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Front Page » December 27, 2005 » Opinion » Holiday babies get all the bad breaks
Published 3,138 days ago

Holiday babies get all the bad breaks


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate general manager

Each year we read about that special baby that is born right after midnight on the first day of the year and how his or her parents are showered with gifts. It happens in almost every town and city, including here locally.

That's a good thing.

But that child, along with every other kid born between Dec. 15 and Jan. 15 will be plagued by something they will never live down.

I call it the "one gift fits all" syndrome.

At this time of year, things are hectic and people spend a lot of money on Christmas. Consequently they run out of money for other events that take place in peoples lives which includes weddings, anniversaries and particularly birthdays.

So if you are a Decanuary baby birthday presents with either be (A) very small and limited in scope or (B) a "one gift fits all."

I know about this because for 53 years I have faced it, being born in very early January.

Because of this I used to dream of my birthday being on another date.

When I was a kid I fantasized about my birthday being on July 4, just six months later. That way I'd always have a party with fireworks on my birthday, be off of school and since there was no other present giving holiday around that time I would pull in the loot.

Or how about over Halloween. True we weren't out of school, but just think of all the extra candy I would have received.

Then I thought about Good Friday. That would have been perfect; presents on Friday and an Easter basket on Sunday. Problem was I would have had to have kept changing the date of my creation every year.

Besides, regardless of what I could have done my family knew better so I was doomed to dismal birthdays, in the dead of winter, on the heels of the biggest spending orgy of the year. People would give me presents on Christmas and say "Oh....uh.... this is for your birthday too."

I always felt like I was getting scrooged.

And sometimes I got nothing at all. Sure that happens at all times of the year but if you think people forget birthdays in May and August, just trying having it right after everyones credit cards are maxed out.

To make matters even worse, my birthday fell on the day we had to go back to school from holiday vacation about 50 percent of the time. The other 50 percent we had already been back in classes from the long break. Either way everyone including me, was in a cheap and bad mood when it came to my birthday.

Let me tell you, for a nine year old, going back to school after a long vacation was the worst birthday present of all.

It was only when I reached 19 years of age that I saw some value in being born on the day I was. That was the year they pulled my draft lottery number out of the hat and it came up 264, 170 clicks above where they expected to draft to in 1972. That day I kissed my mother and shook my dads hand, telling them what great timing they had.

But that next Christmas, I remember a friend giving me a gift over Christmas break from college and saying, "Oh...uh...this is for your birthday too."


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