In America, although we usually celebrate on the actual day, we have no problem stretching our birthday celebrations as far as we can. We celebrate when we can gather together those we want to include in the celebration. If we can only gather together before the day, we do so and have a party. If we can’t get together until after the actual day, celebrating is done then. I have known some of us to stretch birthday celebrations over several weeks!
I lived in Germany for several years and discovered that their birthday traditions were very different. Germans consider it bad luck to wish them happy birthday before their actual day. They certainly do celebrate, but it is on the day itself and the person with the birthday foots the entire bill – even if it is a very large party!
I consider Americans (and many other nationalities) fortunate when it comes to birthday celebrations. Others plan the party and can even make it a surprise. The person celebrating the birthday often doesn’t have to do a thing but enjoy family, friends, favorite foods and open their special gifts. They don’t have to do anything or spend anything to enjoy that special day.
As a family, we usually give a lot of thought to our birthday gifts. One year my husband and I designed a special calendar for our grandson’s birthday. The first month was not January, but July – the month of his birth. Each month pictured something related to his name.
God, our Father, made plans for our birthdays long before we were even born – even before He created the world. He designed a special calendar for each one of us. The gifts He gives to us stretch from the beginning of our lives all the way to the end. All we have to do is receive them and enjoy them.
… just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will (Ephesians 1:4-5). For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made… Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them (Psalm 139:13, 15-16). Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights… (James 1:17).