Happy Historical Birthdays

Pancraz koerle birthday cakeThe Birthday Cake, Pancraz Koerle, 1875, private collection

Susan here. I had a birthday this weekend, lovely fun, with cake and candles, cards, and visits from family and friends – which got me thinking about birthdays through history, and what do we do differently, or the same, now? 

A birth would naturally be something to mark and remember in any historical culture, particularly where calendars were kept or some acknowledgement of days and seasons existed. And birthdays are a perfect complement to the study of astrology, which has its own very long history.

6a00d8341c84c753ef0263e96d6348200b
While it’s a solid guess that even the earliest cultures noted significant dates, and so perhaps births, possibly the earliest references to birthdays are in the Bible. In Genesis, an Egyptian pharaoh is said to have celebrated his birthday by “lifting up the heads” of a baker and a few others (let’s assume that meant he liked their cakes and elevated their status, or allowed them to look up in his presence, rather than lopping off heads and lifting them high).

King Herod famously celebrated his birthday by watching the daughter of Herodias, Herod’s wife—
identified as Salomé—dance for him. In return, he rewarded her (thereby giving a gift on his birthday) by asking her what she wanted; she replied “the head of John the Baptist.”

It’s unknown whether these early birthday references were specifically natal days, or the “birth” of the king or the pharaoh on their coronation day. That’s harder for historians to determine.  The ancient Persians, according to Herodotus, loved birthdays best of all holidays, and rich and poor celebrated with feasts piled high on their tables, the groaning boards of the wealthy piled higher than modest ones, but both apparently featured lots of meats.   

The Greeks celebrated birthdays by associating them with the goddess Artemis, celebrating her feast 6a00d8341c84c753ef026bde9ab795200con the same day each month, 12 times a year, with mooncakes, or small honeyed cakes, with a candle, as an offering to the goddess. Romans took note of birthdays with prayers and offerings to the gods, perhaps similar to Artemis and her mooncakes, as Roman writers note cakes of wheat and honey, along with cheese and wine—but only for guys. Roman women Ancient rome astrology mosaicdid not get much attention on their birthdays.   

Almost certainly, Roman astrologers were casting natal charts, particularly for significant families, along with horoscopes relevant to the plans of emperors and others in power. For instance, a second century Roman astrologer created a global map so that he could more accurately determine the relationship of the stars to a person’s specific birth place (and likely birth date and time as well). The emperor Augustus had an astrologer outline his claim to power, and Emperor Tiberius employed a court astrologer as well.

Over in China around the same time, the Chinese seem to Treatise_On_Calligraphyhave invented the first birthday cards — with their tradition of gifting little personal notes created with beautiful calligraphy and an ink sketch or two, wishing the birthday person good fortune and prosperity.

Astrology guy limbourg brothersAstrology developed in remarkable ways during the long medieval era, from Arabic court astrologers to medieval European astrologers, the latter sometimes regarded as a half-step above diviners and witches. Illuminated manuscripts often included astrological illustrations and astrological references alongside religious ones. A birthday, in medieval centuries, was less likely to be an actual birth date, and was more likely associated with a saint’s feast day, or a name day. If you were named for a saint, your own special day would be their feast day, not your birthday. If you were born on a holy day or holiday, you might be named for that day—and then you’d be lucky enough to celebrate your actual birthday on that day.

For instance, if you were born on the Feast of the Epiphany, you might be named Theophania (later Tiffany); born on Easter, you might be named Esther or Pascal; born on Christmas, you might be named Christina, Christian, Noel—or even Christmas. I once named a heroine Michaelmas and gave her the birthday of September 26, that feast day (her name fit an element of the story–Lady Miracle). If you had a name saint, whether major or minor, be it Mary, John, Ethelburga, Placidia and so on—your celebration day was their feast day. Since my name is Susan, I would celebrate on August 11, the feast day of St. Susanna, and not on my own birthday!  

ChaucerChaucer mentions birthdays in “The Squire’s Tale” and ties it to astrology: And so bifel that whan this Cambyuskan Hath twenty wynter born his diademe—“he had the feast of his nativity proclaimed through Sarray, his city, Exactly March 15, in the ordinary course of the year. Phoebus the sun full jolly was and clear, for he was near his position of greatest power, In Mars’ face and in his astrological house of Aries, the choleric hot sign.”

Moving along, birthdays became less important during the age of Protestants and Puritans—one must not call undue attention to oneself!

