CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY ON HOGMANAY
WHEN I was younger I hated my birthday. In primary school, they gave a cake in class to whoever’s birthday it was, but I never got one because we were always off on New Year’s Eve. It upset me when my family would come round for New Year and everyone would cheer at midnight – I thought they were cheering that my birthday was over.
Now I really like it. Some people say they feel a sense of anti-climax after Christmas Day, but I don’t have that because I get to look forward to my birthday and plan my celebrations. I usually have lunch with my family and then have friends round for dinner and a party: people expect you to host a Hogmanay party when it’s your birthday. I get a bit awkward saying it is a birthday event and having all the focus on me, so I usually call it a New Year’s birthday.
As I got older, I realised the 31st was actually a great day to have a birthday: I got to stay up late, nobody was ever working, and everyone was up for having fun with me. I haven’t stayed in on my birthday night since I was 14. I guess I feel pressured to either go out or have a party.
One problem is that people often already have plans, especially since I’ve got into my twenties and my friends have started wanting to do things with their significant other. It’s hard to get everyone together who you really want to celebrate with you, as people often make New Year’s commitments far in advance. At the same time it means your birthday stretches out because you’ll see different people at different times if they are busy on the day itself. I usually end up having celebratory dinners, lunches and drinks spread across the festive season.
It’s a cheery time of year. Everyone is up for having a party and I appreciate that a lot more now I’m older. I also like to use my birthday as an opportunity to think about everything I’ve done that year. I look at it like New Year, new age, new me.
Presents can sometimes be disappointing – some people will get me one present to cover my birthday and Christmas. Or more often they’ll get me two little things, but generally smaller presents than what my siblings (who have summer birthdays) get. Having said that, my close family and friends always make an effort to keep them separate and celebrate the two events differently.