Lots of people I know have birthdays on and around Christmas. That must be tough, especially when you’re a kid.
My dad was born on Christmas Eve in a Kansas farmhouse with no electricity or running water, in brutal weather. His mother was 40, pretty old to be having a baby in 1917.
My mother once commented about how sorry she felt for my dad's mother. It must have been really hard, she said, going into labor and giving birth in the dead of winter, just as everyone was preparing for Christmas Day. Not that the event would do much or could change their routine very much, holiday or not.
They might have done some extra baking for Christmas, or might have cooked a special dinner on their wood stove. Since they had a pump organ, they probably sang some songs. My dad told me once he used to get fruit and nuts for Christmas. When he was schoolage, his dad would make little toys for the kids, or his mom would make them clothes.
I imagine a neighbor helped her with childbirth, or maybe her husband, since he delivered plenty of cows and horses on the farm. There were five other children under the age of 11 in the house, making seven mouths to feed plus a newborn. They had already lost one child to infection.
My dad wasn’t a complainer, but he did tell me once that it wasn’t much fun having a birthday on Christmas Eve because people forgot, or didn’t want to send two gifts, or just assumed he would be swept up in the excitement of the holiday, and that would be enough. Of course, it wasn’t. We always got him presents for both holidays, although we probably would have gotten him a nicer birthday gift if we had celebrated it on July 24, instead of in December.
So, if you have friends or family with Christmas season birthdays, please don’t forget them. Find a way to let them know they’re just as important to you at Christmastime as they would be on any other day of the year.
Here's Last Month of the Year, one my favorites sung by more of my favorites, The Blind Boys of Alabama.