I have always found the concept of birthdays to be rather interesting. I recently celebrated my 23rd birthday, and I find that the older I get (and yes, I realize I really cannot categorize myself as old, mom), the more my birthday is becoming about enjoying and being grateful for time spent with family and loved ones and less about the gifts I received or checking my Facebook Timeline to see who took the time out of their own day to wish me a happy birthday.
With each passing year, I acknowledge how fortunate I am to be able to spend my birthday with family, loved ones, and friends, and I am prompted to consider individuals who are not as fortunate in this regard when their own birthday arrives.
Sure, receiving gifts is always humbling and a pleasant experience, but for me personally, birthdays are less about gifts and more about informing an individual of how much you appreciate them on their special day, and vice versa. For example, my mom, sister, dad and I went out for a lovely dinner to celebrate my birthday, and it really was the highlight of the day for me. My boyfriend and I are also going to go out for dinner to celebrate, and for me, spending quality time with significant people in my life who mean the most to me is far more valuable than opening a gift and seeing what I was given.
I am unsure if my own opinions and realizations are common amongst other individuals as they experience more and more birthdays, but quite honestly, I hope they are common. Birthdays have become such a materialistic celebration and place an excessive focus on presents and gifts, and it is necessary to remind society of what a birthday is really about – appreciating life and the people in it.
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