The Day I Standardized Birthdays
Does the coming and going of a birthday leave you feeling washed out? Drained? The relentless pursuit of perfection on a day that has to be nothing but perfect, the expectation that the universe will bow to your desire to fill a 24 hour day with only the most perfect moments, the food that will be served to you in a restaurant will be nothing less than the food served to kings and the kids will behave and sit like angels with smiling faces throughout the day. They will be perfect examples of obedience, will not throw a single tantrum and you will float in a cloud of happiness with a light heart till it's the midnight hour and the clock strikes 12.
This is too much pressure!!!!!
So I decided to standardize birthdays, consciously recognizing the fact that was unfortunately submerged in my sub conscious, that there are too many factors out of your control and there's nothing perfect in the universe.
So this is our new set of rules for Birthdays.
Each family member must have respect for another's birthday.
It is the responsibility of each one to show up for cake cutting and gift giving (which will be at pre-decided times) in decent shape, meaning reasonably good attire.
Each family member must commit to have a smiling face and not have an attack of the grouchies and the grumpies.
No one will lose tempers or throw tantrums. There will be repercussions for those behaviors on the next day.
There will be a surprise gift on the dining table for the birthday person in the morning. There will be cake cutting in the evening.
Other frills and thrills are optional.
There will be a candle of gratitude lit up whenever possible during the day. (Can't get too standardized here. What if we're not home?)
No new untried restaurants will be tried out on a birthday. We will go with the tried and tested if eating out.
A Birthday is a time to feel happy and grateful together. It is not a time to be fancy. It is a time to celebrate each person, make sure that person and everyone around him are smiling ( not just superficially)
It is a time to give Thanks
It is not a day to have wild expectations and be disappointed.
Also, it is not the only day in the year when you will behave well and make a big deal out of everything, shout happy birthday with an assumed attitude or try to wake up the poor person at midnight and then carry on with your selfish ways for the rest of the year.
That is NOT genuine.