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Why Being Born on Christmas Day Sucks

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It's a truth universally acknowledged that birthdays tend to become increasingly rubbish as you get older. But for some of us rather particular Capricorns, they've been pretty pants since we were first propelled, yelling and complaining, out into the world.

Yes, I am one of those unfortunate few along with the likes of Sir Isaac Newton, Annie Lennox and Quentin Crisp who were born on Christmas Day - at 10am, to be precise. And I possibly haven't stopped moaning about it since.

For while one's parents will never forget the date because your emergence probably ruined their Christmas dinner, the date is totally overshadowed by the celebrations for that Little Baby Cheeses dude's birthday. And what's worse, scientists reckon he wasn't even born then anyway - the latest theories see him being sprung from his virgin mother's womb on 17 April 7 BC.

Still, at least I escaped being named Holly, Carol or Noelle, as my well-meaning granny seriously suggested...

Nevertheless, the first reaction on telling anyone your birthday is on Christmas Day is akin to revealing that you've got terminal cancer - cue Princess Diana-style sad eyes and outpourings of "oh, it must be SO awful for you."

Well actually, as I always reply, I'm not really sure as I don't know any different. What I do get fed up with is that with everyone's energies consumed by the ferociously busy run-up to the festive season, even when friends or family DO remember it's your 'special' time of the year, they don't even have time to buy you a separate card, let alone a present.

For me, the festive, glitter-strewn cards that come with a 'oh yeah, and happy birthday too' scrawled across the bottom are a Hallmark-sanctioned slap in the chops.

"But don't you get two lots of presents?" is usually the second thing that people say.

Well, yes, when I was younger - and I actually had more living relatives than I can count on one hand - it was a bonanza of birthdayness, with pillowcases and stockings stuffed full with a dizzying array of both Christmas and anniversary-related offerings.

The downside of this however, was getting all your gifts for the whole year in one fell swoop.

There was one Birthmas in the Eighties were I got THREE clocks. One was a baseball alarm clock that you threw at the wall to turn it off, one a garish confection of primary colours a la Habitat and one a dreadful airbrushed picture of my adored Marilyn Monroe with the two clockhands sticking out of her face.

There is not a teen in the world who would be thrilled at receiving three clocks. But then again, in hindsight, it was perhaps better than getting just the one generic Birthmas present, wrapped in tinsel, which is my lot these days.

Oh, I know it's not about receiving and should be all about giving and it's not just about me and I should get some chuffing perspective and whatnot and truly, going back to my childhood home and spoiling my mum on Christmas Day is one of my favourite things to do and one of my totally cherished times of the year. I'm not being a complete Grinch, because I do absolutely love Christmas. This year, I even put up fairylights in my flat - stick THAT up your homemade table decorations, Kirstie Allsopp. Since my dad died on 27 December 10 years ago (he and mum had been married for almost 40 years when he passed away), it's a poignant time of year for me and mum and I go all out to make Yuletide special for her.

But I'd just rather not have been born on 25 December. And don't even get me started on trying to get friends together to celebrate my going through another 'Week-to-View' diary. I always try and organise a party for the week before and give more than a few weeks' notice, but I might as well be herding cats due to the plethora of office parties and other festive fandangos (and that's before you factor in the snowmageddons of the past two years.)

Note to self too: Don't bother sending Facebook invites anymore either, as they now appear to be universally drowned in a tsunami of bobbins event invites from the likes of cocking ukulele carol karaoke or Seasonal Secret Sodding Cinema from people you've never even shared a chatroom with.

"Why don't you have two birthdays then, and have an official one in the summer, like the Queen?" is the third thing people usually come out with.

Well, I'm not the Queen, I wasn't born in the summer, and I am allergic to forced jollity. Which thinking about it, is probably an upside to the whole thing, being allowed to sweep the passing of years under the carpet and concentrate on pulling crackers instead.

And there are other upsides to having a Christmas birthday too. Only we can sing along to the song below - on our own, natch, after our folks have fallen asleep after a surfeit of stuffing during dinner and we're bored of watching Noel's Christmas Presents on our tod yet-a-bleedin'-gain because none of our friends can come round as they're all with their own family or in-laws else risk a seasonal disowning.

But think of me and my kind on Christmas Day as you tuck into your pudding - after all, it's the only kind of birthday cake we ever get.


Saint Etienne featuring Tim Burgess I Was Born On Christmas Day

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