I’ve been described as many things over the years, one of which has stuck with me.
“You’re a birthday person,” they said. “Yours and other people’s, you love them.”
It’s true and it’s stuck with me.
In my family, birthdays were always made to be a big deal. My parents didn’t throw hundreds of dollars at expensive toys and over the top celebrations, but they always made us feel loved, special and there was always cake and a party with friends.
As the years have passed, the celebrations have changed. Long gone are the birthday parties with pass the parcel, mini sausage rolls and fairy bread, but the excitement and delight remains.
I’ve accepted that with age the day becomes more low key and “the party” is replaced by a nice dinner. It doesn’t stop me counting down to friends’ birthdays, searching for gifts I know they love and generally getting excited on their behalf.
Friends are now entering that next phase – babies – and with that birthday parties make a return. While I’m excited about the prospects of little cakes, the odd lolly bag, party games and hyper children, I’m also a little sad that now the focus seems to be so much more about the gifts and the elaborate celebrations.
I hope that somewhere amidst that, we can keep alive the love for birthdays for the right reasons. A child feeling a special sense of love, class inclusive parties, games that everyone can play, awe-inspiring sparklers, the odd sparkle and a lot of smiles.
If all else fails, you’ll find me in the corner with the sparklers, the glitter, writing birthday cards, wearing a party hat and admiring the cake.