6a00d8341c84c753ef026bde9ab9a3200cBy the 18th century, birthdays were honored as special again, celebrated with cakes and wine and cups of chocolate and parties—though that was more likely to happen for royalty and nobility than the lower ranks.

By the time of the Regency, it is not entirely clear how birthdays were celebrated, but they were regarded as special and worthy. Jane Austen writes to her sister Cassandra to wish her “joy of your birthday twenty times over,” although there are apparently no mentions of birthday parties or gifts in her novels.

At the time, small gifts or special treats might be presented, though celebrations were on the modest side, Regency family small party except for a special birthday such as 16, or the king's birthday, which gave many – including King George – an excuse for a wild rumpus. Queen Charlotte's birthday celebration, during the years it was celebrated, more or less kicked off the season.

The Victorians were the ones who kicked the birthday into high gear with presents, cakes, blazing candles, parties, concerts. The later Victorians favored beautifully ornate and often wildly sentimental cards and postcards sent to the birthday person.

Victorian-vintage-roses-free-birthday-card-birds-hands

How do you celebrate birthdays—homemade cake, bakery cake, moon cake? Presents and candles and wild parties? Or do you prefer a quiet birthday with family and friends or curled up with a good book?   

65 thoughts on “Happy Historical Birthdays”

  1. Susan, so many ways to celebrate birthdays! I rather like Artemis’s monthly moon cake celebrations. A cake every month–what’s not to like?
    Leave it to the Victorians to go over the top with it all! Around here, a birthday involves dinner out, perhaps a few modest gifts, and maybe a weekend getaway at a nice B&B. It suffices. *G*

    Reply
  2. Susan, so many ways to celebrate birthdays! I rather like Artemis’s monthly moon cake celebrations. A cake every month–what’s not to like?
    Leave it to the Victorians to go over the top with it all! Around here, a birthday involves dinner out, perhaps a few modest gifts, and maybe a weekend getaway at a nice B&B. It suffices. *G*

    Reply
  3. Susan, so many ways to celebrate birthdays! I rather like Artemis’s monthly moon cake celebrations. A cake every month–what’s not to like?
    Leave it to the Victorians to go over the top with it all! Around here, a birthday involves dinner out, perhaps a few modest gifts, and maybe a weekend getaway at a nice B&B. It suffices. *G*

    Reply
  4. Susan, so many ways to celebrate birthdays! I rather like Artemis’s monthly moon cake celebrations. A cake every month–what’s not to like?
    Leave it to the Victorians to go over the top with it all! Around here, a birthday involves dinner out, perhaps a few modest gifts, and maybe a weekend getaway at a nice B&B. It suffices. *G*

    Reply
  5. Susan, so many ways to celebrate birthdays! I rather like Artemis’s monthly moon cake celebrations. A cake every month–what’s not to like?
    Leave it to the Victorians to go over the top with it all! Around here, a birthday involves dinner out, perhaps a few modest gifts, and maybe a weekend getaway at a nice B&B. It suffices. *G*

    Reply
  6. Our family birthday tradition is that the birthday child (or adult) gets to choose dinner and type of cake. Now when they were children, my daughter’s choices swung between hot dogs and macaroni and cheese with a different kind of cake each year. My son’s tended to be more elaborate, German rouladen or Italian braciole. But at least they wanted a traditional layer cake. My nephew wanted a Dobos torte—eight layer, each baked separately.

    Reply
  7. Our family birthday tradition is that the birthday child (or adult) gets to choose dinner and type of cake. Now when they were children, my daughter’s choices swung between hot dogs and macaroni and cheese with a different kind of cake each year. My son’s tended to be more elaborate, German rouladen or Italian braciole. But at least they wanted a traditional layer cake. My nephew wanted a Dobos torte—eight layer, each baked separately.

    Reply
  8. Our family birthday tradition is that the birthday child (or adult) gets to choose dinner and type of cake. Now when they were children, my daughter’s choices swung between hot dogs and macaroni and cheese with a different kind of cake each year. My son’s tended to be more elaborate, German rouladen or Italian braciole. But at least they wanted a traditional layer cake. My nephew wanted a Dobos torte—eight layer, each baked separately.

    Reply
  9. Our family birthday tradition is that the birthday child (or adult) gets to choose dinner and type of cake. Now when they were children, my daughter’s choices swung between hot dogs and macaroni and cheese with a different kind of cake each year. My son’s tended to be more elaborate, German rouladen or Italian braciole. But at least they wanted a traditional layer cake. My nephew wanted a Dobos torte—eight layer, each baked separately.

