Today is my birthday.

I remember birthdays gone by when well-intentioned friends and relatives would buy one present for “both your birthday and Christmas” but the birthday part was often just said in passing or added to the Christmas tag with a carat.

lego-crystal-explorer-subMy parents often bought me a Lego set for my birthday, which I loved. In fact, one year my brothers and sister and maybe even a sister-in-law by that time all pitched in and bought me a combined present I didn’t mind receiving: the Crystal Explorer Sub in the Lego Aquanaut series. Of all the sets I received, this one stayed intact the longest, before it was inevitably dismantled and its parts mixed in to the buckets upon buckets worth of Lego bricks I’d accumulated over the years. Looking at the picture, I can say that some of the parts were incorporated into a castle I built, so large I needed 4 green base plates, and other parts (the antennae) became lasers on a spaceship or two. Ah, childhood.

Now that I’m older, birthdays are more or less just another day, with a call from my mom at 7:15 in the morning thrown in. I look forward to that call.

So imagine my pleasant surprise when I found out my choir mate has the same birthday (day-wise at least, not year). Given our mutual feelings for being December babies, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to get each other a birthday present. This year she handed me a bag and said

You’ve got to use this on the last day of exams before Christmas!


It brought some joy and frivolity to a class just ready to be done with the semester. [In case you can’t see it, the hat is a “crying with laughter” emoji.]

Of course, every time I think I have it bad with a birthday on 22 Dec, I have to remember it could be worse:

One of my sisters-in-law has her birthday on 24 Dec., and I have a good friend whose birthday is on Christmas Day itself.

We December birthdays have to stick together . . .