December birthday awareness


December babies Mr. Gangler and Ms. Barclay just don’t know what to do. (Photo Credit: Trinity Delacruz)

Trinity Delacruz, Copy Editor

Hanukkah. Christmas. Winter break. New Year’s. Without a doubt, December is one of the most wonderful times of the year. Pretty lights are everywhere, seasonal drinks take over the menus, and everyone is spreading holiday cheer through gifts.

However, I think it’s time to acknowledge the fact that the gift-giving season is not a universal experience.

As it turns out, those with December birthdays miss out on some of the fun.

For some strange reason, there is this prejudiced societal attitude towards December babies. People think that it’s okay to combine our Christmas gifts with our birthday gifts. No one gives this problem as much thought as it deserves.

(Now to preface, I won’t say that every single December birthday faces the exact same struggle. People with birthdays earlier in the month tend to encounter fewer problems. Maybe the bigger space between their birthdays and Christmas gives people’s wallets more time to recover?)

But for the rest of us… well…

As my dad with a birthday on Dec. 26 said, “Oh yeah. It sucks.”

People don’t realize that it’s typical for every other birthday month to receive separate birthday and Christmas gifts because of the larger time gap.

How do you think us December birthdays feel?

Let’s look at the hard evidence.

With a birthday falling on Dec. 14, our beloved English teacher, Ms. Barclay ’94, is a victim of December baby discrimination. She said, “I always had people coming to our house for the holidays saying happy birthday and Merry Christmas, but since it was past my birthday, they’d give me a gift that was both. I was always glad to get a gift, but I notice people were all too happy to double up on the gift. I took note of this and vowed to seek revenge one day.”

Ms. Barclay, as respectable and incredible as she is, is still not exempt from December discrimination, which speaks volumes.

Additionally, with a Dec. 15 birthday, Victor Arthurs pointed out: “This is my day, not Jesus’ (yet). People don’t understand that I want gifts on my birthday for MY birthday. Combining it with Christmas presents means you didn’t feel up to give me the gift when I deserved it.”

A fair point, considering that Dec. 15 and Dec. 25 do happen to be totally different.

Cheyenne Tovar, born on Dec. 18, talked about being forced to receive Christmas-themed gifts for her birthday: “A few friends of mine would often give me a Christmas gift item, such as pajamas or Christmas mugs, then attach a birthday card to it. As much as I appreciate what they did for me, I could never tell if they put much thought into it or if they just picked up the first thing they saw, since stores are obviously flooded with Christmas things around my birthday.”

Unwillingly, we are at the mercy of Christmas-themed retail.

The discrimination doesn’t stop at a lack of gifts. December baby Isabelle Vander Pol added, “It just annoys me when all my friends turn the next age before me, and they treat me like I’m a baby in some instances.”

Time is linear, not circular, everyone. Being born ‘late’ into the year is just a social construct. December babies are not babies.

Alas, such is the reality of the prejudice that we December birthdays have been forced to face.

I suppose that it would be unrealistic to not acknowledge some of the benefits of being born in December. We can’t forget that December is home to our wonderful Sagittarians and hard-working Capricorns.

Well-renowned Sagittarius math teacher, Mr. Gangler, shed light on December Sag* benefits: “I used to dislike my birthday being in December when I was a child. My birthday would often be celebrated on or near Christmas as a sort of joint event. It is also kind of a bummer when you’re a child and all of your gifts come around the same time…but then you grow up and realize it’s a pretty sweet life being a Sag. One benefit of being half-horse and half-man is mobility. I can move around pretty quickly due to the four legs. Also, I am constantly armed with a bow, which is important due to personal safety reasons.”

Beyond that, however, it’s time that we acknowledge our faults as a society. It’s time to give respect where it is due. (Respect is code for gifts.)

Let me remind you, we didn’t choose our birthdays. By mere chance, we came into existence during the holiday season. Now, we are forced to play this role in society, and no one is talking about it.

But don’t forget, it’s never too late for reform. It’s not too late to do the right thing and give a little sympathy for us December birthdays. It’s what Jesus would want.

Merry Christmas everyone! And happy birthday to our beloved December babies.

(If this article convinced you to change your ways, my birthday is coming up on Dec. 30, by the way.)

*abbreviation for Sagittarius; [pronounced saj]