My birthday is on Christmas Eve and historically, it sucks having a Christmas Eve birthday. I joke that the hospital sent me home in a stocking (true story) and it’s all been downhill ever since, but that’s not entirely accurate. Somehow, I escaped being given a Christmas-y name like Holly or Noelle (despite the fact that my mother really put some thought into which French Province I should be–Brittany or Saxony). And my family realized the suckage that was a Christmas Eve birthday and always made an effort to make the holidays fun for this only child/only grandchild and threw me a half birthday with friends at the end of June.
But when you have a Christmas Eve birthday, you learn very quickly that it will never be a normal (birth)day. I’ve learned that the odds of me getting together with friends is about nil while the odds of my presents being buried under the tree by an avalanche of Christmas presents (thus necessitating I wait a day to open them) is at about 90%. I will never know what it’s like for my birthday to be the BIG EVENT of the day, to have endless options when it comes to places to celebrate it, or to get a birthday card without some mention of Christmas on it.
It is what it is, and after 40+ birthdays, I know the deal.
Sometimes I’m lucky enough to find a friend that still makes time to hang out with me and, for the last several birthdays, Tahsia has been that friend.
In years past, we’ve gone out for burritos and a margarita as big as my head. But this year I wasn’t feeling it. Without the boys around to celebrate, and constant reminders of all the recent family deaths near the holidays, my Holly Jolly is broken. And loud restaurants and hangovers aren’t helpful in combating holiday fatigue. Also, I knew that after a weekend in NYC, this introvert was going to need days to recover. So when Tahsia asked me what we should do to celebrate my birthday this year, I took a few days to think about it, and suggested a day of crafting.
We were initially going to make a sock unicorn. After a test run (which you can read about here ), I scrapped that idea in favor of something a little less labor-intensive. We decided to try unicorn ornaments instead, and used this youtube tutorial.
I decided to stick to the theme, and got a unicorn ice cream cake, a unicorn candle, unicorn plates and napkins, and a unicorn tablecloth.
Then when I was poking around Michaels for ornament-making supplies, I found these festive unicorn headbands and got them too. Because obviously we needed them.
So we drank eggnog and wine, ate from a beautiful charcuterie board, gorged ourselves on ice cream cake ( I made a birthday wish for a literary agent in 2020 on my fancy unicorn birthday candle! I’m counting on you birthday wish-granting universe!), and we made these.
It was lots of fun! And for me, it was a perfect day. I really love nothing more than hanging out one on one with my friends, eating, and working together on a project. It’s seriously the kind of day I live for and the best possible start to my 43rd year. I’m so grateful to Tahsia for making the time to join me.
It’s taken me a long time, but I really feel like I’m finally coming into my own. Maybe that’s a being-in-your-40s thing. I feel like I know myself and trust myself, and really know what I want out of life now and what works for me and doesn’t work for me.
For example, this party. I am never ever going to want to go out with a huge group of people, be the center of attention, have all eyes and attention on me, and endure god-knows-what groups of people do to fete birthdays. Group birthday song singalongs, toasting, singing waiters, flaming desserts, shots, inflatable bull riding, sash and tiara wearing, clubbing, what have you… I’m internally shuddering at the thought. Some people love that sort of thing, and I finally know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am definitely not among them in my love of hoopla.
I like quieter celebrations, and time to reflect on what I want my next year of life to look like. So in that spirit, here is my list of 10 intentions for the coming year.
- I want to get back in shape. My chiropractor has resolved the worst of my osteoarthritis pain, and I’m feeling good again. It’s time to work on reducing inflammatory foods in my diet and getting back to the gym.
- I hope this time next year that I have found a literary agent, and that I have finished one of the two books I’m just starting to work on.
- I need to give myself permission to read more.
- Along those same lines, I need to reclaim quiet time for myself. I do not have to be accomplishing something every second of the day.
- I want to deepen my connection and friendships with fellow writers and creatives.
- I want to travel to places I’ve never been and see old favorites with new eyes.
- I think my role in this house is to encourage and facilitate everybody’s creativity–not just my own. I think I’ve fallen into that naturally, but I want to be more intentional about it this year.
- I want to come back this time next year and be able to make a list of authors and artists that inspire me, which means I need to seek out inspiration from the world.
- I want to be more of myself and quit limiting and censoring my self expression.
- This will be a year of explosive creation.