to celebrate or not to celebrate

Photo credit: Theresa Thompson / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: Theresa Thompson / Foter / CC BY

This past week I celebrated my birthday!

Years ago, I had no desire to advertise that fact. It wasn’t that I wanted to hide my age; I just have never been one who enjoys all the focused attention that a birthday entails. I am not fond of birthday parties for myself (although there have been a few exceptions), and I definitely do not like surprise birthday parties. (It probably has something to do with wanting control. That should be fairly obvious if you have read a few of my posts!🙂 )

Despite that historical background, I have changed my tune when it comes to birthday celebrations. I’m sure my years living in Mexico had something to do with my new attitude. In Mexico, there is always a good reason to have a party! Celebration is an important part of life. Birthdays, especially, get lots of attention… hugs, phone calls, words of affirmation, songs, gifts, cakes, piñatas, meals out, parties… it’s all good! In church settings, the birthday celebrator often stands up front during the service and gives thanks to God for the gift of another year of life.

That tradition touched my heart.

At my age, now 54, I have had to say good-bye to too many friends – many who were younger even than me. I am well aware that not everyone gets to celebrate 54 years of life. I am blessed. I do not want to take that for granted.

Instead of ignoring the accomplishment, I want to be thankful.

So… parties still are not my favorite means of celebration, but I do like to spend quality time with people I love; I really enjoy hearing from family and friends; and I love to do something special or go somewhere fun to intentionally recognize the milestone and express my gratitude. (This year it was a day at Hollywood Studios with my wonderful husband!)

Birthdays have become a very worthy celebration for me.

How do you feel about celebrating your birthday? What are some special things that you do to recognize the day?

8 thoughts on “to celebrate or not to celebrate

  1. I actually like celebrations on my birthday…planned or surprised! Since I have had many birthdays I’m also very grateful to God for giving me each year…a spirit of thankfulness that grows as the years pile up! 🙂

  2. I have been one to slink away from parties, especially birthday ones for me, or anyone else for that matter! Just not a party girl. But the thought of celebrating the gift of life, each year that God grants us, is a beautiful way to ponder upon this. Thank you for that.
    As you neighbor at Missional Friday, I am glad I came by.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  3. I used to LOVE my birthday and tried to make it a national holiday. Now I really don’t. Especially after Libby died, I didn’t like celebrating my birthday when she would not be celebrating hers anymore…but then I thought more I should be thankful for another year and try to live it well…that’s what she would have wanted (more years lived well) and I stopped focusing on the party and the ME ME ME attitude I once had…now I just enjoy a special day with a friend or maybe a dinner with several friends…
    Thanks for sharing, friend!!

    • Yep. I get that. Terribly hard to celebrate when you grieve and miss a loved one. Not sure how I would do with that, but I am inspired by your desire to focus on thankfulness and living well. I am sure Libby is very pleased. Love you very much, dear friend.

  4. We’re really not good at celebrating, are we? A slight acknowledgement, then moving on to the next important thing seems to be the American MO. The Christian MO, too? You are well worth celebrating, my friend–and I’m sorry I missed it! Hope it was a reminder of how much you are loved and cherished. And appreciated. I want to be more like your Mexican friends–finding reasons, big or small, to celebrate others and life. There’s so much that is worth the effort.

    • I had a great celebration! We actually have four birthdays in our family during the last week or so of October, so it is one big party! Poor Steve is the last one, and he’s been told more than once, “If you want cake, make your own dang cake!” lol! This year, maybe I should do something special for him!🙂

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