My Birthday - (Gifts Have Never Been a Focus)

I celebrated my birthday in late June.

I am grateful for many things including but not limited to my health, the health of my family, my mother's health, my wonderful friends, my work colleagues, my job, my volunteer work, my blog, my youth basketball program and my mentors.

As a child, birthday's were always acknowledged and filled with love yet gifts were never a focal point of the celebration. My mother and father were brilliant in that regard as it has made gifts less important throughout my life.  The value of embracing love and family over material things is one of the best lessons my parents taught me.

Did I receive toys, etc when I was a child? Of course but never more than one or two and often they were educational.  I've seen children in my own family receive over 20 gifts at a birthday party -something that still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth to this day. Does a kid ever need that many gifts? What lessons are we teaching our children when we shower them with an abundance of material things?

My wife does a wonderful job of continuing the tradition that my parents started by giving me small and meaningful gifts on my birthday. The presents from her and my two children were perfect with books and magazines being strongly represented.  Her aunt also gave me a great gift and is something I can use promptly with the upcoming changes in our life.  I appreciate presents especially when there is thought behind them.

On my birthday, I woke up much too early (6:00am) as my daughter has never been known to sleep late. My family sang to me (in Swedish and English) and I opened up my gifts around 8:00am.  By 9:00am, my family (including my wife's aunt) was on the beach enjoying a perfect morning of sandcastles and splashes in the cool water of southern Sweden.

What a magnificent way to begin a birthday!

Happy Gswede Sunday!

Gswede's birthday morning began on the beach at 9am.


Anonymous said...

Nice- heres to many more!!!

Andrea Nolley said...

Cuz, glad you enjoyed your day! Sounds wonderful to me - especially the beach part! Many more earth days! For I believe that the celebration of your true essence, your Spirit, is eternal. Love, Andrea

Unknown said...

Alcohol is a great gift.

Anonymous said...

Wow, do I hear that - drowning kids in gifts. HOW many times have I reflected on how many, and the nature of the gifts, I got when I was a kid? Compared to today? And who doesn't remember the line, "Your birthday's coming soon..." Thanks George, for yet another insightful and nostalgic post.