With the holiday season upon us, us December babies often get the short-end of the stick. When I was in college, for example, I always had finals or was flying home on my birthday, December 15th, so a party or even just dinner out was never an option. That said, it’s not so bad a deal in the end–everyone’s already in a festive spirit, after all! I share a birthday with an acquaintance from school who moved to the same city I did after graduation and was invited to her Christmas/Birthday party last year.
I was appalled to see her invitation state the following:
“So, while I loathe the “2 for 1″ in gift giving… for parties, I’ll hit two birds with one stone:
Christmas part: Come over for holiday goodies from moi, and a screening of a festive movie
Birthday part: Bring an ornament to trim the tree as your gift! (Whatever reminds you of me, is “so me”, etc)”
Not only was she complaining about being shortchanged on receiving gifts on her birthday, but admission to the party was specifically a Christmas ornament that was “so her”.
I declined the invitation because I had another engagement, but was quite relieved and glad to do so anyway after being instructed on what self-centered gift to bring her.
I had put the event out of my mind until this year when I posted on Facebook about my first Christmas tree and how I was going to have to start building up my ornament collection. She replied to the post with the comment, “Ask everyone for one for your birthday! (That’s how I got mine started!!)”
Goodness gracious…. 1210-12
There is a small contingent of Ehell readers who believe they have the right to host a birthday party or dinner in honor of themselves and see nothing wrong with directing their guests as to the appropriate gift they believe they deserve. Telling people what you would prefer as a gift IF AND WHEN THEY ASK is fine and dandy, but putting a specific gift request in an invitation is just pure tacky and entitled. For some reason, when it comes to a birthday, all etiquette sense goes flying out the window. In this case the birthday girl hostess gripes about the “2 for 1″ aspect of having a December birthday but then she promotes it by suggesting that an appropriate birthday gift for her would be Christmas tree ornaments. It’s a sneaky way to acquire new holiday decor. So I’m not approving comments which endorse this mindset.
I have a December birthday child. My youngest arrived December 19th many years ago. We celebrate with dinner at her favorite restaurant with the family and give our gifts at that time. She does have an extensive ornament collection primarily because I have bought her a new one each year but more importantly, she has made and exchanged ornaments with friends for at least 12 years. If you want new and interesting ornaments, you plan and host an ornament exchange party. I went to one ten days ago. The hosts of the party requested that everyone bring an ornament that had some tie to the giver and to please include a note as to how the ornament does that. As guests arrived,they placed their wrapped ornaments in a pile and after chowing down on refreshments, we drew random numbers from a basket, then picked and opened a package in the order of the numbers. We each read aloud the note and the ornament was passed for everyone to ohh and ahh over. It was a very pleasant party that was not difficult to host.