Finding reasons to celebrate!

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They say that smart people never stop learning. They’re constantly seeking things to learn. Having worked for decades on three continents, and raised a family of three strapping sons, I find myself learning every day. And I love it! Sometimes it’s important stuff, and sometimes the tidbit is inconsequential, but still, it’s something new.

For example - I had never heard the term “Champagne Birthday” until recently.

In these times, it’s so important to find things to celebrate, to pat ourselves on the back, to congratulate others, to reach out and smile. The news surrounding us is often bleak, whether we hear it from TV, radio or just while talking with people. The world is tired of all the alarming, grim and gloomy news reports, while all around us, people try to hold on to some semblance of normalcy and fun.

On one such day, I had just heard about a new variant exploding around the globe. I loped into the kitchen, where two of my sons were goofing around and chortling away, as they typically do.

“Oh, hello marm”, they warbled cheerfully as I slunk in, gazing at me as if I was a clown returning from a long day performing at a circus. Breezily they asked in chorus, “Marm, do you know that we both have champagne birthdays this year?”

A silent lifetime passed as I contemplated my response (actually, about 5 seconds). Deciding that it would not do for a mother not to know that her children had something seemingly significant happening, I made a speedy decision – admittedly not one of my best. Swiftly employing an intelligent look, I exclaimed, “Of course I do!”.

Son #1 promptly asked, “So what do you think we should do to celebrate?”. After which son #2 generously offered, “We have to make sure we capture it for history, and for sharing”. Intrigued by this gargantuan display of information that hinted at the use of FUN, I stayed silent, as if deep in thought, but actually completely baffled.

At this point my features undoubtedly resembled those of a vaguely animated donut, my mouth taking on the shape of an “O”. I suppose my gormless demeanour is what caused them to inquire, “You know what champagne birthdays are, right?”

This called for a quick rearranging of my face. “Uh, something to do with drinking champagne on the day?”, I ventured, tentatively. “Marm, really?? You don’t know?” Significant guffawing ensued, which I did not partake in, for obvious reasons. I was silently kicking myself for knowing less than my kids.

It was then revealed to me that a champagne birthday is when you reach the age that your birthdate is. If your birthday is on January 25th, and you’re turning 25, bingo! Champagne birthday. It includes the consumption of champagne (none of that Prosecco stuff) on said birthday.

“Aha!” I quipped. “Another reason to celebrate while celebrating a birthday, that’s super!” Immediately, we went in search of good French champagne, and when the birthdays arrived, the sparkling drink was consumed and the “milestone” celebrated, like most birthdays in our household, over a whole week.

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Then I guiltily realized we had overlooked our oldest son’s bubbly birthday. It didn’t matter, though - he assured us that he had celebrated it with his friends. Charming!

I can’t be faulted for being clueless. My champagne birthday could not have involved the delightful drink, since the date is early in the month. My husband suffered a similar predicament. So these extravagant birthdays work only for some.

But hey, even if only those born between the legal drinking age and 31 can benefit from this phenomenon, it’s still cause for additional fun!

After all, who needs any new reason to celebrate? We all do!

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