It was my wonderful Nan’s birthday last week. We had a lovely family day with presents, a massive meal and an overly large cake and it is days like today that remind me why I love birthdays.
When I say that I love birthdays, I mean that I like other people’s birthdays. I am not overly fussed about my own, but I just love giving presents to someone else.
When considering what to buy someone, you first get that horrible knot of dread from thinking about what you could possibly buy them and how well you know them. All of the generic ideas flow through your brain: flowers, chocolate, perfume. Then all of the ideas that you automatically relate to with that person arrive: you know they’d like that, but is that because they have it already? And then, the real ideas start coming. The things that you just know that they would love and the things that you realise you can give them that don’t need wrapping but are special anyway.
I just adore the excitement of wrapping something. I am terrible at it and have not attempted to wrap neatly in a long time, but I am, however, the idiot in any friendship group who likes to play pass the parcel, sticking glitter between the layers and covering carpets with sparkly debris.
Finally, there is that wonderful moment where they open the present. If they don’t hate it: success! There’s a brief moment where, if you pay close attention, you’ll see them recognise that you care about them. There is just a second where they realise how well you know them and that, for me, is what birthdays are all about.
They are about reminding a person that they matter to someone; that they are loved and cared for; that people listen to them and respect them. I love that.