December Club
Monday December 15th 2008, 6:06 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

It seemed a really good idea at the time.

Okay, back up.  Around here, we December babies at church have a December club: anybody who’s ever gotten, say, one earring for their birthday (*note to my little sister: I am SO looking at you) with a note saying wait till Christmas for the other half of their presentbirthday balloons and laughing mirror understands why we old friends get together once a year.  Not to mention that it’s an excuse for a no-stress-all-fun party.  Anybody born in the 12th month who can get there is welcome to come, young or old.  We each unwrap a present we bought ourselves as we explain why we got that thing, sing “Happy birthday to us,” and have a potluck brunch and a grand good time.

In talking about why we got what we got, we get to open up about ourselves in ways the rest might not otherwise come to know.  Although.  Mike, if you ever get something that *isn’t* model-train-related, or Orville, that’s photography-related, we’re all going to keel over in surprise.  And if I get something that isn’t knitting-related, for that matter, the rest of them will.

So many stories out of those parties…  Conway asking a new member of the group, trying to make conversation, how many children she had.  I thought, Oh, Conway, don’t!…while her face clouded over and she stammered, “We got a…late..start…” Poor man, he had no idea.

Turns out she was about three weeks along with her miracle of a baby boy and had no idea yet. That innocent conversation had let us in to see her pain, making the shared joy later all the more intense.

And there was Virginia, the matron of the group, gone now.  She always had something funny.  A pig cookie jar with a sensor that oinked loudly when you opened and reached into it–I ran out and got one right after the party: I had young children, I could hear that thing across several rooms, hey, it made a great Mom alarm!

Somehow my children didn’t love it quite as much as I did.

One year Virginia got herself a mirror.  It wasn’t terribly big, and we were thinking, okay, a bit big for purse sized, but whatever.  She took it out of its wrappings very carefully, not letting us see the box, sliding it out against herself–that was odd.

Then she held it up.

And the canned laughter began. It had a light sensor in the back so that as soon as you lifted it up it set off the ha ha ha hee hee hee ho ho hooo in an endless loop till you put its back down flat.

My dad has a wonderful sense of humor.  I knew he would love it.  There was still time before Christmas, and again, I ran out to copy Virginia.  (I got my husband one too, which is why I could photograph it; it’s got to be ten years old by now and it still works.)

I didn’t want Dad’s mirror to break en route.  So I filled a plastic grocery bag with styrofoam peanuts and put it at the center and put the bag at the center of a box I was shipping to my folks.

Mom and Dad got it and thought, oh what a cool way to package things!  You don’t get obnoxious styrofoam bits all over the place when you try to pull the presents out of the box!  Dad carefully took that bag out and set it aside to re-use to pack his brother’s presents.

Come Christmas Day, I called my folks, dying to hear their reaction to it, and they said nothing. I finally said, Dad–did you like your mirror?

What mirror?

And then, Uh oh…  Um…  Let me call you back!

He went looking and found that bag still there where he’d been packing things up, somehow it hadn’t made it into my uncle’s box after all.  No surprises by then as he unwrapped it, but hey.

They held a dinner party not long after, and Dad quietly placed that mirror on a shelf a bit to the side to see who it would catch and whether they’d warn the next guy.

And boy, did it.  Good thing his friends have a sense of humor.   Yeah, I confess. I put him up to it.  But then, he could have bagged it.


*Ed. note: She was 11 at the time; I was turning 13.  I’ve forgiven her. Honest.  But I still get to tweak her–sisters’ rights and all that.

16 Comments so far
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oh pix of mirror please

Comment by rho1640 12.15.08 @ 9:00 pm

well shoot now i see it lol can only blame it on pain meds

Comment by rho1640 12.15.08 @ 9:01 pm

How funny about the mirror!

My daughter’s b-day is today and her Tae Kwon Do class has tons of December birthdays! Her instructor and another kid’s were yesterday, so I baked cookies to take in.

