Did you know I was born on Christmas Day, lived in Bethel for many years, educated in Bethlehem, and often traveled to Nazareth? Of course, all those locations in this parallel are in Pennsylvania, not Israel.
Before I jump into my Christmas birthday story, let me give you a funny present first. A Christmas Story is a classic movie capturing so much of my childhood having grown up in the Pittsburgh area. Yes, I experienced this pole-thing at least once. On so many levels I still laugh when I see this scene.
Most people think having a Christmas Birthday is awful because I somehow got cheated of birthday presents. Thanks to my family, I can say I never felt that way. In fact, there are many benefits to sharing this special day with all of Christianity.
My introverted side avoids attention for the anniversary of just being born. In many ways, I relish the diversion of unwarranted attention. Here are some of the benefits of having a Christmas birthday:
1. Fewer theoretical presents means fewer thank you notes to write or combining them. I like the efficiency of having it all done on one day.
2. Vacation. My birthday is always a day off from work.
3. Humility. God cared enough about me to give me an annual reminder that no matter how important or impressive I think I am — I’m not. God is number 1. Then, God allowed me to be married — I slide to number 3. Then God blessed me with two children — two more reminders. Number 4 then number 5 position. For 14 years we had a dog and I clearly was in the number 6 position, especially when cleaning up number 2 after the dog. The dog died and I was promoted back to number 5. Now I know why Judith wants to get another dog so badly.
4. Grace. Most people forget it is your birthday which they would probably do anyway. So it provides a built-in excuse when my birthday is forgotten and an easy grace given. I don’t take offense.
5. Parties! I get to go to parties where everyone is festive and joyful on my birthday and they’re not faking it for my birthday because they’re actually celebrating Christmas.
6. Family. My family is always around for my birthday. That’s a good thing, right?
7. Giving. I get to buy and give presents for other people on my Christmas birthday.
8. Good company. There is something really special about sharing this special day with Jesus. Hard to describe, but it is special.
The people I really feel sorry for are the people born on December 26–30. Talk about an anti-climatic, easily forgotten valley wedged between the mountains of Christmas and New Year’s Eve! Now that’s tough!
P.S. Bonus: And now for something completely irreverent about sharing a birthday with Jesus: Monty Python’s Life of Brian Nativity Scene.