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.