I’ll tell you what’s great about December – the streets being decorated with twinkly lights that make everything feel a bit magical for a few weeks. Putting the heating on (as a treat, and only after putting on an extra jumper and grabbing a blanket, I'm not made of money) and curling up on the sofa with a tub of chocolates watching a Christmas film. Being able to justify almost everything with the simple four words ' 'fuck it, it's Christmas!' Another drink? Fuck it, it's Christmas! A third night in a row eating a tea comprised of entirely mini party foods? Fuck it, it's Christmas! Shagging Gerald from Accounts? Fuck it, it's Christmas! Excitedly buying, or making, carefully thought out presents for your loved ones that you can't wait to see them unwrap. A wide selection of cheeses being available ... December is truly a wonderful month.
But I’ll tell you what’s shit about December – when you're born at any point within it and people assume this is a free pass to ignore the monumental and important yearly celebration of your arrival into the world, and that it's entirely justifiable to merge any form of celebration with Christmas, making it a combined event. NO. Christmas, please stop stealing our birthdays from us, I beg you!
This is my plea for you to give all the December babies in your life the love and attention they deserve on their birthday.
My birthday is exactly 3 weeks before Christmas. I was due on News Year Day, but I thought 'fuck that, I'm not missing out on Christmas this looks class' and demanded an early and dramatic arrival so I could score for some presents (ironically the only thing I have ever been early for is my birth, and that seemed excessive enough that I've insisted on being late for absolutely everything ever since.). Arguably, I think I would have hated being born on New Years Day more - upside, can pretend the fireworks are just for you, downside waking up with a monster hangover on your birthday every year, and having to compete with amazing New Years parties to get people to celebrate your 18th in a social club- but December birthdays are forever at risk of being lost in the shadow of Christmas and I am here to speak out on our behalf.
First up is the 'combined present.' For those of you blessed enough to be born in the summer, you may be furrowing your brow in confusion. Combined present? What is that? Well, it's when instead of receiving a birthday and Christmas present, as it's the time of year when everyone's a bit skint and money is tight, you're given one all encompassing present. Oh, but surely it's maybe a slightly nicer present than you'd usually get for your birthday to compensate for the fact it's doubling as a multi occasion present? No!! Usually, the combined present is essentially what you were going to get for Christmas, but with a hastily scrawled '& Happy Birthday too!' on the festive gift tag. Multiple times growing up, friends would tell me my birthday present was in the house, telling me this on a daily basis til Christmas crept closer when suddenly my present would appear and I'd be told 'oh, that might as well be for Christmas as well!' Let's face it, it was my Christmas present all along but you tried to fob me off for as long as possible into believing a separate birthday present existed rather than just be honest ... TIS THE SEASON OF THE THREE WISE MEN BUT I AM A WISE WOMAN, I KNOW YOUR GAME.
Oh how I envy those born in June. Yes you were some of the last ones to get your ID and be able to go out in town without fearing being the one friend denied entry, but you've reaped the rewards in later life by having very practically spaced apart celebrations. I've waited 12 long months for any form of celebration and now not only do I have to share the glory with Christmas, but some people want to write off your birthday altogether for it. Happy Birthday?! I’d have a happier birthday if Baby Jesus and the Eastenders Christmas Special stopped taking the bloody shine off my day! I get that money is tight OF COURSE, I’m a comedian after all, money is always tight, but I still have to buy Auntie Julie and all my other summer baby friends a birthday AND a Christmas present. I may start presenting my friends born round Easter with an egg for their birthday and telling them to make it last cause it's for Christmas too.
I also cherish receiving a birthday present ... that is wrapped in birthday paper. Oh, to see a beautiful gift wrapped in balloon printed paper, maybe some dainty polka dots, even the words PRICK emblazoned across it in what I assume is a novelty insult but is definitely rooted in some mild hatred of me. For the love of fuck, if you know someone who has a birthday in December ... don't wrap their present in Christmas paper. Rudolph, you're adorable and I appreciate all you've gone through being the outsider of your friendship group being ostracized from reindeer games such as Monopoly, but please can you fuck off for one day and let me receive some pure, unfestive attention for 24 little hours. PS if you stick a candle in a mince pie and try palm it off as my birthday cake, I will also drop kick you in the throat.
Another thing December babes will be all too familiar with; getting the shit bonus third present from the 3 for 2 that nobody actually wants to buy but they grab ‘because they need something to make up the offer.’ I love me some miniature deodorants or a pair of socks that for some reason are tucked into a novelty mug. OR SOME LIP BALMS IN A TIN, my god I received so many lip balms in a tin that it ensured my lips have forever been moister than your Nan at the Chippendales. AND SPEAKING OF THE 3 FOR 2, why does 1 of the things always have to be shit?? The aforementioned three wise men utilised the 3 for 2 to bring gold, myrrh and frankincense, all pretty decent efforts, yet this has filtered down to the modern day 3 for 2 phenomenon of picking two decent to half decent gifts, giving up looking for a third and settling for ... LIP BALMS IN A TIN.
Don’t even get me started on trying to organise a party – NO I WILL NOT DOUBLE MY BIRTHDAY NIGHT OUT WITH THE OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY because I don’t want to celebrate venturing another year further into adulthood dressed as a Sexy Elf. When I was at uni, my birthday hit at the same time as winter exam season (lol I say exams, I did drama, rolling round the floor to prove you can be a sea urchin hardly seems worthy of being classed as an exam) so convincing people to come get shitfaced with you when there's a test that actually counts towards your degree at 9am is A Struggle. Then you reach adulthood and again, everyone is skint, there's Christmas drinks, parties and family commitments left, right and centre and you're half tempted to put together a full blown Powerpoint Presentation on why people should join you for just one drink. Slide 1 - use the money you've saved on getting me a combined present to come out and grab a pint...
Of course I'm kidding. I love my December birthday really. There's a feel good mood in the air, I'm a sucker for fairy lights and ever since I was a kid the Christmas tree always went up on December 1st so it would be up for my birthday. Even 20 odd years on, walking into my mam's house and seeing that tree up on December 1st still makes me feel a giddy little sense of glee - it's nearly my birthday! And then it's nearly Christmas! There's tiny foods a plenty, my burps taste of Baileys and everybody is drunk, what a month to be born!
I've always seen my birthday as a steppy stone to Christmas, and I love when people take the time to not leapfrog over it straight to December 25th, trying to make it special in a month when I know it's too cold to be outside for long, money's tight and there's a million other things to be doing. Cheers pals (and strangers of the Internet)
Happy Birthday Month, fellow December babies! May we all get the cheese and attention we deserve.
Remember - at least we're not born in January.
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