My birthday is January 2nd (accepting gifts early, BTW), which I used to think was the worst birthday on the planet until I found out my boyfriend's birthday is December 26th. Christmas is a beautiful time, but it deserves its own special focus — and so do birthdays. As I have discussed with others countless times, there are many reasons why having a winter birthday has taken away some of the joy of celebrating.
1. Your existence feels overshadowed by Christmas.
The holiday season is overwhelming for everyone. No matter what you do or do not celebrate, society is pretty deeply dictated by Christmas. Even though I know it's not true, I sometimes feel like my parents double-dip my Christmas presents with my birthday presents, as opposed to if I celebrated my birthday in May or June. It's just easier that way, but it also kind of sucks feeling like your special day comes in second place.
2. You can't always celebrate with your friends.
I never had school on my birthday, which was pretty cool, but it also felt lame because I didn't get the special treatment from my friends during passing periods or lunch. In elementary school, I couldn't bring treats to class until after winter break, and by then it didn't feel the same. People also travel during the winter for the holidays, and a lot of times my friends would be skiing with their extended family instead of eating cake with me. Thankfully, now that I'm in college, I have a better understanding of birthdays, and this year I'll be traveling, too!
3. Lame birthday parties.
One year I had my birthday party on my half birthday in July because all I wanted was a pool party. For some, that might be attainable, but in the midwest, I get negative temperatures as a gift. We always got creative to celebrate my special day, but it's a lot harder to find something for everyone during the chilly months of the year.
4. Your gifts are more utilitarian than fun.
I appreciate a nice pair of socks as much as the next person, but winter is full of ice scrapers and snow boots, instead of the silly stuff like swim tubes and sundresses.
5. You're stuck in the house.
Snowy activities like ice skating and sledding are a blast, but depending on what the weather forecast is, you can't always leave your house. I've spent many a birthday stuck watching movies or playing board games when I'd rather be downtown getting my adventure on. So, if the Department of Roads is reading this, send the snow plows my way first this year.
6. Seasonal Affective Disorder.
This one's a doozy. Seasonal Affective Disorder — or SAD — is a real mental health condition that affects people in the fall and winter. SAD is a form of depression that is common among women and people who live far from the equator. Although there is no direct cause, experts believe it has something to do with a lack of sunshine during this time of the year. Cognitive behavioral therapy and light therapy are ways to aid those dealing with SAD, but we must acknowledge this is common among young people and can very much influence how we go about winter events. That being said, seek help if you're suffering and know there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
7. You're not even in the mood for cake anymore.
After the holiday season, it's hard to enjoy sweets. Following an inundated season of cookies and fruitcake, birthday cake seems less than appealing.
8. Winter coats ruin everything.
Even if you're in a cute dress and tights or a sleek button-down/cardigan combo, you have to wear a winter coat over everything. Looking cute is possible, but not as possible as it is in the other months of the year. How am I supposed to get that sweet birthday 'gram in a parka?
All in all, I'm happy to be alive and to celebrate another year of my existence. This list of complaints is the epitome of #FirstWorldProblems, but I'm glad we can commiserate about negative temperatures together. Happy birthday, you snow bunnies!
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