    Reply
  10. Our family birthday tradition is that the birthday child (or adult) gets to choose dinner and type of cake. Now when they were children, my daughter’s choices swung between hot dogs and macaroni and cheese with a different kind of cake each year. My son’s tended to be more elaborate, German rouladen or Italian braciole. But at least they wanted a traditional layer cake. My nephew wanted a Dobos torte—eight layer, each baked separately.

    Reply
  11. When I was growing up. my birthday in November would set off the holiday season. Round about October my parents would ask us for our Christmas lists. My birthday present would be chosen from that list. But it was usually an new Sunday dress or school clothes. We’d have a cake, my choice white cake with lemon icing, and my favorite meal for dinner. So Christmas rolls around and all the good stuff I wanted was found under the tree. My brother on the other hand, has a January Birthday. He knew that the present he wanted that did not show up under the tree would be his birthday present. So as an adult birthdays are no longer a big deal now that my parents are gone. My husband presents me a gift “from the cats.” (We celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with gifts from the cats.) Usually it is something that makes the other laugh, or something that tickles our fancy on one of our trips. We just point to it in the store, and say, “From the cats?” The other will laugh and it will end up strategically stuffed in our suitcases for the flight home.

    Reply
  12. When I was growing up. my birthday in November would set off the holiday season. Round about October my parents would ask us for our Christmas lists. My birthday present would be chosen from that list. But it was usually an new Sunday dress or school clothes. We’d have a cake, my choice white cake with lemon icing, and my favorite meal for dinner. So Christmas rolls around and all the good stuff I wanted was found under the tree. My brother on the other hand, has a January Birthday. He knew that the present he wanted that did not show up under the tree would be his birthday present. So as an adult birthdays are no longer a big deal now that my parents are gone. My husband presents me a gift “from the cats.” (We celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with gifts from the cats.) Usually it is something that makes the other laugh, or something that tickles our fancy on one of our trips. We just point to it in the store, and say, “From the cats?” The other will laugh and it will end up strategically stuffed in our suitcases for the flight home.

    Reply
  13. When I was growing up. my birthday in November would set off the holiday season. Round about October my parents would ask us for our Christmas lists. My birthday present would be chosen from that list. But it was usually an new Sunday dress or school clothes. We’d have a cake, my choice white cake with lemon icing, and my favorite meal for dinner. So Christmas rolls around and all the good stuff I wanted was found under the tree. My brother on the other hand, has a January Birthday. He knew that the present he wanted that did not show up under the tree would be his birthday present. So as an adult birthdays are no longer a big deal now that my parents are gone. My husband presents me a gift “from the cats.” (We celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with gifts from the cats.) Usually it is something that makes the other laugh, or something that tickles our fancy on one of our trips. We just point to it in the store, and say, “From the cats?” The other will laugh and it will end up strategically stuffed in our suitcases for the flight home.

    Reply
  14. When I was growing up. my birthday in November would set off the holiday season. Round about October my parents would ask us for our Christmas lists. My birthday present would be chosen from that list. But it was usually an new Sunday dress or school clothes. We’d have a cake, my choice white cake with lemon icing, and my favorite meal for dinner. So Christmas rolls around and all the good stuff I wanted was found under the tree. My brother on the other hand, has a January Birthday. He knew that the present he wanted that did not show up under the tree would be his birthday present. So as an adult birthdays are no longer a big deal now that my parents are gone. My husband presents me a gift “from the cats.” (We celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with gifts from the cats.) Usually it is something that makes the other laugh, or something that tickles our fancy on one of our trips. We just point to it in the store, and say, “From the cats?” The other will laugh and it will end up strategically stuffed in our suitcases for the flight home.

    Reply
  15. When I was growing up. my birthday in November would set off the holiday season. Round about October my parents would ask us for our Christmas lists. My birthday present would be chosen from that list. But it was usually an new Sunday dress or school clothes. We’d have a cake, my choice white cake with lemon icing, and my favorite meal for dinner. So Christmas rolls around and all the good stuff I wanted was found under the tree. My brother on the other hand, has a January Birthday. He knew that the present he wanted that did not show up under the tree would be his birthday present. So as an adult birthdays are no longer a big deal now that my parents are gone. My husband presents me a gift “from the cats.” (We celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with gifts from the cats.) Usually it is something that makes the other laugh, or something that tickles our fancy on one of our trips. We just point to it in the store, and say, “From the cats?” The other will laugh and it will end up strategically stuffed in our suitcases for the flight home.

