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If you are reading this post today, it’s my birthday! I wish I could say while you are reading this that I was far away at some exotic location with warm sand between my toes. Two years ago, I actually spent my birthday in Aruba. It was amazing. We spent our days basking in the ocean, playing water sports, and sipping cool drinks at the pool bar. It was an unforgettable birthday experience that I would do all over again in a heartbeat.
This year though because of Zika, we decided to forgo the warm weather and are currently hunkering down as a polar vortex is about to hit us. The thought of leaving my house is unpleasant. It is a bitter cold here. I asked my wife if it was possible to delay (or extend) my birthday until the summer when it is much warmer. She only laughed.
I am actively planting the seeds that in lieu of birthday presents this year, we should allocate that money towards an Iceland trip in the next year. If you are a follower of this blog, you know my obsession with this place. I may be hyping it up too much, but either way, I am definitely going to see if we can earmark in the budget a trip to Iceland.
The Way I Celebrate
Most of the time, my birthdays are pretty low-key, although I do always request to be off on my birthday. Growing up, I always hated going to school on my birthday and that sentiment has carried over to the workplace.
I’m not sure if I am in the minority, but I usually don’t think start thinking about my birthday until about a week or two beforehand. But every year, I set up these amazing plans in my head like I’m going to have a Parks and Rec day where I treat myself.
My Grandiose Birthday Ideas
This year, since we decided against going to the Caribbean, I was thinking about all the fun things that I could do with my wife in DC. Initially, I pitched her the idea of spending the whole day in DC. We would first see the midnight showing of Rogue One. After we slept for a couple of hours, we would wake up and get down to DC by lunch time and do a pizza crawl to all the highest-rated pizza places across the city. From there, we would nerd out at all the museums and then cap off our night on the water in Georgetown indulging in some amazing food.
My Actual Plans
But then I stepped back into reality and remembered how neither of us enjoy staying up ultra late and with the temperatures dropping so low in our area, I’d rather be indoors than frolicking around the town by foot. Another factor that I am considering is my pregnant sister. Her little guy is due any day now, so I’m secretly hoping that he is born on my birthday. If I stick around home base, I’d be more available to see him in the hospital soon after he arrives.
So interestingly enough, I’ll actually have my Grandma over to celebrate her birthday, which is one day before mine. We’ll grab lunch and give her some birthday gifts while my son entertains us and hope that my sister’s baby is on his way.
In the evening, we will have my parents over and celebrate over some delicious New Mexican food, enjoy some sweet ice cream and then end the night with a rousing game of Exploding Kittens.
Childhood Birthday Parties
Growing up, I still remember most of my birthday parties. They pretty much revolved around some type of sport. Since I’m a December baby, most of the time we played football, which I always looked forward to. As you know, playing football is not exactly the most expensive party activity. However, I was curious to know what the average birthday party costs today. I was shocked to learn that it costs around $450, and that’s before parents spend an additional $250 on presents for their child.
For our son’s first birthday party, we definitely didn’t spend anywhere close to figure that this year. I think we may have spent a total of $20 on nautical theme decorations and then another $50 or so on food. Call us what you will, but we spent a whopping $5 on birthday presents for him. Birthday balloons for the win! He was thrilled; isn’t that the most important thing?
In regards to expensive birthdays, I still remember going to a friend’s Sweet 16 in high school. Her family did it up big at a local country club with a princess-themed birthday. They probably spent more money on their daughter’s sweet 16 than my wife and I did on our whole wedding. While I’m sure she remembers every moment, my memory of it was having to dress up in a suit that I hadn’t worn in a long time, so naturally it was too small and tight. I also remember eating a couple of hor d’oeuvres and being too afraid to dance with any of the girls. Can you tell I was a lady’s man in high school?
Anyways, as an introvert, I’ve never enjoyed being the center of attention. Which is probably why I don’t spend a lot of time and energy planning and following through with something outrageous. I definitely admire those who can pull them off though!
So with all that said, how do you celebrate your birthday? Do you budget your birthday every year and go wild, or do you keep it low-key? Share your thoughts below.