Having a December birthday is hard. Trust me, I know. Today is mine (whaddup?) and I woke up to realize that my free Starbucks birthday offer expires tomorrow (limited time offer, indeed) and that I’ve hit that quarter century mark. Like everyone’s birthday, it’s a reminder — as much as I’d give for it not to be true — that life goes on and doesn’t revolve around you for a day (you get a day, singular — don’t kid yourself) just because you managed to slide out of your mom however many years ago. But, for December kiddos, it ain’t easy. We’re handed the birthday short stick because Christ the Savior is born, and everyone thinks we’ll lose every brain cell we’ve ever possessed, forget what day it is, and be cool with your birthday/Christmas “combo gift.”
So, for my 25th, here are 25 acceptable “combo gifts” that, in a perfect world, we’d actually like to receive. Go big or go home.
1. One-day-only snow dumped at my house at midnight on my birthday and a note written by Jesus Christ himself that explains to my boss why I won’t be coming into work that day.
2. If you don’t give me snow, I want the exact opposite: 80 degrees at the beach, but the ocean is full of magical unicorn tears. And I get to keep the unicorn.
3. If you can’t hit up Heat Miser or Snow Miser to beg a favor, I will accept your Christmas gift — and my youth back. Please.
4. A Christmas Vacation movie marathon. When guests try to leave, arrange for Chevy Chase to bust through the door and quote his iconic shit-flip: “Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.” Know why, Aunt Glenda? Because it’s a COMBO GIFT.
5. Enough of the Bath & Body Works you’ll inevitably buy to scamp around the fact that you should hand over a second gift to drown myself in and Adele’s “25” album to bring me back to life. I’m getting a second gift out of you if it kills me, damn it.
6. You dress up as Lord Voldemort. I dress up as Harry Potter. We play out their final fight scene and you figure out how I feel about the mediocrity of your effort.
7. Santana. Featuring Rob Thomas. Deliver them to my doorstep in a big box. Poke holes, though. I’m in grad school and it’s finals week (and if you’re a December baby, you feel me), so I don’t have time to hide bodies.
8. Do you know what would be really be great? A gift card from Chick-fil-a that I could use on a Sunday. Get on that, Glenda.
9. Speaking of Chick-fil-a, the best gift ever would be if one popped up right next door with a Target/Starbucks attached to it. One-stop shop. (Holy shit, make this happen Cc: Chick-fil-a, Cc: Target, Cc: Starbucks).
10. I want Fitz and Olivia to be able to be with each other without the world going to hell in a hand basket. That’s all anyone really wants.
11. Send me back to college (college college, not this bullshit grad school “college”) and take care of my student loans. Including interest. Happy birthday. Merry Christmas.
12. Match my 401k dollar for dollar, but also, like, my salary, too.
13. Adult for me as my birthday present, but, as my combo Christmas package, I get to do all the fun stuff like have sex and go tailgating and out to the bars. I may have spoken too soon in #10.
14. A literal combo meal from Chick-fil-a would be acceptable. Throw in a frosted lemonade for a happy New Year.
15. If you’re going the gift card route (and who are we kidding? You are.), grab one that I will actually use. Like, a Visa, or to Yankee Candle or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. But then get two, because birthday/Christmas. And for the record, Aunt Glenda, I stopped shopping at Limited Too and Bath and Body Works when I hit puberty.
16. You could literally make me something with your own two hands, so long as there are two of them for two separate occasions. Knitting mittens? I look forward to the scarf.
17. Go back in time and tell Kim and Kanye to name their babies something less holier-than-Thou than Saint and less Cardinal-directiony than North. Hang tight, though, Marty McFly. There’s a few other things you can do for me if you’re going that way.
18. Take the nostalgic route and make me some mixtapes. You can never go wrong with a mixtape…unless your name is Chandler Bing, in which case, you can.
19. A fifth of some really good bourbon and assuming all of my responsibilities the following day would be a terrific option. I’d probably owe you after that.
20. Two separate dollar bills. After all, it’s the thought (/proof you remembered that my birthday and Christmas are two separate occasions) that counts.
21. Get me a book. And then the sequel to that book. This isn’t hard, I promise.
22. OMG BUY ME A(nother) PUPPY
23. Land me a job in the field I actually studied and we’ll call it even.
24. And if you really want to get away with giving one present to a December baby, I have two words for you: pool party. Make it a barbecue and you’re golden. You always want what you can’t have.
25. Remember that it’s two separate occasions, and unless you want to share your birthday with National Anchovy Day, give responsibly.
**If you really want to help me celebrate my birthday the best way possible, please make a donation to Susan G. Komen, Toys for Tots, drop a 5 spot into a Red Kettle near you, find a charity near and dear to your own heart to help out, or simply pay it forward at whatever drive-thru you hit up later today. Thanks!