    Reply
  16. In non-Covis years we tend to celebrate with a family dinner. In my early years the birthday celebrant chose the food and the specific dessert. In addition, in our household, my husband and I whose have birthdays less than 2 weeks apart, go out together to one of our favorite restaurants for a private celebration.
    Unsurprisingly, in our family traditional presents are books, or alternatively give cards to online book sellers.

    Reply
  17. In non-Covis years we tend to celebrate with a family dinner. In my early years the birthday celebrant chose the food and the specific dessert. In addition, in our household, my husband and I whose have birthdays less than 2 weeks apart, go out together to one of our favorite restaurants for a private celebration.
    Unsurprisingly, in our family traditional presents are books, or alternatively give cards to online book sellers.

    Reply
  18. In non-Covis years we tend to celebrate with a family dinner. In my early years the birthday celebrant chose the food and the specific dessert. In addition, in our household, my husband and I whose have birthdays less than 2 weeks apart, go out together to one of our favorite restaurants for a private celebration.
    Unsurprisingly, in our family traditional presents are books, or alternatively give cards to online book sellers.

    Reply
  19. In non-Covis years we tend to celebrate with a family dinner. In my early years the birthday celebrant chose the food and the specific dessert. In addition, in our household, my husband and I whose have birthdays less than 2 weeks apart, go out together to one of our favorite restaurants for a private celebration.
    Unsurprisingly, in our family traditional presents are books, or alternatively give cards to online book sellers.

    Reply
  20. In non-Covis years we tend to celebrate with a family dinner. In my early years the birthday celebrant chose the food and the specific dessert. In addition, in our household, my husband and I whose have birthdays less than 2 weeks apart, go out together to one of our favorite restaurants for a private celebration.
    Unsurprisingly, in our family traditional presents are books, or alternatively give cards to online book sellers.

    Reply
  21. Your gift giving cats brightened my day, Pamela!
    I’m a big thrift store shopper; it’s not unusual for there to be a gift under the tree from ‘the thrift store elves.’ The elves have also been known to send Kindle books.

    Reply
  22. Your gift giving cats brightened my day, Pamela!
    I’m a big thrift store shopper; it’s not unusual for there to be a gift under the tree from ‘the thrift store elves.’ The elves have also been known to send Kindle books.

    Reply
  23. Your gift giving cats brightened my day, Pamela!
    I’m a big thrift store shopper; it’s not unusual for there to be a gift under the tree from ‘the thrift store elves.’ The elves have also been known to send Kindle books.

    Reply
  24. Your gift giving cats brightened my day, Pamela!
    I’m a big thrift store shopper; it’s not unusual for there to be a gift under the tree from ‘the thrift store elves.’ The elves have also been known to send Kindle books.

    Reply
  25. Your gift giving cats brightened my day, Pamela!
    I’m a big thrift store shopper; it’s not unusual for there to be a gift under the tree from ‘the thrift store elves.’ The elves have also been known to send Kindle books.

    Reply
  26. Thanks for an enjoyable post, Susan, and happy belated birthday!
    We are pretty mellow as regards birthdays, but we definitely include gifts and cake (sometimes homemade, sometimes from a local specialty cake store). For my daughter in Korea, we send Kindle books or physical books from Book Depository. We sometimes send a food box through iHerb.com (which has affordable shipping); that way we can include some birthday treats.

    Reply
  27. Thanks for an enjoyable post, Susan, and happy belated birthday!
    We are pretty mellow as regards birthdays, but we definitely include gifts and cake (sometimes homemade, sometimes from a local specialty cake store). For my daughter in Korea, we send Kindle books or physical books from Book Depository. We sometimes send a food box through iHerb.com (which has affordable shipping); that way we can include some birthday treats.

    Reply
  28. Thanks for an enjoyable post, Susan, and happy belated birthday!
    We are pretty mellow as regards birthdays, but we definitely include gifts and cake (sometimes homemade, sometimes from a local specialty cake store). For my daughter in Korea, we send Kindle books or physical books from Book Depository. We sometimes send a food box through iHerb.com (which has affordable shipping); that way we can include some birthday treats.

    Reply
  29. Thanks for an enjoyable post, Susan, and happy belated birthday!
    We are pretty mellow as regards birthdays, but we definitely include gifts and cake (sometimes homemade, sometimes from a local specialty cake store). For my daughter in Korea, we send Kindle books or physical books from Book Depository. We sometimes send a food box through iHerb.com (which has affordable shipping); that way we can include some birthday treats.

