Why are Birthdays Important?
by Susie E Caron (c) 1/30/16
Happy Birthday to Me!!!! That's what each of my family members sing for about a week prior to the actual date of their birthdays. This week it was my Birthday, and as I hummed the familiar tune, I got to thinking about how and why birthdays are so important.
I think everybody loves to celebrate their birthdays. But why? Every person born, didn't actually have anything to do with that event. Instead of giving gifts to whomever's birthday it is, why don't we give gifts to the parents and thank them profusely for going to the trouble of giving birth and providing a life for us?
Most parents are so excited and happy about their babies that when that first birthday rolls around they throw a big bash, and invite all their friends and relatives. We spend a lot of money to throw birthday parties and we spend a lot giving gifts to our kids on their birthdays. How did this practice begin?
Certainly long ago, infant mortality rates were so high that the first birthday must have come as a huge relief to parents. So of course they wanted to celebrate the milestone. Mortality rates for children continued to be high in places where families farmed, mined, worked timber and so on. So perhaps, each birthday was treated as another milestone and celebrated. Maybe parents celebrated while secretly thinking, "Whew, this child made it another year."
I checked on the web for something about the origins of birthdays hoping to assuage my curiosity and infuse this article with more 'cake.' I did find a little bit of history on an article by the Huffington Post, "This Is Why You Celebrate A Birthday Every Year." But it didn't answer my questions exactly.
What ever the reasons birthday celebrations began, (and people could argue about this forever) we do celebrate them, with our children, with each other and with our elders. It actually makes sense to celebrate lives well lived, of those we befriend, our parents, and others. It even makes sense to celebrate features about the lives of people we don't know. I enjoy a moment of heart felt celebration when Steve Hartman, a news reporter on CBS, interviews and presents characteristic of the lives of interesting people as he travels all over the USA . But why do we celebrate children's birthdays?
Some of the 'history' I found on the web wasn't very encouraging about the history of birthdays. Some bashed celebrating birthdays as coming out of 'pagan' traditions. Others linked Biblical birthday celebrations to simultaneous tragedies. (remember Job?). Even today we can find people who disdain birthdays, some for religious reasons, some because they believe it has caused kids to feel entitled. Whether they are true or not, these things certainly cannot explain our enthusiasm for giving children's birthday parties.
Perhaps we celebrate because birthdays are fun. It's fun to prepare favorite meals, bake cakes, wrap presents and play games. We enjoy them and we love watching our kid's faces light up. We celebrate even the tiniest baby's birthdays, right on up into their adulthood. We go to a lot of trouble for birthday fun, so could there be a bigger reason we celebrate birthdays? Maybe when we celebrate birthdays to celebrate LIFE.
I celebrate Life, every life, all lives, everyday. No one is an accident, or a mistake.
God didn't 'accidentally' drop your lump of clay and wonder,
"Now what in the world am I going to do with that?"
Nope you were born on purpose, with purpose and birthdays are good for celebrating that.
So here's my take on birthdays.
Birthdays remind me of a special gift of Life.
Because on one special birth-day, a baby named Jesus brought us a new life,
and the promise of living our lives with meaning and purpose,
and life everlasting, for those who believe.
That's why I celebrate birthdays and I that's why I continue to celebrate You.
Today is my birthday, and I'm happy I shared it with you.
Twee' means you and me
Celebrating birthdays and every day of our lives.
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!