birthday girl cake candles

birthday girl cake candles

It’s after Memorial Day which means it’s summer which means it’s about to be July which means it’s almost my birthday. A few years ago, by accident, I started a new birthday tradition. Here’s what happened…

In late spring, I ordered some colorful glasses. I loved the bubble-y blown glass, but when they arrived, I also felt a pang of financial irresponsibility. I certainly didn’t need them. Couldn’t I just use the regular wine glasses I already owned? Then I came up with the perfect solution: I could classify them as a birthday present — to me from me — and feel absolved.

colorful wine glasses

Nice, right?

Since then, whenever summer rolls around, I pick out something special for myself. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it can’t be a necessity. One year, I bought a vintage black dress for twenty bucks. I already had a few black dresses, but I didn’t have a perfect swing-y one that hit at mid-calf. This dress is now hanging in my closet, and whenever I pull it out, I’m reminded of my 32nd birthday. Another year, I bought a few novels at my local bookstore; they made a nice stack on my bedside table, and I always had a good beach read that summer.


Lifelong fan of presents.

This year, for gifts, I’ve got a few contenders. Maybe I’ll re-up on the only blush I ever want to use or try a buzzy lipstick. I’ve been eyeing G.H. Bass fisherman sandals for a while, but since I’m trying to do better in the saving-money department, I might troll Poshmark for a cheaper pair. Or I could choose a native plant for my balcony from a neighborhood nursery. It would be nice to watch it grow and see how big it gets by my next birthday.

So, let’s play a game: What would you get for yourself, if your birthday were today? If you’re already in the habit of buying yourself a gift, what have been your favorites?

P.S. 12 readers share their favorite birthday celebrations, and the crazy thing Joanna did at her 40th birthday party.

(Top photo by Maria Manco/Stocksy. Bottom two photos courtesy of the author.)

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