    Reply
  30. Thanks for an enjoyable post, Susan, and happy belated birthday!
    We are pretty mellow as regards birthdays, but we definitely include gifts and cake (sometimes homemade, sometimes from a local specialty cake store). For my daughter in Korea, we send Kindle books or physical books from Book Depository. We sometimes send a food box through iHerb.com (which has affordable shipping); that way we can include some birthday treats.

    Reply
  31. Susan – in days of yore – pre-pandemic – I used to enjoy going to lunch with a friend, or friends on my birthday,and returning the favor on theirs. On one special birthday, my best friend met me in NYC for RWA and treated me to Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. She also bought me a bracelet that I still wear every day, and another friend gave me a garnet heart pendant – still around my neck. But it’s not only my birthday that has special memories. When I was in undergraduate school at UMD-College Park, the Washington, DC, classical radio station would have a marathon of all the Beethoven 9 symphonies on his birthday, December 16th. It was only decades later that I learned that that date was also share by Jane Austen. This year, for my birthday (celebrated VERY belatedly), one of my friends (whose birthday is also on December 16th!) was kind enough to loan me a huge tote bag of hard-to-find historical novels. The first one I read was Anne Gracie’s Gallant Waif. I’d never been able to find a copy, so it was a rare treat, and a great way to spend this year’s (belated) birthday.

    Reply
  32. Susan – in days of yore – pre-pandemic – I used to enjoy going to lunch with a friend, or friends on my birthday,and returning the favor on theirs. On one special birthday, my best friend met me in NYC for RWA and treated me to Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. She also bought me a bracelet that I still wear every day, and another friend gave me a garnet heart pendant – still around my neck. But it’s not only my birthday that has special memories. When I was in undergraduate school at UMD-College Park, the Washington, DC, classical radio station would have a marathon of all the Beethoven 9 symphonies on his birthday, December 16th. It was only decades later that I learned that that date was also share by Jane Austen. This year, for my birthday (celebrated VERY belatedly), one of my friends (whose birthday is also on December 16th!) was kind enough to loan me a huge tote bag of hard-to-find historical novels. The first one I read was Anne Gracie’s Gallant Waif. I’d never been able to find a copy, so it was a rare treat, and a great way to spend this year’s (belated) birthday.

    Reply
  33. Susan – in days of yore – pre-pandemic – I used to enjoy going to lunch with a friend, or friends on my birthday,and returning the favor on theirs. On one special birthday, my best friend met me in NYC for RWA and treated me to Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. She also bought me a bracelet that I still wear every day, and another friend gave me a garnet heart pendant – still around my neck. But it’s not only my birthday that has special memories. When I was in undergraduate school at UMD-College Park, the Washington, DC, classical radio station would have a marathon of all the Beethoven 9 symphonies on his birthday, December 16th. It was only decades later that I learned that that date was also share by Jane Austen. This year, for my birthday (celebrated VERY belatedly), one of my friends (whose birthday is also on December 16th!) was kind enough to loan me a huge tote bag of hard-to-find historical novels. The first one I read was Anne Gracie’s Gallant Waif. I’d never been able to find a copy, so it was a rare treat, and a great way to spend this year’s (belated) birthday.

    Reply
  34. Susan – in days of yore – pre-pandemic – I used to enjoy going to lunch with a friend, or friends on my birthday,and returning the favor on theirs. On one special birthday, my best friend met me in NYC for RWA and treated me to Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. She also bought me a bracelet that I still wear every day, and another friend gave me a garnet heart pendant – still around my neck. But it’s not only my birthday that has special memories. When I was in undergraduate school at UMD-College Park, the Washington, DC, classical radio station would have a marathon of all the Beethoven 9 symphonies on his birthday, December 16th. It was only decades later that I learned that that date was also share by Jane Austen. This year, for my birthday (celebrated VERY belatedly), one of my friends (whose birthday is also on December 16th!) was kind enough to loan me a huge tote bag of hard-to-find historical novels. The first one I read was Anne Gracie’s Gallant Waif. I’d never been able to find a copy, so it was a rare treat, and a great way to spend this year’s (belated) birthday.

