A Year of Birthdays

Did you watch last night’s episode of Modern Family? A Year of Birthdays culminates in one big birthday celebration, but I won’t offer any spoilers about that.

The episode takes the viewer through a year of birthdays throughout the family, reflections on what went right and what went wrong (in some cases WAY wrong.) As always, there are highs and there are lows, but the entire family is there for all of it.

I have big feelings about birthdays. I love them. If you’ve ever told me your birthday, it’s likely that I will remember it. I cringe when people say something flippant like, “it’s just another day.” It isn’t. Not to me. I try to respect my loved ones’ feelings when they say they don’t like celebrating, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always good at it. Usually it just means that I’m good at keeping it quiet while privately sending them my birthday love vibes.

In our family, birthdays are often a low-key dinner affair. The birthday person gets to pick their destination and everyone reports for duty. Occasionally, we’ve done something a little more celebratory – we once had a poker party for my dad’s birthday and we’ve had a couple of Super Bowl birthdays for my mom, a few times I’ve done a bowling party. Mostly, though, it’s dinner and cake. I often have fantasies about changing that, about making birthday celebrations a bigger deal. When I say this I don’t mean a huge party every time and for everyone, but a meaningful experience that truly honours the person celebrating. I have a few things in the works so stay tuned.

What do birthdays mean in your family? How do you celebrate?

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