By Brandon Folb,
Holidays and birthdays are an adolescent’s time to feel special, but some of that specialness can be diminished when they fall on the same day.
Sophomore Anla Bolkan, whose birthday is on Christmas Day, believes her family and friends do not fully acknowledge her milestones.
“I feel like I have a half a day instead of a full day,” Bolkan said when describing how she felt.
Her birthday feels like a half a day because it is overshadowed by Christmas.
However, unlike Bolkan, there are some people who believe their birthdays are not affected much by the coinciding birthday. Sophomore Thor Strandgaard is one of those people, as his birthday is on New Year’s Day.
“Not much except my friends are not normally in town,” Strandgaard said.
Strandgaard tends to celebrate both New Years and his birthday, but does not celebrate both together. He also believes one does not overshadow the other.
In contrast, Joyce Lee, child development consultant with First 5 Yolo and Sacramento County Office of Education, Early Learning Services, believes the impact can be positive or negative.
“If a birthday is ignored or set aside as not important because there are other things going on then it could make a child feel neglected,” Lee said. “On the other hand, if a child’s birthday is celebrated and made to feel special in addition to the holiday, it is the same as having a birthday as any other day-maybe even more special […] Birthdays can be special and important but they are not alone a deciding factor of a positive or negative impact on a child.”
Sophomore Gaby Tady also believes her birthday is affected by a holiday. On her birthday, Halloween, she used to go trick-or-treating with friends.
“Sometimes my friends tell the people who are giving out candy that it is my birthday and I receive not only a ‘happy birthday’ but also extra candy,” Tady said.
She also had a Halloween-themed birthday party when she was in second grade.
“My friends came and we were all dressed up,” Tady said.
Tady enjoys having her birthday on Halloween as she thinks “it is a really cool holiday” and would not change her birthday even if she could.
At sophomores Mara and Faith St. Amant’s combined 13th birthday and Bat Mitzvah party, both twin sisters were sporting red and white dresses. Their outfits matched the white tablecloths which were scattered with rose petals and chocolate Hershey Kisses. Roses were placed in vases and shiny, white plates spread out on the table. With red, pink and white hearts on the walls, their Valentine’s Day themed party was complete.
“For Bar and Bat Mitzvahs […] there’s usually some sort of theme or color scheme. Since my birthday is on Valentine’s Day, we chose to have it be Valentine’s Day themed,” Mara said.