Happy Life Celebration! 生日快樂! The Birthday Greeting & Social Media


Baby Cake

Happy Birthday!

I almost never say or write this to people. And it’s NOT because I’m a No Fun Party Pooper.

I always wish my friends and family a Happy Life Celebration. Why not Happy Birthday, you ask?

How many birthdays have you had? 20? 34? 50? Less? More?

If you think about it, no one has had that many birthdays … unless you’re Buddhist or Hindu and you’ve been reincarnated all those times.

We have all had ONE birthday… That’s right!

That’s the day our Mothers – after nine months of carrying us around and all the life changing work that comes with that – suffered in child bearing labor to have us.

All the rest of those birthdays are Celebrations! So be sure to THANK YOUR MOTHER on the celebration of your birthday… she did all the work!

That being said, I was wishing some friends a ‘Happy Life Celebration’ the other day on-line. And it struck me how different things are now.

Back before computers were all the rage, long before Social Media became a thing, back when Snail Mail was just called mail and Email wasn’t a word yet – we had our calendars & date books to mark not only our errands, dates, meetings, outings and vacation time, but also our friends’ & family members’ Birthdays.

We would write in our date books Get card for Mom or Bday card for Leslie. Then during the course of our day we would go to a shop to buy a card. We would scrutinize each one carefully. We would pick up a few up here and there and try to pick out the perfect one that expressed what we thought of the person we were buying it for.

Some of the cards were funny, some were very sentimental, some cards played the Happy Birthday Song when you opened them.

We read each one wondering, should I get a funny one? Perhaps a serious one? What would they think of this one? We put thought, time and energy (and money!) into getting the perfect card just for that special someone.

Sometimes, if we couldn’t find that perfect card in the shop or if we wanted to make our friend or family member feel extra special, we custom made our own cards. We would buy nice thick drawing paper and colored pens and sketch a design just for the person we were wishing a happy birthday.

Then we got the envelope, put the card inside, we licked the minty tasting glue flap to seal it. We wrote their address on the envelope and the return address. We bought the stamps, licked the stamps, fixed the stamps to the envelope, got high off all the minty tasting glue we’ve been licking, then went to the post office or dropped it into a road side mail-box.

A mailman would eventually come and gather the mail and the journey  of the Birthday Card – at a snail’s pace -would begin.

The Happy Birthday Card would then travel a day or two or three, and finally arrive – hopefully – at your friend or family member’s address where they would retrieve it from their mailbox, bring it into the house, sit down, tear open the envelope, read your words and smile.

They appreciated the thought, the sentiment. They appreciated the time and energy they knew you put into making sure they got the card by their birthday… as they probably did the same for you.

Ahhh, those were the days!

Social networking has changed all that.

Indeed, it is convenient not having to remember everyone’s birthday as Social Networking does it for you now. That is an upside.

But the time and thought that goes into Birthday Wishes has decreased dramatically.

Sure there are those that leave a nice thought on your wall. Sure there are those that went through the trouble to download or make a digital birthday card for you.

But most just leave a quick ‘Happy Birthday!’ (or  生日快樂! in Taiwan).

Some can’t even manage to write the whole two words Happy Birthday but instead write Happy Bday or worse HBD or HB.

There are those who don’t wish anyone a Happy Bday or HB or HBD on Social Networking. So perhaps the receiver of the Happy Birthday Sentiment still appreciates the gesture.

For those under the age of say… 20, the process of buying a card and mailing it off to a friend using snail mail is most likely a foreign concept. This younger digital generation does things a lot differently than their predecessors.

Perhaps, I’m showing my age (forever 25! har har), and it IS just the thought that counts, but it just seems to me that we could put a bit more effort into our Birthday Celebration Wishes.

Is the generation of mailing cards using (snail) mail over?

Your thoughts?

That being said, if today is the Anniversary of your Birth… Happy Life Celebration!

Peace & Love


You can Follow the Militant Hippi/Boston Paul on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BostonPaul
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MilitantHippi

You Might also like to read:

1. A few Guidelines I’ve picked up as I forge through Life: https://bostonpaul.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/lifes-guidelines-2/

2. What is a Friend? How many do you have…. Really? https://bostonpaul.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/who-what-is-a-friend-really/

3. Worthy Quotes from Yours Truly: https://bostonpaul.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/boston-paul-quotes/

4. Waiting in Line… a funny little tale we can relate to: https://bostonpaul.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/the-express-lane-10-items-or-less/

Published in: on January 12, 2015 at 8:05 PM  Comments (8)  
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