Every year, today marks the beginning of a month-and-a-half long sprint through a ton of birthdays in my family.
It starts off a little slow. After my older sister's birthday today, it will be three more weeks before we see another milestone. But then we'll have my mother's birthday. Just over a week after that is my nephew's birthday. Dad comes three days after him. I'm less than a week after Dad. My younger sister comes a week and a day after me, and finishes us off for the fall round of birthdays. Of course, here in the U.S., Thanksgiving usually comes just over a week after her birthday, and then Christmas is right behind that, so our time of celebration tends to go on for about three months instead of just the simple six weeks of actual birthdays.
If we include the birthdays of some extended family in the mix, we could have started all of this a week ago. An aunt and a cousin both had birthdays on the 24th, and another aunt had a birthday on the 26th.
But if we're going to push the celebration back a week, why not take it back a full month, and get one of my brothers at the end of August, along with a couple more cousins and an uncle?
I guess you could say that in my family, we start partying in late August and don't stop until after the New Year. Only one of my siblings is left out of this. My baby brother was born in April, so he is pretty much on his own out there. In some ways, I think that's good. After all, we all tend to have more money when his birthday rolls around than we do for the rest of our birthdays, since we're all so clumped together. In other ways though, it tends to isolate him. He doesn't get to have a celebration that is all about him in the midst of the celebrations surrounding each of the rest of us.
Another thing I noticed many years ago (don't ask me why I was thinking about this) is that all of my siblings and I were likely conceived on or around a holiday. Knowing my parents as I do, and their . . . um . . . habits, this did not exactly surprise me. It was certainly rather enlightening.
In case you're wondering, I am a product of Valentine's Day, as is my younger sister.
Over the course of my writing, I've created a number of families. Some of them tend to take on some of these characteristics. Maybe one set of parents tends to feel a little frisky in the spring, when the flowers are blooming and the weather is warming up, so they'll tend to have children in the winter. Things like that.
Are there birthday trends like this in your family, where everyone's birthday tends to fall around the same time of year? Or are there other trends you've noticed with your family's birthdays, like the holiday conceptions in my family? As a writer, do you tend to think along these lines when you create your characters?