Saturday, September 06, 2008


     Having recently celebrated a birthday myself I decided to pay particular attention to how people treated me if they knew it was my birthday as opposed to those who didn't and I came up with some startling conclusions based just upon this day in question. Birthdays are a bit of a curiosity when you really deeply contemplate the way we celebrate them. Just the fact that we celebrate them at all is an oddity in and of itself although because we as human beings are steeped in all our traditions they seem quite natural and we nearly take them for granted. In the books by J.R.R. Tolkien, " Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" they had a tradition for birthdays that for us would seem quite reprehensible. For all Hobbits the tradition was that the person celebrating the birthday gave everyone else a present and not the other way around. Now Tolkien may have been playing with our heads a little bit but I think, on the whole he made an excellent argument without making one.  
     Here's a bit of a curiosity: Why do we make a special cake that says 'Happy Birthday' on it and serve it with ice cream? Why don't we always serve ice cream on cake? There are other traditions from foreign countries which have made it to our shores. How about the Mexican tradition of children being given pinatas, which are filled with candy and toys, then are strung up in a tree? They give the child celebrating the birthday a pole or stick and they set them about hitting and striking it until it bursts open and all the children who have attended and the birthday boy or girl scramble around trying to gather up as much as they can for themselves. Rather curious isn't it? I don't know if this is an American tradition but I can't tell you how many birthday parties I attended as a child where we always played "pin the tail on the donkey". I don't know if they still play this game.
     The final item is a particular puzzle in and of itself. Why do we have to wait until a birthday to make someone feel special ? If this person in question really is so special why don't we demonstrate this in more spontaneous ways. Do we really need to wait until someone has waited about 365 days to let them know they are thought about and deserve recognition? I am reminded of the Alice in Wonderland books. We may only have one birthday a year but we have many more un-birthdays. Maybe we should concentrate on those and not make such a big deal out of the one day. Okay, for those who would never give up the tradition- have a blowout on your next birthday but consider what I just said. There's a lot of people out there who feel unloved, unnecessarily.
Just The Castle Lady with lots of kisses and hugs !  

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