The curse of the Christmas birthday

I am the unfortunate owner of a festive birthday. My special day sits in the first few days of January and is usually overcome by the rest of the country’s onset of the January blues. We’ve partied December away in the lead up to Christmas, consumed our body weight in food on the big day itself, had the short gap in which we snaffle up leftovers, and enjoyed the gradual stewing of alcohol in our systems over the New Year – and then there’s me. By the time my birthday swings around, everyone is feeling pretty rotund and in need of a diet.

I don’t help myself – I too, freely scoff on the endless food that makes Christmas what it is, while in order to save myself, perhaps I should be holding back for when that birthday cake arrives. But who has that kind of willpower?

Now, a lot of people might say – ‘two lots of presents, you can’t complain about that!’. True, true. While there are always those who go for the combination, luckily for me, being nine whole days after the big event I do get a look in. I know those poor souls who are well and truly hit with the one gift covers all bases practicality, and without sounding spoiled, it hurts.

With the extreme spending event Christmas has become for many in this age of consumerism, where we all have to have the most current gadgets and games, it’s no wonder that people are spent out by the end of the festive season. Then there is the feeling that the festivities really have been stretched on as far as they can go – everyone becomes slightly miserable and in need of a month of hibernation.

And that’s fair enough. But, unfortunately, that doesn’t excuse the fact that there is an overwhelming sense of your day being  swallowed up and forgotten about. My brother, sister and parents celebrate in May, July and September. Perfectly spread out. Delightful – until it comes to January.

And what is the best solution for this tragic issue? Obviously it’s completely dependent on your individual feelings – maybe you love your festive birthday, or decided years ago to celebrate in the summer when the sun shines and everyone is looking for an excuse to celebrate. Well, I’m pleased to say that I have found my solution. It won’t work for everyone, but it’s something I think a lot of people could get on board with. Last year, I discovered that people love a post-Christmas spa day. It’s the ideal way to start their New Year detox, while I sit in the corner of the sauna eating cake. The perfect compromise. So whether it’s a spa session or a trip to the cinema featuring buckets and buckets of (healthy) popcorn, be sure to make the most of your festive birthday and don’t be afraid to demand company in your final binge of the season.


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Lydia Lockyer