Before I explain my Christmas gift(s) from Greg, here is the back-story, and the explanation to why his gift is extra creative.
I LOVE birthdays. As I get older I see more and more people who hate their birthday and it makes me sad. One’s birthday should NOT be a depressing day. You are only one day older. Why do people get so depressed? Pick a different day to be depressed about how old you are, what you have or haven’t done with your life, what you have failed to do this last year etc… After all, isn’t that what New Years Day is for? Because on your actual birthday it should be ALL ABOUT YOU!
When Greg and I were dating I was very clear about my birthday expectations. I told him in general I was very low maintenance EXCEPT on my birthday. I also told him if he spoiled me rotten on my birthday I should be pretty low maintenance the rest of the year.
Initially, Greg had more of the “reflect and be depressed on your birthday” attitude. I think I have made baby steps of progress each year and he is slowly coming around to the “it’s all about me” philosophy. After we got married we started birthday weekend. The only rules for birthday weekend are that the birthday person gets to make all the rules. That means the birthday person gets to pick where we go (since we often travel), what we do and where we eat. It’s completely over the top, and I love it!
My most consistent birthday rule (for my birthday or anyone else’s) is no one else should complain about the birthday person’s choices.
There are two types of comments that are helpful to the success of Birthday Weekend:
Responses to a tired family member or friend during birthday weekend because the birthday person has probably packed in too many activities for one 48-72 hour period.
“You can stock up on sleep before or after birthday weekend, but don’t expect a lot DURING birthday weekend.”
“Since I’m only in charge 2 or 3 days of the year, I’m sure you understand why I’m filling this weekend up as much as possible.”
Responses to a grumpy member of the family who is unhappy with one of the birthday person’s choices.
“Well, it’s a good thing it’s my birthday weekend and not yours.”
“We’ll make sure NOT to do this when it’s your birthday weekend since it’s not something you enjoy. However, we’ll continue doing it now since it’s something I want to do!”
And the MOST popular, MOST repeated and MOST helpful comment during birthday weekend:
“I’m sorry if you don’t like it but I don’t care because this weekend “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!”
Of course, sometimes Greg or I catch ourselves complaining and we beat the other person to their comment by saying, “but it’s ok that I don’t like that restaurant/activity/idea because this weekend it’s all about you.”
Birthday weekend totally works. Some of my favorite memories are from birthday weekend.
We spent one year sea kayaking and camping in the San Juan Island’s in Washington’s Puget Sound. Another great memory was hiking and exploring the Olympic Peninsula & Olympic Mountains. One year my whole family went camping, hiking and kayaking at a beautiful mountain lake (even my sister from Utah drove over). Last year we went to these beautiful islands in Thailand and I went diving. It’s so great every once in awhile to have total decision making power. I highly recommend having “it’s all about me” time; it’s a great cure for the birthday blues.