As I stated in my last blog post, Konnie and I were born on July 5th, a fact that does affect how we think and feel, but there are lots of other people born on or near holidays. I know quite a few.
And I’ve heard a lot stories, and or complaints about this fact of life, everything from never having friends in town, or available, on their birthday because of the holiday or one girl who griped that everyone always expected any party held on her birthday to be a costume party. These things exist, and, when possible, we should incorporate them into our stories.
After all, for our characters to be realistic, they have to have a birthday, don’t they?
I admit, sometimes the timeline of a story doesn’t lend itself to including a birthday. If it doesn’t span an entire year, it might not cover the time when the birthday is. And there are people who just don’t make a great deal out of birthdays, but what if they do, or what if the character was born on or near a holiday?
Or what if, like that bit I witnessed on The Big Bang not too long ago, a character would rather ignore his birthday for some reason. What is the reason? And how do his friends respond to it? If the writers of The Big Bang can make entire episode based on that subject, it should make a good brief story line too.
Or you could have a character born near a holiday that isn’t on the same date every year, and in the story, that date happens to be your character’s birthday. How will they react? How will they feel?
I can help you with a family’s reaction to having to deal with a birthday and Thanksgiving on the same day. I could even ask my brother how he felt. And I already know Mom’s reaction to going into labor just as soon as she finished eating that yearly feast. She never let us, or more particularly Ben, forget it.
And in my late teens when my youngest brother made his entrance into the world, I heard a lot of jokes about being in labor on Labor Day, not sure if he still hears them, but then how many of his friends know he was actually born on that very day? Though it might be fun to have character give birth on that day. :)
And that complaint about friends being unavailable for birthday parties? Well, I recall once commiserating with a couple of friends over that shared problem. They were born on July 4th, but I’ve later heard it from a friend born on Christmas day.
I personally know of three people born on Christmas day. (I feel sorry for those poor souls. Gifts only once a year? How awful! :))
I already mentioned the Halloween birthday complaint. I can see how that would affect the attitude of someone about birthdays. But it might actually be fun to add to a story. :)
And I know a lady was born on New Year’s Day, however, I think she enjoyed being able to have a sleepover the night before her birthday. At least she was having fun at the one such sleepover I attended.
And there is one day on the calendar, which isn’t really a holiday, but it does affect the people born on that day a great deal. I happen to know of several. And that’s February 29th. Just two of these souls that I know of are a cousin and one of my teachers both in high school and later in college.
As I recall my cousin complained about having a birthday party just once every four years, but I think that might have been his mother’s doing, we didn’t get a party every year either. But our one time teacher liked to joke he was younger than his students were. He insisted he was only twelve when he was teaching us back in high school but had celebrated a birthday by the time he moved up to teaching college, so he was thirteen then. And he milked that both times. He was a fun teacher, one of my very favorites.
Anyway, when we were born can affect our attitudes about birthdays, and when our characters are born might do the same for them. Do any of your characters have a birthday on or near a major holiday? And how does it affect your story?
Happy writing, everyone. :)