I was born a winter baby, in fact my birthday is exactly 3 weeks before Christmas.  For me, my birthday & Christmas celebrations are synonymous – my birthday comes, it’s time to put up the tree, decorate the house, start the Christmas baking.

My mother’s birthday falls 2 days after mine & for most of my life I have had to share a cake, a birthday dinner, etc.  So in my personal relationships I have always stressed to my partners & friends, I WANT you to make a big deal of my birthday.  After all, this is the day you proclaim to the world you are glad this person was born.  Not everyone sees things the same way I do.  For instance, my husband, or as I call him at this time of year – the Grinch.  He could care less what happens on his birthday so he thinks everyone should be the same.  This year, for my birthday, he sent me an e-card & offered to take me out for dinner.  I’m not the going out for dinner type, never have been, so to me this doesn’t seem like much of a celebration.

Fifteen years ago, when we met, I warned my husband I was idiosyncratic about my birthday.  The first birthday I had after we met, we were both unemployed and he was trying to get his own business going from home.  I woke up that morning to find a card on the pillow next to me & a gift (an electric can opener).  No other acknowledgement of my birthday was made for the rest of the day.  Dinner time came & went & nothing happened.  Finally, since I was starving, I threw something together & called him to the table for dinner.  I cried the whole way through.  He couldn’t understand why I was unhappy.  Through my tears, I let him know I had expected flowers, a cake, candles & something besides beans & toast for my birthday dinner.  He felt so bad he went out & got me flowers from the grocery store & a cake.  I thought it would not happen again.

Unfortunately, it has happened again a number of times & trying to be mature I’ve not complained too much (I’m not a young chick anymore).  But this year I made a stand.  I was mad about the lack of any type of birthday concessions & I didn’t care if he knew about it or not.  I realize he’s unemployed again & money is tight, but 3 weeks ago I told him to go (out of love) to Cancun for a week to attend his eldest daughter’s wedding without me (it was supposed to be our holiday together) while I stayed home & worked.  I thought my sacrifice at least deserved some kind of celebration for my birthday.  I know money is tight right now, but how much would it have cost to go get me a cupcake & put a candle in it?  If he was offering to take me for dinner, why couldn’t he have used that money to get some flowers at the grocery store?  Anything would have been better than nothing.

At the very least he could have put up the tree (the only part of Xmas decorating he does is assemble the tree & put the lights on) – another point of contention.  We moved into an apartment this summer which is much smaller than the house we used to live in.  I want to put up the big tree, he wants to put up the little tree (2 ft high).  He thinks the big tree will be in the way, I think the small tree is just as bad as no tree at all.  I could put up the big tree myself & decorate it, but then I would have to listen to him natter at me the whole time.  So for now we have no tree – this was my first birthday I can ever remember where the Christmas tree was not up.  And – now he’s mad at me because I was ticked off with him for the whole day!

So this should be a very jolly holiday season!