Of all the holidays,
anniversaries and occasions we celebrate (or
are obligated to celebrate), there's one
milestone gaining in popularity partly
because it doesn't impose itself on us.
Unless of course we want it to.
It's the Half Birthday. An event we can pull
out of our pocket whenever needed for any
number of reasons, or totally ignore if we
see fit with no one the wiser.
It's the occasion of convenience. The
discretionary semi-anniversary that's a
win-win for those who choose to honor it and
those happily on the receiving end.
birthdays originally grew out of a need to
accommodate two groups:
first, infants and toddlers for whom a year
is too long to wait to celebrate progress in
their young lives.
And second, those
whose birthdays occur at inconvenient times
of the year: during the holiday season when
they're all but forgotten; in the
summertime, depriving school children of the
inevitable classroom party; or at the height
of winter when severe weather can put a
damper on those who have always yearned for
an outdoor birthday bash.
of these circumstances, celebrating the half
birthday is the perfect alternative, a Plan
B that in some cases even becomes the
permanent day of observance over the actual
day of birth.
people are finding all sorts of additional
reasons (excuses?) to break out the bubbly
at the six-month mark. Some may balk that
it's just another day to have to remember,
plan, buy gifts for, and make a fuss over.
But proponents counter that
celebrating a half birthday is entirely
optional, that it doesn't have to be a
yearly event, and that no one, if they even
know when their half birthday is, is
expecting anything anyway.
brings up the element of surprise. While
it's becoming ever more difficult to
surprise someone on their actual birthday
(don't we all at least consider the
possibility and look for telltale signs?),
half b-days are another story. Most will be
totally caught off base and especially
appreciative if you spring a gift or party
on them, no matter how modest. Which makes
it a novel and thoughtful way to show your
appreciation to a coworker, friends, lover,
Half birthdays have also become
a way for parents who are separated or
divorced to do something special with their
kids if they don't get to see them on their
And while some adults
would rather forget they're having yet
another birthday, much less a half birthday,
kids are of a different nature. How proudly
they tack on that half-year when asked their
age, asserting that they're five and a half,
eight and a half, or twelve and a half. So
why not recognize it?
Half birthdays have a place in romance, too.
Someone vying for another's heart can gain a
decided competitive edge by making a little
ado on his or her "half b." And what better
way to delight one's better half (especially
after a tiff) than with a present on their
this has not gone unnoticed by entrepreneurs
seeking to serve the burgeoning half
birthday market. This website
Halfbirthday.com is just one of many
venues touting online collections of half
b'day gifts, cards, novelties and party
ideas specially befitting the half birthday
theme, for celebrants of all ages.
Thus, if you're so
inclined to test drive a half birthday
this year, don't be shy. You're in good