Having a November birthday was bad enough for being too close to Christmas, so I’m always extra careful to separate the two. No combination birthday/Christmas presents here.

Comment by Alison 12.16.08 @ 6:41 am

What a great club! My sister and husband are both December babies, and I hate it for them. I used to give my sister a “half year” present in the summer, just because…

Love the mirror story.

Comment by Channon 12.16.08 @ 7:07 am

My sister-in-law does something for her daughter (dec 13) that I’m utterly going to do for Lucy (dec 16). She sets up a Molly tree along with the Christmas tree. It looks like an oversized feather boa, and Mel hangs pictures of Molly all over the tree like ornaments. Molly’s birthday presents go under the tree.

I love it. Just need to find a tree like that… 🙂

Comment by Kristine 12.16.08 @ 7:18 am

I love the pig cookie jar & mirror stories! Virginia must have been a hoot to be around. I bet your group misses her somethin’ awful. Thank you for sharing the stories and the picture. The mirror looks so normal out of the 😉

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 12.16.08 @ 7:25 am

You know how shops hold those “Christmas in July” sales, or used to? Your pals might want to consider a private “Unbirthday” party in June or July! My birthday is just before Halloween and I always felt it was enhanced by those festivities. Of course, that’s not a gift-giving occasion. And my cakes DID tend to be orange. Year after year. Still love carrot and pumpkin!

Comment by LynnM 12.16.08 @ 8:48 am

That sounds like a wonderful gathering of friends — good stories and laughs included! 🙂

Comment by Jocelyn 12.16.08 @ 8:50 am

That is a really neat way to celebrate December birthdays. We had 3 December b-days in my family.

A good sense of humor is a very important thing. It can raise you up in times of tragedy and sorrow, relax awkward situations and can help make a marriage happy. So glad that you have one.

Comment by sonya 12.16.08 @ 9:25 am

What fun. We have so many folks with August birthdays at our church that we have been known to have our own party, too. Good idea to bring our own presents…I might just steal it!

Comment by Ruth 12.16.08 @ 9:42 am

I have collected pigs for years and have, not one, but two, of those cookie jars. Do you need a replacement?

Comment by sherry in idaho 12.16.08 @ 11:09 am

Those must have been quite expensive earrings for you sister to give them to you one at a time….lol.

What a fun idea to celebrate monthly birthdays!

Comment by Joansie 12.16.08 @ 11:57 am

HAHA I’ll have to tell my niece about this December celebration, I’m sure she’ll want to join the club too (She’s Dec. 5th)

Comment by Alicia 12.16.08 @ 12:16 pm

Oh Happy December Birthday. I am the 20th and can relate to the Birthmas presents!

Comment by Lisa 12.17.08 @ 1:50 am

Those with a January 1st birthday know the feeling. With that you get the combined Christmas/birthday gifts, your birthday presents come wrapped in Christmas paper and are often placed under the Christmas tree, and in my case, I never once had a birthday party on my birthday. I have a sneaking suspicion that my parents were always hung over from the New Years Eve party the night before, but the story told to me was that January 1st was too busy a day for children to be going to a birthday party.

To add insult to injury all the other members of my family (both of my parents and all 3 brothers) had their birthdays within 10 days of in May. My father’s mother always sent me a birthday present in May so that I wouldn’t be left out.

There were two good things about the January birthday though; If I wanted a present that was more expensive than I might otherwise get for Christmas, I could always ask my parents to combine the two occasions. And if you know the jingle from the Sears store……”most everything you wanted but didn’t get for Christmas is on sale now at Sears”…..and there was usually some birthday money or gift certificates to be saved for that. >Wink<

Comment by Marlene 12.17.08 @ 1:40 pm

My birthday is Dec. 7. I remember getting birthday/Christmas presents wrapped in 2 layers of paper. BTW, I share this date with a best friend and a cousin.

Comment by Lorraine 12.21.08 @ 12:49 pm

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