I’m sure we all know people at this time of year who have birthdays, but in the melee of festivities their actual birth-day is glossed over. This is to remember all those who will and have been over the years missing out on a celebratory day – unless of course they’re really clever and have a half-day – in June or July on this side of the hemisphere.
I have a few great friends round this time – and one on Boxing Day – who just vanishes to warmer climes – she came from South Africa, but I knew her years before I went over there. I simply cannot blame her for escaping! I made hay while the sun shone for my own day in January when I lived in Johannesburg.
|Fresh veggie = essentials
My uncle’s birthday was today ... and since my aunt had died he’d almost been forgotten about – friends would come down, but the rest of us many relatives were tied up with our Christmas rush.
I just decided one year to give him a surprise party .... and invited a few people that he knew, some relatives, cousins of ours, my family and a few locals ... keeping it very small and quite open ended.
|Cold meat selection
(ours were in finger pieces)
Not a good time – but if everyone was told ... party time with a buffet lunch from 11.30 onwards, then I reckoned I get a few more takers ... and we did.
My honorary god-daughter D (she was born on the same day as my real god-daughter .. and they’ve remained friends – great isn’t it) aged 12 or so .. was very happy to spend a night at my house ... playing games, having a sleep-over, while I grafted and organised the food: a surprise is a surprise.
Derek knew D and I were going over to have lunch with him – so he was expecting us ... but the first thing on our arrival was .... “well dearest Derek – we have invited a few friends to come round for lunch”. Help – he then wanted to rush around ... nope – D ordered him to sit down – gave him a cup of coffee ...
|Devils on Horseback
... we did have to ask him to get up to turn the central heating back on ... but after that – it was fairly plain sailing. Finger food, plenty of choice for elderly palettes, was unloaded, for simplicity and to save on washing up - paper plates, plastic cups and cutlery were laid out, Christmas baubles, decorations and tinsel were ‘decoratively’ strewn around ...
... the Aga was ready for the few things that needed heating or warming ... the platters were laid up and we were set to go ... all in about 45 minutes ... as the first guests came through the door – I’d asked some special friends of his to come early to soothe his rattled soul ... at the suddenness of party time!
Langata was a typical Kenyan house ... large windows onto a stoop (balcony) overlooking the garden ... which my aunt had designed and laid out, as she’d done for the house! Some lady! The garden stretched out before us ... crispy and even in its wintry cover ... but beautiful in its form.
As each set of guests stepped through the door from about 11.45 onwards to about 2.30 ... my uncle’s eyes popped out ... people came and went – which was ideal ... never too many at once.
|Cheese and Grapes
The Birth Day became an annual event ... and even last year after he had died and the house had been sold – the new owners invited the next door Garden Nursery people to drinks on the same day – so as it happened the tradition continued. Melanie said to me .. it was so strange going round knowing Derek was no longer there.
My uncle was thrilled and said nobody had thrown a party for him ... he proclaimed he’d never had a birthday party .... perhaps true in that week before Christmas – so I was glad I could treat him to something special.
|Gooey no bake chocolate cake
waiting to be cut into squares
He was amazed .... everyone helped clear up and sort things out ... the fridge was packed with some delicious left-overs and he was happy in his excitement of the day ....
Happy Birthday to all who get the rough end of the stick by being born at this time of year – it’s not their fault though is it?!
Thank you for your support, friendship and wonderful comments during the year and now a very Merry Christmas to one and all ... and an exceptionally happy 2012 in the year ahead ...
Blessings and Peace to all in the world – may we become a compassionate, caring and thoughtful race –
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories