From the Publisher
When I turned 15, my parents started asking me what kind of car I wanted. My dream car at the time was a red Mazda Miata (do they even make those anymore?), but mostly I just wanted a red convertible. On my 16th birthday, my parents gave me a key unlike any I had seen before, but no car. At least not yet. I had to wait until Christmas for the car to be ready to drive.
See, my parents couldn’t find a Miata they were comfortable buying, but they did find a 1976 MG Midget sitting unused in a local pastor’s shed. It had mismatched tires, rusted out floorboards, and a few ant families living in it, but the motor was still in good shape and the rest just needed a little TLC.
Maybe it’s a bit cliche, but that car is probably my favorite birthday memory. I still remember that first drive around the block of my neighborhood – barefoot – as I got a feel for the clutch. It was small, bright red, and had a distinct rumble. It also didn’t have air conditioning or power anything, the muffler had a bad habit of falling off, and it refused to stay in second gear. But I loved it, and when my parents finally sold it last year it was like saying goodbye to an old friend.
This month marks the return of the Birthday Fun Guide. This directory will take the hassle out of party planning, helping you with everything from the cake to the entertainment and tons of places to celebrate.
When we first started having real parties for Alexis’s birthday, I had this idea that I needed to do everything myself. In the end, I was so worried about how everything was going to turn out or if I was actually going to be able to get it all done, that the actual party wasn’t all that gratifying or fun. Hindsight is 20/20, but our feature article, The Savvy Party Planner: Countdown To A Stress-free Birthday Celebration, will hopefully help you not make my same mistakes.
Growing up, my birthday was never that big of a deal. It’s always right at Thanksgiving, so it’s often overshadowed by the holiday, and I was rarely able to have a party. But, when I went to college, I met my best best friends, one of whom’s birthday is about a week before mine, and we started celebrating together. We created a yearly tradition of ice skating and all-you-can-eat soup, salad and breadsticks. It’s a tradition we’ve mostly stuck to over the years, minus the ice skating, even if we do it virtually now that our group is spread out across the country.
We haven’t started a birthday tradition with Alexis, but it’s on my bucket list. For now, I’m just happy we can actually celebrate birthdays with other people again.
To all those celebrating this month, I hope your big day is full of love and laughter. Happy Birthday!