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!