A June Birthday

Here is a song to sing to everyone you know with a December birthday.

(To the tune of ‘White Christmas’)
I’m dreaming of a June birthday
One free from holiday excess
For friends don’t remember us poor Decembers
Or if they do, it’s under stress
I’m dreaming of a June birthday
One where of Christmas there’s no sign
There’ll be no self-pitying whine
When my birthday is once again all mine.

We’re good sports about sharing our big day with the onslaught of holidays.
Mostly.
We accept combined birthday and Christmas gifts gracefully.
And if they’re wrapped in Santa or dreidl paper, we understand that you’re busy.
We forego throwing a big birthday shindig because, frankly, we and everyone else are just a little sick of parties right about now.
We’re grateful for every little gesture you make in our direction — and we notice the weariness around your eyes with compassion.

My good friend D. was born on Christmas day.
One year her mother forgot her birthday.
D. may have been a little girl, but she could see why, given the distracting frenzy around the house.

Having a birthday the week before Christmas hasn’t been all bad.

For most of my early years, I thought all those twinkly lights on the houses were all about me.  The tree, too.

My heroic mom managed to make birthday cakes, wrap birthday gifts in birthday paper, throw parties, and generally celebrate the two of her three children that were born in December.  Not to mention her sister, several nieces, and a nephew as well.

The year I turned 40, two friends reorganized their entire holiday preparation to fit in a weekend of birthday celebration at their lake place.  I could hardly bear the attention.

When I turned 50, the Morning Star Singers (my volunteer hospice choir) threw me a surprise birthday party for the first time in my life.  Believe me, I was completely surprised.

Every year I go visit my mom on my birthday.  I bring her flowers and thank her for getting me here.  She tells me my birth story.  Every year hear a different nuance.

So I turn 52 this weekend.  I’ll be going to a caroling party, attending a solstice celebration, and having lunch with Mom.  I’ll be reveling in the darkest weekend of the year and honoring the gift of being alive in these perilous and beautiful times.

Happy birthday to all of you December babies.
I’m glad you were born.

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About Barbara McAfee

Barbara is a voice coach, singer/songwriter, keynote speaker, and author who merges lessons from 12 years in organization development with the transformational power of sound. Her book, Full Voice: The Art & Practice of Vocal Presence (Berrett-Koehler Publishers) was a #1 Amazon bestseller in Business Communication. The book is based on her 25 years as a voice coach, supporting people from many professions in learning how to access the full power and expression of the voice in service to their work and relationships. Barbara’s musical keynotes blend practical content, sophisticated humor, and thought-provoking questions on topics including voice, leadership, and engagement. She was “the band” for Margaret Wheatley’s Women’s Leadership Revival Tour, which visited 15 North American cities. She also appears with authors Parker Palmer and Peter Block. Barbara has produced seven CD's of mostly original music and is founder of the Morning Star Singers, a volunteer hospice choir in the Twin Cities. She lives across the street from the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
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