.

Anonymous said...

Traveling every year on your birthday sucks. Just did it today. As a kid I dos not mind but as you get older sometimes you just want to sleep in. Only those born on Christmas truely understand this.

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Anonymous said...

My grandfather said, "It's not your birthday, it's Christs birthday." And I have been getting the shaft ever since. Every Christmas, I get the joy of hanging out with in-laws! I don't get to have a private day to wallow in my age! Blah. We all need to get together to have a big Dec. 25 Birthday Bash. I met a guy who was born on the same day, he was 100. I had the honor of hanging out with him on our birthday. That was a good one.I've learned just to ask for cash for my 'birthday', which I usually use to shop for others. What a day!

Anonymous said...

Funny thing is Jesus wasn't actually born on Christmas. It was actually found to be some time in September.

Anonymous said...

First-time poster here: It's almost arrived again...Birthmas. I just tried to get everyone together for a celebration evening (I've attended so many birthday parties for others over the year that, silly me, I felt entitled to plan my own), and all twenty or so people had other plans...and most didn't let me know until about an hour beforehand. So we are "rescheduling" for January. I usually don't plan anything at all (because it really is like herding cats), but I'm alone for the holidays this year with family far away, so I thought I'd try instead of feeling sorry for myself. This blog popped up, as did one from a Huffington Post blogger. I read both and fully agree with all. I actually know two other people born on Christmas Day. When we were young, we all celebrated our birthday together (but not on Christmas), as we strangely all lived in the same neighborhood - imagine that coincidence? When all else fails, I like to change the words of Christmas carols to reflect my own birth, and suggest you guys do the same. Move over Jesus!

Anonymous said...

My birthday is on Christmas and has never sucked. First of all, your family is always there to celebrate my birthday and as you grow older, this means more than any amount of gifts you could ever ask for.

Anonymous said...

A Jew born on Christmas day, the worst of all. Well, not really but just imagine that when the birthday date is exposed and the inevitable comments start coming it is absolutely assumed you are a Christian. How great is that, to be so much closer to the baby Jesus! Do you deflate their optimism and hope of the Christmas season? No, you just smile and say Merry Christmas back, and you mean it. However, you are constantly reminded, albeit inadvertently, that you should be a Christian and proud to be born on one of 365 days that is different from all others.
Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

I was born on Christmas day, and I'm stuck with the name Holly