To some, being born on Christmas is a gift. Others may feel like they’re getting cheated out of having their own special day. For me, being a Christmas baby is a mixture of both of those feelings.
Growing up with a very Catholic mother, much of my family considers being born on Christmas as a special gift. My grandmother chose my middle name, Emanuel, which means “God with us,” because I share my birthday with Jesus. But sharing a birthday with Jesus can be frustrating, mostly because he’s the only one who gets any recognition.
I’m not trying to complain, but being “special” because of my birth date really sucks. The most common question I’m asked when I reveal my birthday to others is, “So does that mean you get twice the presents?” Well, I wish. When I was younger, I used to get a few extra presents or some added cash from relatives, but as the years went on, I received less and less.
Rather than getting twice as many gifts, I usually get just one gift for both Christmas and my birthday. And since everyone’s getting presents this time of year, it feels as though they all have a second birthday, while I’m stuck with only one.
As I got used to not receiving as many presents, I eventually started treating Christmas more as a holiday, rather than my actual birthday. Sometimes I forget I even have a birthday, since Christmas seemingly cheats me out of really having my own special day. Thank you, Jesus.
I hardly ever get a chance to celebrate my birthday because it’s the holidays and most everyone I know is out of town or busy hosting visitors. I used to celebrate it a couple weeks early with some friends, but it never felt normal. And get this: My grandfather’s birthday happens to fall just two days after mine. Overall, the holidays for my family are full of horribly timed birthdays.
But there are some benefits. I get to have the satisfaction of being able to brag that I have one of the rarest birthdays, since it’s pretty hard to find someone else born on Christmas Day. I’ve met people who were born around Christmastime who claim to be “Christmas babies,” to which all I say is, “That’s cute.”
The uniqueness of being born on Christmas does mean I often get a lot more unnecessary love from my relatives during the holidays. As I grow up, being born on Christmas is something that I’ve learned to value. Given that people all over the world see this holiday as special, it truly is my own special day.