The merry birthday, happy Christmas tragedy

Taylor Kenyon, staff writer

Every year as millions of children unwrap their beloved Christmas presents, few encounter themselves with the dreaded “double present.” You know, the one with the Happy Birthday tissue paper in a Christmas bag and a card that reads “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Birthday” in the same sentence. I am one of the few who have been cheated every year for the past 16 years straight, solely because my birthday lies on December 31st.

My most vivid memory of the double present left my sixth grade self on the verge of freezing my tears into ice chunks and throwing them at strangers. It was a double present, but the large bag filled me with the hope that there could possibly be two presents in that bag instead of just one. As I yanked back tissue paper all my rising hopes took a nose dive to the floor as I stared at the box encasing one 10 inch, stand up, hot pink Barbie clock complete with a rotating carousel of tiny pink hearts. The Barbie clock, my nightmare of a present, still sits on the top shelf deep in a storage closet with its unbroken factory seal.

How I envy those with a birthday that falls in one of the other 51 weeks that make up the year, one of the weeks that doesn’t fall within seven days of Christmas. They surely get their fair share of holiday joy and birthday happiness every year, instead of a blend of the two, which makes for a less than exciting sight. They have the privilege of opening both a Christmas present and a birthday present, whereas I only open one.

Birthdays and parties go hand in hand for most people; however, I have had exactly one birthday party on my actual birth day. Precisely three people attended this party, as many of my other friends had holiday plans with family. The true struggle of planning a birthday party always came when I had to choose the date of my party. Most possible choices occurred far too close to Christmas, meaning many of my friends would be obliged to visit their families over celebrating my birthday.

Each year as the Christmas season approaches my mind fills with wishes, as do the minds of many children. However, my wish isn’t a Christmas wish, it’s a birthday wish.