It's a celebratory day for my family. It's Rosh Hashana. The Jewish New Year. Blowing of the shofar, apples & honey and all that goes with it. It's happy New Years Day but there's no football and you get to celebrate by spending the day in Temple.
It's also my daughter Amy's birthday. She turns twenty-seven and she'll celebrate by going to Rosh Hashana services. Good times!
Having a birthday on a holiday isn't that unusual. My birthday is on June 11th and it's a week early to ever coincide with Father's Day...phew. But I remember being very young, looking at my grandmother's calendar and finding Children's Day on June 11th. I was so excited imagining all the double presents I was going to get on that day. When I told my mother about it, she said, "every day was children's day" and walked away. Killjoy. We never talked about it again.
Holiday birthdays in my family aren't rare. My father was born on New Year's Eve and my sister New Year's Day...and not the Jewish New Years. I don't think either were affected by the holiday/birthday combination, except my dad celebrating his day by telling her "your birthday isn't til next year." Every. Single. Time.
When I think of family holiday birthdays, I usually think of my youngest daughter, Kimi. Every so often, her birthday ends up on Mother's Day. I think it bothered her when she was younger but now when it happens, like it did in 2016, she just hangs out with her mom and they rock out together...or something like that.
I understand why the birthday on a holiday thing would be a drag. It's supposed to be your very own special day. When you have to share it with others, it's not quite as special. I can only imagine having your birthday on Christmas. You're sitting around the tree and here's a gift for you and one for your brother and one for your sister and hey, here's one for grandma. Talk about buzzkill.
But having your birthday on Rosh Hashana has to be a whole different kind of bummer. The Jewish New Year is very solemn. Not exactly a ball dropping in Times Square kind of New Years. When I realized that Amy's birthday was going to be on this day, I was wondering what she thought. I figured she had some experience with this. Because of the changing Jewish calendar from year to year, you'd think she would have had a bday or two on either of the big Jewish holidays. According to her, you'd be wrong. The only time it has happened was on the day she was born.
"Dad, I was born on Rosh Hashana. Grandma wanted to name me Shoshanna."
I honestly don't remember her being born on Rosh Hashana. I honestly don't remember my mother wanting to name her that, although I don't doubt that. Good thing we filled out the birth certificate and sent it off to the state of California records department before we let her see her granddaughter. Phew...but yanno the name Shoshanna Elizabeth does have a nice ring to it.
She didn't seem to be too distressed over the holiday/birthday situation. She's going to Temple like she would on any Rosh Hashana. A lot of the people she would spend her birthday with will be there. I'm pretty sure they'll even have wine there so there's that, too. It's not like going to the Olive Garden like we did when she was a kid but what can you do? Hey, don't make fun of the OG. After fasting on Yom Kippur, soup, salad and bread sticks sounds pretty good.
So to all who celebrate the holiday, Shana Tova...have a good year. To my daughter Amy, Shana Tova and a very Happy Birthday. Love you and maybe we can do the Olive Garden next year.
Related Post: Does it suck to have your birthday on Mother's Day?
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