‘Let’s forget about birthdays’: One women’s campaign against the ‘farce’ that is birthdays

A British woman is challenging the notion of birthdays, revealing why she no longer celebrates her family's special days. Source: Getty Images.

A British woman has spoken out about birthdays and, with the exception of her grandchildren, explains why she no longer celebrates hers or the birthdays of her family.

Birthdays are normally seen as a special milestone in a person’s life, symbolising personal growth and giving a person the time and space to reflect on their lives.

For Liz Hodgkinson, however, birthdays are nothing more than an irritation.

Writing for The Daily Mail UK, she expressed her strong views against celebrating the anniversary of one’s birth.

Firstly she recounts her son, Tom’s, recent birthday, and tells her readers there was nary a birthday card or call from her.

“A couple of weeks ago, my elder son Tom had a birthday — his 56th. But did I mark it with him in any way? I did not. These days, I have pretty much forgotten when most of my family’s birthdays are,” she explained.

Liz explains her reasons for the purposeful oversight.

“In my view, birthday celebrations are for children and children only. I told my five grandchildren I would remember their birthdays until they were 21 — but not afterwards. All but one has now passed that milestone,” she said.

“As children, my sons Tom and Will would be almost sick with excitement when their birthdays were approaching. But now, well, they are middle-aged men and more likely to regard yet another birthday with foreboding.”

Liz’s conviction elicited a range of opinions from the public.

One woman said birthdays are not just about the presents and that a heartfelt wish is an opportunity to make someone in your life feel valued and seen.

“I understand how some feel, BUT I have seen so many family members and friends who do not get to have another birthday. Getting older is a celebration!” she said.

“It is a special day, it’s not about presents when you are older. It is about a card, a phone call, a piece of cake maybe!”

“Life is short and for some disposable birthdays are a way to celebrate that you are still here.

“For me and my family and now for my children’s friends we do cake for breakfast, the person chooses their favourite meal, presents maybe but celebrating the person always.”

Another reader said she was happy to give birthday celebrations a skip as it brought back bad memories.

“My parents celebrate 60 years together this year and my mum is 80….we had a horrid childhood and my mum has ‘turned nice’ in the past 12 years since one of my brothers sadly died,” they revealed.

“I cannot be as enthused as I might be about all of this. I don’t even like my own birthday as it brings back memories.”

A German woman chimed in on the conversation saying she and her husband waste no opportunities to celebrate their birthdays. 

“How sad. I am in my sixties and still love to celebrate my birthday. Indeed my 60th birthday party was a blast compared to my 21st,” they explained.

“My husband and I often celebrate our birthdays (husband is 5 days after mine) on a cruise and I love it when the cake arrives and people at nearby tables sing along and congratulate me. Maybe that’s just the child in me?”

There’s no doubt that as we get older the novelty of celebrating birthdays does wear off but, at the end of the day, perhaps it just depends on what is important to you and your family and how we celebrate life’s big and small milestones. 



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