    Reply
  35. Susan – in days of yore – pre-pandemic – I used to enjoy going to lunch with a friend, or friends on my birthday,and returning the favor on theirs. On one special birthday, my best friend met me in NYC for RWA and treated me to Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. She also bought me a bracelet that I still wear every day, and another friend gave me a garnet heart pendant – still around my neck. But it’s not only my birthday that has special memories. When I was in undergraduate school at UMD-College Park, the Washington, DC, classical radio station would have a marathon of all the Beethoven 9 symphonies on his birthday, December 16th. It was only decades later that I learned that that date was also share by Jane Austen. This year, for my birthday (celebrated VERY belatedly), one of my friends (whose birthday is also on December 16th!) was kind enough to loan me a huge tote bag of hard-to-find historical novels. The first one I read was Anne Gracie’s Gallant Waif. I’d never been able to find a copy, so it was a rare treat, and a great way to spend this year’s (belated) birthday.

    Reply
  36. Susan your comment about the Baker’s head made me laugh 🙂 I pictured it being waved about by the king until you gave your thoughts on it.
    My birthday is December 20th so since I was a child and we were poor it was lumped in with Christmas presents. Now my own family make sure it’s celebrated on the day. My favorite presents are book vouchers so I get a mix of kindle vouchers and ordinary ones. I’m in Heaven for the rest of the year.
    Love the cat present givers too :):)
    Happy birthday to you Susan. Glad you were able to enjoy it at this awful time.

    Reply
  37. Susan your comment about the Baker’s head made me laugh 🙂 I pictured it being waved about by the king until you gave your thoughts on it.
    My birthday is December 20th so since I was a child and we were poor it was lumped in with Christmas presents. Now my own family make sure it’s celebrated on the day. My favorite presents are book vouchers so I get a mix of kindle vouchers and ordinary ones. I’m in Heaven for the rest of the year.
    Love the cat present givers too :):)
    Happy birthday to you Susan. Glad you were able to enjoy it at this awful time.

    Reply
  38. Susan your comment about the Baker’s head made me laugh 🙂 I pictured it being waved about by the king until you gave your thoughts on it.
    My birthday is December 20th so since I was a child and we were poor it was lumped in with Christmas presents. Now my own family make sure it’s celebrated on the day. My favorite presents are book vouchers so I get a mix of kindle vouchers and ordinary ones. I’m in Heaven for the rest of the year.
    Love the cat present givers too :):)
    Happy birthday to you Susan. Glad you were able to enjoy it at this awful time.

    Reply
  39. Susan your comment about the Baker’s head made me laugh 🙂 I pictured it being waved about by the king until you gave your thoughts on it.
    My birthday is December 20th so since I was a child and we were poor it was lumped in with Christmas presents. Now my own family make sure it’s celebrated on the day. My favorite presents are book vouchers so I get a mix of kindle vouchers and ordinary ones. I’m in Heaven for the rest of the year.
    Love the cat present givers too :):)
    Happy birthday to you Susan. Glad you were able to enjoy it at this awful time.

    Reply
  40. Susan your comment about the Baker’s head made me laugh 🙂 I pictured it being waved about by the king until you gave your thoughts on it.
    My birthday is December 20th so since I was a child and we were poor it was lumped in with Christmas presents. Now my own family make sure it’s celebrated on the day. My favorite presents are book vouchers so I get a mix of kindle vouchers and ordinary ones. I’m in Heaven for the rest of the year.
    Love the cat present givers too :):)
    Happy birthday to you Susan. Glad you were able to enjoy it at this awful time.

    Reply
  41. I like to send cards to my many friends on their birthdays – either actual cards or e-cards. As for my own I am glad when it passes by quietly, since I lost my husband I miss celebrating his and mine. All the years we were together, I would bake a cake or pie and fix a meal he requested. On my birthday he would take me out to dinner as his cooking and baking skills were very limited. For our kids we would make a big deal but now they are on their own so a phone call, filling special gift requests makes them happy.
    As a child we had very simple birthdays. My mother would put a new outfit for us next to our bed so when we woke we could put on something special. She also made us flower garlands to wear all day, a small bag of sweets to keep or share and a simple sweet bread was our cake. I loved those simple birthdays as we were made special for that one day with many songs and greetings from friends.

    Reply
  42. I like to send cards to my many friends on their birthdays – either actual cards or e-cards. As for my own I am glad when it passes by quietly, since I lost my husband I miss celebrating his and mine. All the years we were together, I would bake a cake or pie and fix a meal he requested. On my birthday he would take me out to dinner as his cooking and baking skills were very limited. For our kids we would make a big deal but now they are on their own so a phone call, filling special gift requests makes them happy.
    As a child we had very simple birthdays. My mother would put a new outfit for us next to our bed so when we woke we could put on something special. She also made us flower garlands to wear all day, a small bag of sweets to keep or share and a simple sweet bread was our cake. I loved those simple birthdays as we were made special for that one day with many songs and greetings from friends.

