Happy Birthday to Me, Merry Christmas to You

For most, there are two main days of the year centered on giving: birthdays and Christmas. While birthdays are a day to celebrate the life of one individual person, Christmas should be a day about giving thanks.

The relationship between humans and birthdays is one of remembrance of the years we’ve lived and how we’ve grown and matured. Even though age is only a number, it’s still another year older. Becoming a year older is another milestone in life. I think we can all agree that turning 13 was a big year; we could finally tell everyone we were teenagers. Sixteen was another big year for all of us as well; we were able to drive and get jobs. We were the center of attention. Since birthdays are milestones and a way of celebrating life, it’s ok for us to receive gifts on that day of the year.

Christmas isn’t about us, however. This time of year it’s about giving thanks. Yes, giving. Other than just saying “thank you,” we can actually show appreciation to the people who mean the most to us. It’s just one day out of the year that we technically have to think about others rather than ourselves. I believe everyone is capable of doing that. Another thing to think about when giving thanks is that not everyone gets to have a Christmas; not every child gets to have a present under the tree. We need to remember that and remind ourselves that we have a lot to be thankful for.

So while we get one day to ourselves every year, that idea should only pertain to our birthday and not any other. Christmas is a day for giving. It’s a time to think of others rather than us. And really, the idea of giving should not just occupy that one day. That feeling of the “spirit of Christmas” should be present in us every day.

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