(A stunning arrangement created and delivered in person by my friend Laura A.for my birthday and a card from my division. Polka dots! A pink rose! Perfect!)
That being said, having a December birthday is sometimes kind of hard on the schedule. I've gotten like 8 posts out of this Christmas, and I'm not even telling the whole story. It's a crazy, busy, fun, wonderful time.
Sometimes, though, having a birthday in December works out great. People are in a festive mood and a birthday party sounds like it will add to the fun. A December birthday even works its way into the holiday classic, "Sleigh Ride" ("There's a birthday party at the home of Farmer Gray/It'll be the perfect ending to the perfect day.")
While I'm quite sure that no one has ever pulled up in a sleigh to my parties, there have been some epic ones anyway. Like when I was turning 13 and invited the whole entire 8th grade to my joint birthday party with my friend Heather. Then there was the time when I was 16 and had a nice sit-down dinner (lasagna), when I was allowed to have birthday parties again, after my 13-year-old "friends" partially destroyed my dad's stamp collection. When I was 17, we had everyone over for BBQ. At 19, I borrowed the AFWC Headquarters and had a tea party: my big gifts were Beanie Babies, which were all the rage at the time, but I was very broke and I sold them to collectors.When I turned 21, I went to some bars in Buckhead, but most of my friends had left Atlanta and it was actually kind of a quiet night. On my 30th birthday, we hired a local rock band and my parents (who were pretty excited about becoming grandparents soon and may have lost their minds) had an open house at the antique shop/coffee shop next door with tons of food and tons of people. The next year we had a "31 flavors" party where everyone brought ice cream, and mostly played with the baby.
Ben, however, also has a December birthday. He prefers to keep things on the less-epic side. We went to dinner at the Shrimp Basket, which is a chain but is pretty good and close to home. Now that he's on the early shift, he has to be in bed very early so we don't go out much, especially on week nights. It was a real treat; it reminds me of being at the beach. We got him a Virtual Reality "Viewmaster" which can take you all kinds of places. We also got Season 3 of Hannibal on Blu-Ray, since it was released that day. Finally, we got the big gift: a larger monitor for the office at home. I didn't quite get the one he wanted, but the one he got in exchange is really pretty and is now mounted on the wall, giving a little more space.
My birthday party was also low-key, but it took a lot more planning. We found out that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would be released on December 18, which is my birthday. I started thinking that was a sign that my birthday party needed to be at the movie theater. First of all, many of my friends would be there already, and I didn't want them to have to choose between me and the most anticipated film of our generation. Plus, the original, very first Star Wars movie (A New Hope) was released in 1977, the year I was born. That was the last movie that my parents saw in a theater for thirteen years, as they had 4 kids in quick succession and also got cable and a VCR. Finally, we had recently seen all 6 Star Wars films in preparation for this release, so we were looking forward to it, also.
(We've gone a little Star Wars crazy. Here's a puzzle that Granny sent and AJ and Ben did.)
The Edge theater near our house is unlike other theaters in our area in that it does not have a party room, per se. They do just set up tables and let you have parties, though. So we invited some friends and got a cake from Publix.
(AJ playing Guitar Hero with Avery and Guthrie)
(Archie and Christina are also UAB fans as well as Star Wars fans. Their matching outfits were fantastic.)
The movie was as good as we had hoped. We had more fun than we anticipated.
And Ruth Kennedy composed this fantastic image.
As for gifts, well, I asked for "no gifts" from my friends, but Ben got me an amazing gift: a heated mattress pad with dual controls. It was already on our bed when I got home, and I thought that my gift was just that Ben had changed the sheets. We love it. It has come in handy now that the weather is cold and we are not feeling our best. It is even better when one of us is freezing and the other is sweating.
There were also flowers that Ben hand-delivered to my office. This photo was taken several days later. They were even more beautiful prior to this.
Overall, I am pleased with our celebrations of being 37 and 38. It's going to be a good year. May The Force be with us all.