Birthday Presents

I’m really bad at birthday presents. I always have been. I remember an old school friend of mine used to give all of us $20 and a card for our birthdays. A few other friends used to tease him, but I was jealous. If only I could be that impervious to criticism, that willing to pick a standard present and never have to think about it again!

I’ve tried, over the years, to come up with cool, super appropriate presents that my dear friends will always treasure, but every time, I’ve felt like a failure. Perhaps my standards for success are too high, but there’s another problem and it goes much deeper.

I don’t like consumerism. I resent the whole system of birthday presents. I hate the obligation to come up with just the right ‘thing’ to add to the clutter of other random things that they feel obliged to keep, but don’t really want and hardly ever use.

I know. I’ve got exactly those kinds of things lying around my house.

So I’ve decided that from this day forward, I am going to join the ranks of radical non-present givers. I won’t buy you a present, I won’t donate money to random countries in your honor or give you a twenty dollar bill.

In celebration of the anniversary of your birth, I promise to:
Think of you with love
Give you my time
Attempt to bake / cook yummy food in your honor
Potentially draw you a picture (or write you a poem, or anything else fun and creative that fits in this box)

And when it rolls around to the anniversary of my birth (June 24th, in case you were wondering), please respect my wishes. Don’t add clutter to my home. Don’t spend money on ‘things’ I don’t need. Give me a hug. Tell me you love me, and maybe, make me something nice to eat.

That is all.

B

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