I love looking forward to my birthday, and it's not because of presents! When we were little my Mom said that we couldn't start decorating for Christmas until my birthday came (even though this did not mean that we would be getting a tree that soon. Trees were reserved for the last minute of Dec 23 or 24). So for me, celebrating my birthday symbolizes the approach of Christmas.
Then when I married my part-Dutch husband, I learned that for the Dutch, my birthday IS Christmas! Aka Sinterklaas Day. Children put their wooden shoes by the fireplace in hopes that Sinterklaas will leave them a present for being good. Ambitious children leave hay and carrots in their shoes for Sinterklaas' horses, which results in a thank-you treat being left.
(If you want a humorous take on this Dutch holiday and Sinterklaas' strange habits (like summering in Spain) listen to David Sedaris' essay, "Six to Eight Black Men". I promise you'll laugh out loud at least once. There's also a humorous bit on Michigan hunters in there.)
So on this Sinterklaas Day, we went to Meijer Gardens to see the Holidays Around the World exhibit, which includes several Christmas trees decorated the way different nations do it. While they had an England and Ireland tree, there is no Scotland tree. Fail, MG!
Mark and Marian treated us to lunch at the Gardens, where I had never dined before. Who wouldn't enjoy mushroom and artichoke salad? Weirdos. Oh, and JB. So he got something else.
Then JB made me a FAB dinner of a favorite I share with Garfield: lasagna. JB made Emeril's lasagna. BAM! The Hunts came over to help celebrate, and Marian brought me a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Oh, and did I mention that I didn't have to manage Olivia while I ate dinner? Mega bonus.
And the birthday fun just kept continuing.
For there were presents (in addition to the dozens of texts, phone calls, and FB messages wishing me a happy day)!
- Membership renewal at Meijer Gardens for JB and I (one adult admission is $12, so a membership to get in for free anytime is awesome!)
- Art-deco topaz earrings
Yes, there is a toppest present.
JB said he was going overboard on a Christmas/Birthday present, which totally blows the budget.
Here are some clues:
I'M GOING TO SEE MIRANDA LAMBERT AND BRAD PAISLEY IN CONCERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love going to concerts and haven't been to see a lot of my favorite acts because it is so expensive. Each summer I cry and cry when the wonderful concerts come to the county fairs, etc., and leave again, while I stay at home.
Then when I learned that my two faves (after Keith Urban and Alison Krauss), Brad Paisley and MIRANDA LAMBERT were coming to town for a show in January, I was quite dejected. They will come and rock out without me.
But not any more! I am v. v. excited.
Thank you, JB!!!!!