Thursday, April 2, 2015


Yesterday's Surprise Birthday Gift!
Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to celebrate birthdays. My parents adhere to a religion that strictly forbids the celebrating of birthdays. My first experience with a birthday party was at my first job after technical school when there was a birthday party every month for anyone whose birthday fell in that month. Each month had a committee to plan the birthday party. It was great fun, and the beginning of my love of all things birthday. It’s where I learned that birthdays are fun.

Eleven years later a lot has changed; I’ve moved to a different state, gotten married (to a man who’s a Christmas Eve baby), and have a different job. However, I still love all things birthday, and have the fortune to be around people who really get into celebrating birthdays.

Yesterday at work I walked into a lovely early birthday surprise from some of my co-workers. They took the time to choose my favorite flowers and candy. One of the things I love about my job is the fact that we celebrate co-worker’s birthdays. I always bake a cake of the birthday person’s choosing, we all go out to lunch together, and sometimes small gifts are given. It’s really nice because, let’s face it, a lot of us spend more time with our co-workers on a daily basis than we do our families. It’s nice to know that the people you spend 40 plus hours per week with are glad you were born.

Of course, co-worker birthday celebrations don’t replace birthday celebrations with family and friends. I love the traditions and fun that go along with birthday celebrations for my friends and family by marriage.

Since Nick is a Christmas Eve baby I always make sure he has a birthday party that has nothing to do with Christmas. It’s usually chili and a cake that in no way resembles anything Christmas-related. The cake has been everything from Star Trek to frogs.

My best friend Crystal almost always chooses grilling out for her birthday celebration. Her birthday is in early May, so the weather is usually perfect for being outside and grilling. We usually try new marinades or grilling something new.

Because I dislike the cold weather so much and my birthday is in early April, we almost always drive down to South Carolina to go to Riverbanks Zoo. It’s always warm there by then, and the garden is in bloom. I love it.

There’s always cake, too. This year Nicks’ mom and step-dad, Alan, (whose birthday is late March) were in town close enough to celebrate our birthdays together with a chocolate cake with an antique truck for Alan and an adorable white cake with pastel flowers and butterflies for me. I don’t like chocolate at all, so it means a lot that they go out of their way to get white cake for me.

So what about you? Do you love birthday celebrations? What are your traditions for celebrating birthdays with family and friends?


  1. Hi Dani - definitely love birthdays .. I thoroughly enjoyed mine out in South Africa when I could have a hot January birthday .. not a cold one! What fun .. and you can always have Nick's at the half way point - that makes it a summer one ... Christmas Eve is a little unfortunate.

    Happy days ahead .. cheers Hilary

  2. I've always been into celebrating birthdays. On one of my brothers' birthdays everyone had the flu so we ended up doing a birthday week since no one could celebrate his actual birthday!

  3. I never heard about religions that forbid the celebration of birthdays. I learned something new today. I'm glad to read you are able to enjoy them now, though. Have a lovely end of the week.

  4. My family was the opposite: birthdays were okay, but Christmas (or any other religious holiday) was a big NO.

    That didn't last a minute past me moving out on my own.

    One of the things my family does is letting the birthday person choose whatever they want for their birthday dinner. My daughter always wants grilled salmon with grilled asparagus, homemade mac and cheese, and white chocolate and sweet cherry cheesecake. For the Great Scot it's either lamb or ribeyes.

    Happy Birthday!

  5. GREAT GREAT post! Oh, how I love that decorated vase and flowers. I would much rather celebrate someone else's birthday than my own. I love that you make a special effort for "Nick" to make his birthday so non-Christmas. That's super special!

  6. Happy belated birthday! So neat you guys celebrate birthdays at work! It does really help to have that sense of community! Good that you take the time too to make Nick's birthday special being so close to Christmas. I'm close to Christmas with my birthday, but not quite that close (the 21st) and my mom every year made sure there was a distinction between my birthday and Christmas :)

    Nowadays at my age, I kind of like to let the birthday pass by, LOL, but we do make a point of celebrating the birthdays in our family!


  7. Wishing you a wonderful birthday, and I'm so glad you've found the fun in celebrating yours. I'm a huge fan of birthdays. So much so that I've officially declared one day is not enough - I whole-heartedly endorse celebrating for an entire month. :-)

  8. I love birthdays!! It's all about celebrating and "loving on" the birthday person! We didn't/don't have any big super-special customs...but the birthday "boy/girl" always gets to choose dinner. (To this day I can tell you what my now-35-year-old long-distance son will choose!) No chores for him/her, either - not even setting the table. "We love you and we're glad you're here and let's celebrate! What do YOU want to do today?!" :-) Thanks for this post.

  9. Happy belated birthday, Danielle! It sounds like it was a great one. :)

    We think birthdays are pretty special, too. After all, it's all about celebrating someone special in your life being born, right?

    I can relate a little with Nick - my birthday is on 12/17. Plenty of people forgot about my birthday growing up (thankfully, not my family), so I can only imagine what it would be like having 12/24 for a birthday!

  10. My mother loved birthdays and Christmas, so I do as well. Hubby isn't so keen unfortunately. However, he turned 80 this year so I gave him a bowling party, total surprise, with one heck of a cake. I insist on champagne for both birthdays and Christmas.

  11. Happy birthday Danielle. I'm curious what religion doesn't celebrate birthdays. I don't give a toss about my birthday but I do make a fuss about other's. It's lovely you make sure your husband's is special considering when he was born :)

  12. Birthdays are fun. And traditions can change. I grew up with cake and ice cream birthdays, but none of my kids like cake!

    1. Forgot to add my link.
      I'm #1511 in the A-Z challenge list

  13. I've never understood not celebrating birthdays. I'm glad you can do that now with a clear conscience. It's only once a year!

  14. Aw what an awesome place to work. Sounds like a bunch of great people to be around :) I'm not much of a birthday celebrate-er for myself but I do love celebrating other people's birthdays :)

  15. For someone who hasn't celebrated birthdays from the beginning, it must feel something really special.
    I like celebrating my loved-ones' birthdays, making crazy videos for them, baking up sloppy cakes, buying them tiny gifts, and seeing that smile on their faces. It is priceless! B-)
    and hey, give me a hi-five, my husband is also a xmas-eve baby! :):)

  16. Well Happy Birthday and may all of the celebrations be filled with laughter, love and light! What beautiful flowers presented in such a unique way!

    Personally, I forgo my own birthday - it's sandwiched between Christmas and New Year's - just before the changing of the guard, on the 30th .... by this point, I just want to curl up and sleep. When I was a child, my parents made sure there was a difference too - no smooshing it all as one.

    As for others - I'll happily celebrate - even in a small way - depending on what the person likes or wants. Sometimes a small gesture is enough.

    Since I'm no longer really celebrating Christmas or New Year's, I think I'll consider my birthday in a new light and fashion - being selfish and enjoying it just for me.

    Have a great one and wonderful post :D


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