When McFeely, whose birthday is December 21, turned 9, his grandparents forgot his birthday. "No card, no gift, no cash. Nothing. My parents made me rewrite my Christmas thank-you note, which originally read, 'Thank you for the sweater. It was so nice, I almost forgot that you forgot my birthday, which is December 21.'"
Sagittarians tend to be a little touchy about their birthdays, especially when the come so close to Christmas. As McFeely points out, "Being the opening act for Jesus and Santa Claus is no easy gig. Nobody ever remembers an opening act, much less buys the CD. Even the opening act knows nobody's paying attention."
McFeely offers several tips (all of which I endorse wholeheartedly):
- Never, ever, under any circumstance wrap a birthday gift in Christmas paper. We know it's a crazy time of year, and your mind is on other things. We are just asking for the same wrapping paper you use for everyone else. Even children's wrapping paper, with teddy bears and tugboats, would be better than sleigh bells and holly. (The number one rule!)
- Call us on our birthdays. It means a lot to us that you haven't forgotten us in favor of Kris Kringle, Hanukkah and Ramadan. Even if you're not the call-on-the-birthday type, make an effort for the Child of December. Santa's shadow, as you might imagine, is very large, very dark and very, very cold.
- When you make that call, please be sure you have the right day. Maybe it's the thought that counts, but when my buddy consistently calls me on the wrong day, then explains that it's just so busy this time of year, ask me which thought counts just then.
- Throw us a half-birthday party in June. The perfect birthday gift for me as a child would have been tickets to a baseball game. But tickets in December are hard to come by. So June 21 would have made sense. Guess which day my first and only niece chose to enter the world? Yeah, you got it. But she's the best (half) birthday present I could have asked for. (I used to have pool parties in June and I am sure the same fate awaits my son)
- Try to mark the day somehow. We know enough not to throw a birthday party on Dec. 18. So take us to lunch during the week. Have a guy's night out in early December or just after the New Year. Just a little something.
- Don't give a Christmas-related gift. No Dallas Cowboys ornaments, no outdoor holiday light sets. No goofy sweaters with snowflakes, pine trees or Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer on the front. (This is okay with me, I'm also a Christmas lover)