    Reply
  43. I like to send cards to my many friends on their birthdays – either actual cards or e-cards. As for my own I am glad when it passes by quietly, since I lost my husband I miss celebrating his and mine. All the years we were together, I would bake a cake or pie and fix a meal he requested. On my birthday he would take me out to dinner as his cooking and baking skills were very limited. For our kids we would make a big deal but now they are on their own so a phone call, filling special gift requests makes them happy.
    As a child we had very simple birthdays. My mother would put a new outfit for us next to our bed so when we woke we could put on something special. She also made us flower garlands to wear all day, a small bag of sweets to keep or share and a simple sweet bread was our cake. I loved those simple birthdays as we were made special for that one day with many songs and greetings from friends.

    Reply
  44. I like to send cards to my many friends on their birthdays – either actual cards or e-cards. As for my own I am glad when it passes by quietly, since I lost my husband I miss celebrating his and mine. All the years we were together, I would bake a cake or pie and fix a meal he requested. On my birthday he would take me out to dinner as his cooking and baking skills were very limited. For our kids we would make a big deal but now they are on their own so a phone call, filling special gift requests makes them happy.
    As a child we had very simple birthdays. My mother would put a new outfit for us next to our bed so when we woke we could put on something special. She also made us flower garlands to wear all day, a small bag of sweets to keep or share and a simple sweet bread was our cake. I loved those simple birthdays as we were made special for that one day with many songs and greetings from friends.

    Reply
  45. I like to send cards to my many friends on their birthdays – either actual cards or e-cards. As for my own I am glad when it passes by quietly, since I lost my husband I miss celebrating his and mine. All the years we were together, I would bake a cake or pie and fix a meal he requested. On my birthday he would take me out to dinner as his cooking and baking skills were very limited. For our kids we would make a big deal but now they are on their own so a phone call, filling special gift requests makes them happy.
    As a child we had very simple birthdays. My mother would put a new outfit for us next to our bed so when we woke we could put on something special. She also made us flower garlands to wear all day, a small bag of sweets to keep or share and a simple sweet bread was our cake. I loved those simple birthdays as we were made special for that one day with many songs and greetings from friends.

    Reply
  46. I send cards and/or gifts to family and friends. I have calendars marked so I don’t forget. I believe it is a simple way to remind people they are loved.
    Have not had a celebration for my birthday in quite a few years.
    I love the pictures i this post, especially the first one.
    Thanks for this post.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  47. I send cards and/or gifts to family and friends. I have calendars marked so I don’t forget. I believe it is a simple way to remind people they are loved.
    Have not had a celebration for my birthday in quite a few years.
    I love the pictures i this post, especially the first one.
    Thanks for this post.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  48. I send cards and/or gifts to family and friends. I have calendars marked so I don’t forget. I believe it is a simple way to remind people they are loved.
    Have not had a celebration for my birthday in quite a few years.
    I love the pictures i this post, especially the first one.
    Thanks for this post.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  49. I send cards and/or gifts to family and friends. I have calendars marked so I don’t forget. I believe it is a simple way to remind people they are loved.
    Have not had a celebration for my birthday in quite a few years.
    I love the pictures i this post, especially the first one.
    Thanks for this post.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  50. I send cards and/or gifts to family and friends. I have calendars marked so I don’t forget. I believe it is a simple way to remind people they are loved.
    Have not had a celebration for my birthday in quite a few years.
    I love the pictures i this post, especially the first one.
    Thanks for this post.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  51. I share a birthday with a friend. We were both born on the Ides of March 5 years apart. When we worked together, colleagues took us out to dinner. Now that we retired, we take each other out to high tea, except of course for this pandemic year.

    Reply
  52. I share a birthday with a friend. We were both born on the Ides of March 5 years apart. When we worked together, colleagues took us out to dinner. Now that we retired, we take each other out to high tea, except of course for this pandemic year.

    Reply
  53. I share a birthday with a friend. We were both born on the Ides of March 5 years apart. When we worked together, colleagues took us out to dinner. Now that we retired, we take each other out to high tea, except of course for this pandemic year.

    Reply
  54. I share a birthday with a friend. We were both born on the Ides of March 5 years apart. When we worked together, colleagues took us out to dinner. Now that we retired, we take each other out to high tea, except of course for this pandemic year.

