Today is my birthday. December 29th. Like every other year, it will be a day spent without singing, fanfare or festivities.
Me: “Hey everyone! Today’s my birthday!”
Family member: “Nice try. We just celebrated your birthday, like, four days ago. Hello?”
Me: “No… that was Jesus’ birthday. You know, Christmas. I know it’s easy to get the two of us confused. My birthday is today!”
Family members (exchanging nervous glances): “Oh, right… well, those gifts we got you were actually meant for Christmas and your birthday. Happy Letdown Day!”
For the record, I am neither redheaded nor a stepchild. I’m just treated as such. By virtue of having a birthday four days after Christmas, each year I am annually shafted, stiffed, or forgotten altogether. People are so busy celebrating Jesus’ birthday, they tend to overlook mine. It’s understandable. He probably deserves more birthday fanfare than I do.
The problem is the scheduling. Believe me, it’s hard sharing the stage with Jesus this time of year. And I’m in the unenviable position of trying to go after Jesus. He knocks ’em dead every show. Nobody wants to take the stage after Him. There’s just no way for me to top His act, and most of the audience has already filed out anyway.
By December 29th, people are simply ready for the holidays to be over. Frankly, I understand the sentiment. I realize that my birthday is really more of an additional holiday pain-in-the-ass than a cause for celebration. After Christmas, nobody wants to shop for gifts. The malls are just as packed with people, but there is half the selection and zero goodwill towards men. They’ve already spent enough time with family. Nobody wants to wrap anything. And everyone is flat-out sick of being festive. Simply put, celebrating my birthday after Christmas gets the same level of enthusiasm from people as if I suggested we order a pizza immediately after Thanksgiving dinner.
Why couldn’t I have been born on February 29th, the day that leap year is observed? At least my birthday would be recognized every four years, instead of every decade or so as it is now. No such luck. Today is my birthday. And the holidays are over. Happy Letdown Day.