July 7, 2013

Eighteenth birthday

Today I, Birthday Keeper, legally became an adult. When I woke up I found nine small presents waiting outside my door. When I was younger, it was a tradition for my parents to give me the same number of small presents as the year I was turning on my birthday morning. The most memorable instance was my sixth birthday. We'd gone to a baseball game the night before and spent the night at a hotel. When I woke up, I found six round packages waiting for me. My dad said "Maybe Mom got you baseballs." The packages were actually gift balls - they unraveled and small presents, including erasers and troll dolls, fell out. Once I became a teenager my parents added up the numbers in my age to determine how many presents I would receive in the morning. So, today I received nine, since 1 + 8 = 9. These nine presents included Pop-Tarts. My birthday is the only time of year when I eat Pop-Tarts.

A friend came over in the afternoon and we went downtown. After she left I went out to dinner with my parents. In my family, the birthday person gets to pick where to eat dinner. When we got home I had a handmade card to look at and a few more presents to open. Then it was time to decorate my cake. It was star-shaped, as it always is.

My cake was frosted purple and decorated to look like leopard fur
There were twelve candles on the cake - nine for numerology (1 + 8 = 9) and one each for good health, good wealth, and good luck.

Blowing out my candles!
When I was a little kid, I thought every family celebrated birthdays the same way. I remember being surprised to find out that not everyone received the same number of presents as the age they were turning. The research I have done in the past year has helped me to see that birthdays are different everywhere, but no matter what, a birthday is always a day to celebrate.

July 5, 2013

Early birthday celebration

In a post on sharing birthdays with holidays, I mentioned my family's annual Fourth of July celebration. On Fourth of July, my mother's family gets together to celebrate all the summer birthdays in the family, including my grandpa's, which is on Independence Day itself, and mine, which is three days later. I've stopped singing names during Happy Birthday at the family birthday parties since the names always get mixed up. Seven birthdays were celebrated today; however, there were only three cakes.

Our three birthday cakes. Mine is the chocolate cake at the bottom right.
Grandpa and me blowing out birthday candles!
Many people eat more than one kind of cake at the family birthday parties. Today, I ate my chocolate cake as well as my grandpa's white chocolate cheesecake. After we were finished with cake, it was time for birthday people to open presents. I was happy to get gift cards to several of my favorite stores, as well as a calendar for me to use while in college.

We left my aunt's house around six and drove back home in time for the fireworks. Some people might say that Independence Day would not be the same without fireworks. However, for me, Fourth of July would not be the same without the family birthday celebration. We took my cake home. Less than half is left, and that is probably a good thing because I'll get another cake on Sunday, my real birthday.

Birthday shoutouts to Shana, myself, Paige, and Nick
Half birthday shoutouts to Emily and Luke