Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I am busy celebrating birthdays these days!

June 15: my twelve-year old niece
July 9th: my youngest sister
July 10th: my birthday
July 16th: my youngest niece, who will be eight tomorrow
August 2: my mother
August 28: my ten-year old niece
September 4: my oldest sister

My family (especially my mother) has always made a big deal out of birthdays. If possible, the whole extended family gets together. Someone bakes a birthday cake and brings the candles and matches. Everyone brings at least one gift. If the weather is nice, we all troop out to a local park for a picnic. Otherwise, we gather at someone's house (usually my youngest sister because she has the largest house). Or, we go to a restaurant that is family-friendly and has a large enough space for all of us.

Last weekend we all met at one of those restaurants. We had a group of fifteen and a very patient waitress. There were six chldren in the group, who kept changing places around the table... first sitting by mom, then by dad, then by grandma, then by aunt or uncle. The waitress kept track of everyone. There were requests for more bread, more water, etc., etc. Finally, we needed plates for birthday cake, and we took up time opening gifts. She was amazingly patient and efficient. Thankfully, we needed only one check so she didn't have to make separate checks. Then, all the men sat around exchanging cash and credit cards.

I was a waitress during college, so I still have empathy for them. (Guess I couldn't make it on the Supreme Court.)

My husband can't believe how we celebrate birthdays in my family. In his family, they send a card, if they remember. They exchange gifts only at Christmas and then usually wind up just giving each other cash. They are more likely to go out for a beer than have a birthday cake. They have just as much love for each other as my family; they just have different ways of showing it. I like their way as much as I like our way. It's just interesting how different they are. Mine just happen to be all clumped together on the calendar, so we have a very busy birthday season!


rachel said...

Sounds like a lovely way to spend your summers. Your Christmases must seem quiet and calm in comparison to all those birthday celebrations!

judy in ky said...

Yes, it certainly defines our summers! Then there is a long break until Christmas... the autumn season is very quiet.

Bearette24 said...

Your July is my September - D and his sister both have birthdays in September, and then there are the high holidays. Oy!

judy in ky said...

We always celebrated the high holidays with our friends in Philadelphia. I miss that.

Randee said...

judy - my family was always exactly like yours! just not so many of are all very lucky to have each other and so smart to celebrate every opportunity for goodness and happiness.
and we will celebrate your birthday when you come to visit. and