We all have holiday birthday problems.
We don’t share the exact date. Theirs is December 28, while mine is December 27. And let’s be honest, I’m a few decades too old to even share a birth millennium with five-year-olds. However, we do share the experience of being born in that week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, which I fondly refer to as the place where birthdays go to die.
What does this mean? Well, we’ve all three probably gotten at least one birthday present wrapped in Santa Claus or snowman paper. I’m guessing they’ll never — like I didn’t — get to participate in that time-honored tradition of bringing cupcakes to school on their birthday, because guess what? No school! Everyone has gone over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house, knee-deep in their own presents and families. And your little birthday? Not exactly on the radar.
At least I can get “Happy birthday” messages on Facebook. Sorry, kids.
Charlie and Dolly go one more step past my experience in December birthday suffering. These kids might actually have it just a little worse than I did, on the scale of not-so-horrible-but-still-somehow-legitimate childhood issues:
They have never had a birthday party.
It’s just been too busy to get a party started, Romijn told People, what with all of the Christmas celebrating. And these little girls apparently have holiday gift ennui, of all things.
“We can’t even get them to open presents on their birthday. They’re like, We’re still sick of presents from Christmas,’” she said.
Number one? They are stronger little women than I ever was if they’re saying, “No, no more presents, please. I couldn’t possibly.” And number two, I want to see what Dolly and Charlie get for Christmas. It must be some haul. I was never too over it to open more presents. (Truth? I’m still not.)
This is the year it all changes, though. Romijn and O’Connell are calling it.
“I think it’s time they finally get a birthday party for once,” she said. The girls have more friends to celebrate with now, and besides, they’re apparently wondering if they have a birthday at all.
“But their birthday gets lost. So, they’re like, Do we have a birthday?’ Because they go to all these birthday parties for everybody else, so I think we owe them a birthday party,” their mama says.
“Do we have a birthday?” How sad! This late-December, Christmas-celebrating, grown-up five-year-old feels them — completely.
I have to admit, however, that even in the midst of Christmas craziness, I never lacked for a party. My mom went nuts for my birthday from the very first one and counting. I think she still gets more excited about mine than I do, and let’s just say I’m many, many years past five years old. It was important to her that my day was recognized apart from the red and green, tinsel-clad fray, so for years I not only had a specific little kid party with whomever was in town and able to show up, but we also had a birthday gathering at our house on December 27. My family is not one to shy away from a party of any kind, so I remember those as some good times. They still say Christmas to me, though, mostly. That was the overwhelming vibe in our house, like many in December. I still knew, though, that it was an important day for me, mostly because my parents made it so, and that was cool of them. They worked and had so many responsibilities, so it’s just one of many daily gestures that I remember and especially appreciate from childhood.
All kidding aside, it’s not about the presents, really, although if pressed I’ll say bring those on, sure, because I’m really no hero. It’s about celebrating your presence on the planet with the people who care about you. It doesn’t have to be a huge party, and I totally understand being too worn out from holiday stress and running around to plan or participate in yet another celebration. As I’ve gotten older, my December birthday is the perfect day to step back, hang out with a few friends — and yes, my mom is one of them — have a nice dinner, and think calm thoughts about my own personal new year that just happens to fall a few days before the planet’s. I’m sure Romijn and O’Connell’s girls have plenty, want for nothing, as I did not, and will carve out their own way of recognizing their entrance to the world. The cool thing with twins is they have a built-in party buddy, no matter what they do.
O’Connell says that a trampoline house is on the list of possible party spots for Dolly and Charlie, “where they can jump up and down, lose their minds, get tired and hopefully go to sleep early.” Party on, Charlie. Party on, Dolly. Happy birthday!
Another piece of unsolicited advice for Rebecca and Jerry? Work the half-birthday angle. My mom is pretty smart, and, like I said, loves my birthday. Every June 27, in case I didn’t already know that she thought I was special, we celebrated the halfway point in my year with a special shopping trip and had lunch. Some of my best memories are of picking up something small at Bloomingdales — the only day we ever went there, that I can recall — and eating in a nicer-than-usual restaurant. A boyfriend threw a half-birthday party for me one year, too, and although he’s long gone, that’s still one of the sweetest memories I’ve got, even if he was making up for handing me a combined Christmas/birthday present in our first year of dating.
Note to Charlie and Dolly’s future significant others: don’t do it. Just don’t. Two cards, even, and you’re off to a good start. Two cards, no tinsel. Done.
Image credit: Pacific Coast News