    Reply
  55. I share a birthday with a friend. We were both born on the Ides of March 5 years apart. When we worked together, colleagues took us out to dinner. Now that we retired, we take each other out to high tea, except of course for this pandemic year.

    Reply
  56. When I was a kid, my mom made birthday parties with my school friends. There was ice cream and cake and modest gifts. As I grew older, we gave up the parties but my mom tried to make my birthday special; she’d make a cake and I’d get a card and something new to wear that she often made herself. When I confessed that I actually liked her apple pie better even than cake, I got apple pie. While they lived at home, my brothers all got the favorite meal and favorite cake too. Bill and John liked spice cake, Roger favored lemon meringue pie. My mom was quite the baker 🙂
    Up until the virus, my friends and I would treat each other to lunch for birthdays, and there would be cards, but we no longer did gifts. Now with the stupid virus, it’s just cards and messages on Facebook. But it is still good to remember, and to be remembered.

    Reply
  57. When I was a kid, my mom made birthday parties with my school friends. There was ice cream and cake and modest gifts. As I grew older, we gave up the parties but my mom tried to make my birthday special; she’d make a cake and I’d get a card and something new to wear that she often made herself. When I confessed that I actually liked her apple pie better even than cake, I got apple pie. While they lived at home, my brothers all got the favorite meal and favorite cake too. Bill and John liked spice cake, Roger favored lemon meringue pie. My mom was quite the baker 🙂
    Up until the virus, my friends and I would treat each other to lunch for birthdays, and there would be cards, but we no longer did gifts. Now with the stupid virus, it’s just cards and messages on Facebook. But it is still good to remember, and to be remembered.

    Reply
  58. When I was a kid, my mom made birthday parties with my school friends. There was ice cream and cake and modest gifts. As I grew older, we gave up the parties but my mom tried to make my birthday special; she’d make a cake and I’d get a card and something new to wear that she often made herself. When I confessed that I actually liked her apple pie better even than cake, I got apple pie. While they lived at home, my brothers all got the favorite meal and favorite cake too. Bill and John liked spice cake, Roger favored lemon meringue pie. My mom was quite the baker 🙂
    Up until the virus, my friends and I would treat each other to lunch for birthdays, and there would be cards, but we no longer did gifts. Now with the stupid virus, it’s just cards and messages on Facebook. But it is still good to remember, and to be remembered.

    Reply
  59. When I was a kid, my mom made birthday parties with my school friends. There was ice cream and cake and modest gifts. As I grew older, we gave up the parties but my mom tried to make my birthday special; she’d make a cake and I’d get a card and something new to wear that she often made herself. When I confessed that I actually liked her apple pie better even than cake, I got apple pie. While they lived at home, my brothers all got the favorite meal and favorite cake too. Bill and John liked spice cake, Roger favored lemon meringue pie. My mom was quite the baker 🙂
    Up until the virus, my friends and I would treat each other to lunch for birthdays, and there would be cards, but we no longer did gifts. Now with the stupid virus, it’s just cards and messages on Facebook. But it is still good to remember, and to be remembered.

    Reply
  60. When I was a kid, my mom made birthday parties with my school friends. There was ice cream and cake and modest gifts. As I grew older, we gave up the parties but my mom tried to make my birthday special; she’d make a cake and I’d get a card and something new to wear that she often made herself. When I confessed that I actually liked her apple pie better even than cake, I got apple pie. While they lived at home, my brothers all got the favorite meal and favorite cake too. Bill and John liked spice cake, Roger favored lemon meringue pie. My mom was quite the baker 🙂
    Up until the virus, my friends and I would treat each other to lunch for birthdays, and there would be cards, but we no longer did gifts. Now with the stupid virus, it’s just cards and messages on Facebook. But it is still good to remember, and to be remembered.

    Reply
  61. Your friend gave you one of the best birthday gifts I’ve ever heard about! Wonderful idea– and a tote bag to keep them together!

    Reply
  62. Your friend gave you one of the best birthday gifts I’ve ever heard about! Wonderful idea– and a tote bag to keep them together!

    Reply
  63. Your friend gave you one of the best birthday gifts I’ve ever heard about! Wonderful idea– and a tote bag to keep them together!

    Reply
  64. Your friend gave you one of the best birthday gifts I’ve ever heard about! Wonderful idea– and a tote bag to keep them together!

    Reply
  65. Your friend gave you one of the best birthday gifts I’ve ever heard about! Wonderful idea– and a tote bag to keep them together!

    Reply

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