Monday, May 16, 2016

When celebrations collide

Time to clear the cards off the mantelpiece I think. It was my birthday two weeks ago, and they're starting to gather dust. As are, nestled in there, my Mother's Day cards.
Do you see how the Mother's Day card gets a little lost..?
I had a delightful birthday. TLOML took me out for legit sushi and cocktails and a celebratory brunch, and I got some lovely gifts and cards. I had a very nice Mother's Day too. There was an almost unbearably cute Mother's Day breakfast at school, including a little concert. Handmade cards from P, a bumperr sleep in and a lovely brunch and gift from TLOML.

So I suppose I have nothing to complain about. And yet, I do think the experience could be optimised.

The two celebrations are just too close together. Mother's Day has been set by the greetings' card lobby as the second Sunday in May here, which means it falls within a week or two of my birthday. This year it was just six days later. Inevitably, the two celebrations collide. TLOML told me a couple of days afterwards that one of the Mother's Day gifts was in fact a birthday present. And I can't say I blame him. Planning for my birthday consumes enough effort, so to have another celebration follow hard on the heels - well, he's all but run out of steam by then. And Mother's Day here - like most things - is quite a big deal. Brunch tables get booked up weeks in advance and florists make a killing in additional markup.

TLOML did very well to cover the essentials - a good brunch, a card and a gift - as well as making me feel treasured and important all day long. It's no mean feat. I know how he feels, because his birthday is less than two weeks before Christmas. And he is very hard to buy for, so thinking of two brilliant gifts in a short time frame is tough.

There's nothing we can do about that clash of celebrations. I'll just have to start thinking about his birthday earlier. But there is something we can do about the birthday/ Mother's Day mash up.

I have decided - no, decreed - that from 2017 on we (okay, he) will mark Mother's Day according to the British calendar, which is to say, Mothering Sunday in the Church calendar.  It moves about a bit but is usually some time in March. That means there's a decent amount of breathing space before my birthday, and there'll be no competition for brunch tables. Lady P might be confused, as she will have to stick with the school calendar - so I guess I'll get to celebrate it twice. I think that is known as having the best of both worlds. But TLOML will be absolutely exonerated from any Mother's Day duties in May, leaving him clear to focus entirely on my birthday. It's a transatlantic win-win!

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