When Leah and I were young – at least she was young, I was just younger – and naive and believed that you could “plan” a family, I added one item to the plan; their birthdays shouldn’t be around Christmas.
My birthday is a few days after Christmas, packed right there between December 25th and January 1. Sure, all the way through college I was never in school on my birthday and, occasionally, Alabama would play in a bowl game (like the Weedeater Bowl) on my birthday, but there’s a lot of fatigue after Christmas. People are tired of eating – they’ve eaten since Thanksgiving and they’re sick of food. People are tired of celebrating. Tired of buying and wrapping presents. Just tired. I get it. I’m tired too, I’m right there with you – maybe even driving the tired train. Mostly I’m just tired of being around people. It’s the introvert in me. I just want to put on the new fuzzy pajama pants that I got for Christmas and read my new John Grisham book.
One of my favorite birthday memories was from 1982. I was attending the Doug Sager Youth Conference in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which ran during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. That was back before people flocked to Gatlinburg during that week to eat pancakes and watch a candy maker pull taffy in the droves that they do now. My youth group was having dinner at some place in Pigeon Forge on my birthday and in walked my grandparents, Nana and PawPaw. I don’t remember that they gave me a present, and I don’t know if it was planned or if they just happened to see our church bus in the parking lot, but I always thought that it was nice that they stopped in and said “Happy Birthday”.
Anyway, when Leah and I were planning, I declared that I did not want our child to have a birthday around Christmas.
You know, God laughs a little at your plans. They’re funny to him.
So here we are, not even two weeks from Christmas, celebrating Layne’s birthday. Four days from now, we’ll celebrate Jack’s big day.
There’s more bread and milk on the shelves in Alabama than there are toys today. [For those of you reading this from outside of the Southeast, there’s a threat of snow/ice/sleet today, and southerners make a run on bread and milk at the forecast of snow. We love a good milk sandwich, I guess.] All the “good toys” were Christmas presents that were probably destroyed or lost before New Year’s Day. Stores don’t replenish the toy shelves that quickly after Christmas, so we learned some years ago that you have to purchase birthday presents at the same time that you purchase Christmas presents.
It’s a small price to pay for this sweet face. Happy Birthday Layne!