My birthday is in two days. It’s one of those non-distinct years; I’m not turning 65 or 70 which seem to require larger celebrations. Sixty-seven is just another year. Don’t get me wrong. I’m THRILLED to be another year older and am looking forward to lots more non-distinct years. I’m certainly not in the mood for a party, however, and there’s nothing I need, so don’t rush out and buy me a bottle of wine or flowers. (I never tire of a dinner out at my favorite sushi restaurant though. lol)

Early birthdays

          When babies have their first and second birthdays it seems they’re either shocked and scared or delighted and joyful … especially after that first taste of butter cream frosting! Once the first birthday or two have occurred, the imprinting is complete and requests for specifics begin: chocolate cake with chocolate frosting or white cake with chocolate, etc. Some of the best birthday cakes have been created by my friend Cheri when, for years, she made these over-the-top sports-related cakes for her two sons. They were so pretty and perfect, I hated to see them cut into pieces.

One of Cheri’s great cakes..looks too good to eat
          After the twelfth birthday, get out your wallets for the teenage years. Forget the cake, teens want “stuff”… expensive stuff: electronics, clothes, perhaps a car, and lavish parties (only if the parents somehow disappear during it, however).

          For myself, as I moved into my 20’s and 30’s, the gift giving from my family became secondary to what boyfriends would get me. I was very materialistic and equated the magnitude of their gifts with the magnitude of their devotion to me. A gift could take on the lofty position of being the expressed symbol of their affection, and I took it very seriously.

Later birthdays

          During my 30’s and 40’s I was married and appreciated nice things for the home. Perhaps not as industrial as a new vacuum cleaner but something more sophisticated like a food torch to crystallize the sugar on top of my crème brulee (what a snob!). I appreciated nice dishware like Rosenthal and Wedgwood, and, thank goodness, I took care of it, so it has lasted me until today.

          From my 50’s to the present, if I am even slightly interested in a gift, it needs to be experiential. I don’t need stuff, I need time … time with friends and loved ones. I wish I had gotten the message that these family and friends are the true gifts of any occasion much sooner than I did. Oh, well, better late than never.

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