Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Birthday Traditions

There is something inherently wrong with the way the Danes celebrate birthdays. Here is the issue... As the person having the birthday, you are not pampered, but rather, you are expected to play hostess to those who want to come to your home and give you birthday wishes.

Last year Ole's mom had a big 'official' birthday party planned. The whole big dinner, dancing thing. Of course that wasn't planned for the actual day of the birthday, but was on a weekend a few days later. But, on the actual day of the birthday everyone went to her house. What amazed me was that here was this woman, on her own birthday, slaving away in the kitchen for all these guests! She made breads and cheeses, coffee, dessert, etc., while everyone else sat in the living room and chatted! I kept thinking - this is no way to celebrate your birthday! She enjoyed it immensely as this was tradition, but from an American viewpoint, a totally skewed tradition!

So yesterday I became a 40 year old. I don't know that it feels any different than 39, but I must admit that the number itself still bothers me. I'll spare you my whine about the various aging issues I've encountered with my body in the past year; except to say that an older friend of mine said simply.. "You're almost 40 right? That's when it all starts!" BAH

I spent the day working as usual, followed by quickly running the vacuum, cleaning up the kitchen, preparing dessert for later...

Ole's parents came by bearing 2 big hortensia plants (aka hydrangea), which was very nice of them as I always love to have something new to add to my garden.  We had coffee (Danes don't go anywhere without having coffee!) and I served dessert. No birthday cake with 40 candles to blow out; just ice cream and strawberries (very tasty, I might add). My sister-in-law and my parents both called to wish me a Happy Birthday later in the evening.

I'll save the details of the bday present I am getting from Ole for another post. All I will say is that I am extremely excited! :)

Here's to being 40-something!


  1. Ok I will watch and learn from you about how to adapt to turning 40 because I am right behind you...

    And I am not too excited about this Danish tradition for bdays.... Where I am from, when it is your bday, it is ALL ABOUT YOU! :o) I am going to have to "fix" this tradition here before my bday rolls around in March! LOL

    Can´t wait to hear about DIN GAVE!!

  2. Happy belated birthday. All the best wishes.


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