Today is Thanksgiving, a day to celebrate with family and friends, eat good food, have fun. Come to think of it, Thanksgiving sounds like a really big birthday party!
But how would you feel if you had to share your birthday -- the most special day of the year -- with a holiday or important event? Would it make your birthday more exciting, or would it overshadow it a little bit?
Jeremiah Snow of Reston, for whom Turkey Day is also his 12th birthday, likes that the day is about more than just him. He relishes the chance to share both special occasions with his family. For him, the greatest difference between a regular birthday and a Thanksgiving birthday is the chance to add cake to the dessert tray with the pumpkin pie.
Because Thanksgiving isn't on the same date from year to year, Jeremiah's birthday seldom falls on the holiday. But some kids have a birthday that falls on a holiday every year.
Nysia Broadus, 12, of Temple Hills makes the most of her valentine's Day birthday. She adopted red and pink as her favorite colors and says lots of kids call her "Cupid" at school.
"It's cool because not a lot of people in my school have birthdays on holidays, and I put my own personal twist on it," Nysia said.
Lauren Derby, 10, of Damascus and Kelly Bies, 13, of Potomac also celebrate Feb. 14 birthdays. They say the biggest difference is that birthday messages are written in the valentines they get from classmates. Kelly also said that a friend decorated her locker with a heart theme on her special day.
That raises a question: Do people with holiday birthdays take on a spirit similar to that holiday?
Joshua Hartman, 9, of Chevy Chase and Tanvi Rawat, 9, of Ashburn were born on the Fourth of July. Both said that it makes them feel more patriotic that they share a birthday with the country and get a fireworks show in addition to birthday cake.
Nicholas Weappa of La Plata turned 10 on Halloween, but he doesn't think he's more frightening than any other kid. He does, however, enjoy the opportunity to combine his party with Halloween activities.
Combining birthdays with holidays might not always be a good thing. Some kids with birthdays close to gift-giving holidays such as Christmas or Hanukkah complain that they get only one present.
Not so for Isaac McCord of Olney, who turns 11 on Christmas Eve. He said he gets two presents from each friend and relative -- one for his birthday, one for Christmas. But having two major gift-giving dates crammed together means a dry spell the rest of the year, so Isaac feels he has earned his double dose of presents when Christmas rolls around.
What about a birthday that doesn't fall on an occasion that people typically celebrate?
Jeremy Gibson, 9, a fourth-grader at Bunker Hill Elementary in the District, had his birthday the day before school started this year. "It's sad because school's getting ready and you have to get supplies and stuff," Jeremy said. "But it's good to see some friends again after the summer away."
Matthew Olson, 12, of Chantilly was born on Sept. 11, which hasn't been associated with much cheer since the tragic events of 2001. Matthew remembers his eighth birthday, not because of cake or presents but because people were watching TV sets, crying.
"We don't really do much for my birthday. . . . It's less exciting, I'd say. But it taught me to not take life for granted."
-- Michael Tunison