November 3, 2014
In my last post, I mentioned that the four most important people in my life were all born in October. Well, November is all about me — well, me and another little holiday known as Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday in November, which means the holiday falls between November 22nd and 28th. Due to the extra day on our calendars every fourth February, calculating the specific date on which Thanksgiving falls isn’t as simple as adding seven years. The last year Thanksgiving was on November 25th was 2010, and the next will be 2021. After some research, I figured out that my birthday has fallen on Thanksgiving six times in my life so far (including my first birthday), and if I live to be 83.40 years old, I will get to celebrate with the bird six more times before I die.
However, since I’m smack-dab in the middle of the Thanksgiving window anyway, those 71 other birthdays in my life have been and will likely be lumped together with the national holiday. Naturally, this special occasion comes with some perks — and a few drawbacks.
Depending on how you feel about your family, this can be a good or a bad thing. As a child, I didn’t have any choice in the matter, but being surrounded by my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents was a treat. Not only was it convenient — everyone was getting together anyway — but they always did a good job carving out time for Teri after carving the turkey.
I suspect as my own children grow and have families of their own, it will be the traditional family Thanksgiving that brings them home, and we can skip the whole it’s-my-birthday-why-didn’t-you-call guilt trip.
This is the part about the T-day b-day that I hated in college; Thanksgiving means family, and for college transplants, this usually means traveling home for the holiday. My friends would pack up and leave town — or I would — and then be “stuck” with those relatives I cherished as a child. There was one Thanksgiving Eve (a.k.a. Blackout Wednesday) birthday celebration in my twenties that resulted in my calling in “sick” to my southern Minnesota Thanksgiving; I still feel guilty.
You’ll never go hungry on a Thanksgiving birthday, and the biggest question for me is: cake or pumpkin pie? I usually have both — I mean, it’s my birthday.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will say that I’m thankful that my mother and grandmothers kept the dessert portion of the combined holidays separate and never subjected me to one of these. To all you cake-baking parents of Thanksgiving birthday babies, no kid wants to eat a dessert that looks like poultry. If you must go with an animal theme, stick with crowd favorites like dinosaurs or cute, furry mammals.
Free Days Off
If you’re in school or out of school and work an office job, the odds are in your favor that you’ll get to enjoy an extra-long weekend with your Thanksgiving birthday. Once the family celebrations are over, you’ll have plenty of time to celebrate you.
Because who doesn’t love a good parade?
What better way to spend that birthday cash than at Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales?
All in all, sharing your birthday with the bird isn’t that bad. So, to these and all the other Americans born at the end of November, Happy Birthday! Raise a glass and give thanks that your birthday isn’t exactly one month later.