I don't particularly care for my birthday. I don't have a rational explanation as to why, I suppose I simply do not enjoy the thought of empty well-wishes from near strangers. I have removed my birthday from Facebook so that I do not get those fake sentiments from others. Let's face it, of the 103 "friends" I have on Facebook (a mere pittance by social networking standards), I only speak to a handful on a semi-regular basis and I rarely comment on other people's status posts. That's just me.
So, when my birthday rolled around recently (I'm not revealing the date), only my family contacted me with well wishes. My husband and daughter treated me to dinner and Lego Pirates. I treated myself to Pirates 4, courtesy of my parents. My older brother called and my sister-in-law (brother's wife) sent me a text. That's it. That was enough. I know where I stand with them and I know who my "friends" are (not many, by the birthday rule, but then again, I'm an extreme introvert, so I'm not really hurt). It's something like the "It's a Wonderful Life" phenomenon. Just about everyone at one point in their life wonders if they have made an impact on others and if they will be missed or remembered. One way to do that is to simply not remind anyone of your birthday and see if you're important enough for them to remember when it rolls around. You only tell them your birthday once, then leave the rest up to them.
Do I remember other people's birthdays? Yes, I keep track of the important ones. I don't wish a Facebook "friend" Happy Birthday unless I mean it. This does not mean that I wish them harm, it just means that I take the definition of a relationship bond seriously and I don't want to demean it with an empty gesture.
The other reason to be grateful for birthdays is a reminder of another year of gifts and graces from God. They represent the beginning of another year in which to make your mark on this world, to do good for others, to learn and grow in your personal journey. Another year older truly is a celebration. Perhaps that is why I am particular about with whom I celebrate it.