Happy Birthday!

How many have you had?!

It is interesting how the marking of your  birthday –  that special day each year in which your arrival on earth is celebrated  – changes through life.  Many of us may never have had any celebration of birthday whatsoever as children. The arrival of Hallmark and the ready availability of special cards to mark the occasion may mean that many of us now do find that our birthday is  acknowledged by others.  The arrival of a birthday card gives great pleasure.

As we grow older, we do for sure  notice the cards that are no longer received  – from parents, relatives and friends who are no longer with us. But do birthdays matter less to us now than they did long years ago? It seems that they DO matter very much, and a birthday card received a day late, a gift received well after THE  day can be a disappointment to many.

A group of  people of various ages contributed accounts of their  birthday experiences in 1990 and again in 2002 to a researcher. By comparing their accounts it was possible to see how their feelings about ageing and celebrating their special day altered. It seems that having a birthday remembered is important to a child of any age.

You can read this research here.

References:  Bytheway, Bill (2009). Writing about age, birthdays and the passage of time. Ageing and Society,29(6), pp. 883–901.

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2 Comments

Filed under Birthdays, Loneliness, Older Generation

2 responses to “Happy Birthday!

  1. patrick kelly

    about your feature on birthdays , Man and Dad[ r.i.p.] got married on oct 10th 1942 [ shotgun], and I arrived 17 march 1943, as mam had told that I was premature and born on march 1943,as she was so ashamed of having to get married , i was a war baby , i only found out my true birthdate when i had to produce my birth cert. when i started work aged 14, so now i celebrate my true d.o.b. by telling my self that the day off work , and the parades are for me , it makes me feel special , i was a very lucky man and boy as i had two loving parents .so enjoy paddy’s day ,my special day. Pat. Kelly .

    • Hi Patrick. What an interesting and I am sure very common story. Your parents were brave to go ahead with the marriage to give you a good life. In those days society was not kind to unmarried mothers and many unfortunately had to give up their babies. I hope that every March you get lots of birthday cards to celebrate YOU . Thanks for the comment – much appreciated! Angela

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