Why You Should Always Say Happy Birthday Early

From everything I’ve read, it seems it’s very bad luck to wish someone happy birthday before their actual birthday. Apparently it’s too wishful of thinking, or something. A “don’t catch your chickens before they hatch” type of deal.

I get it.

A birthday wish, if it were to be defined, is essentially a two-word celebration of the anniversary someone was born, right? It’s you saying, “hey, congrats on surviving another year. I hope this day that specifically signifies the anniversary of your aliveness is joyful, yo.”

So technically if you offer this congratulations before it is appropriate, you’re lying to the would-be birthday boy or girl, because technically they haven’t yet accomplished what you’re congratulating them for. And since lying is not typically a good basis of friendship, love, or whichever noun best describes your relationship to the would-be birthday boy or girl, it probably is better/more polite/overall less dangerous to wish them happy birthday on their actual birthday, rather than say it early and ignore all the aforementioned risk.

But I’m going to do it anyways.

You see, tomorrow is my sister’s birthday. Not today, tomorrow. And while I would like to follow protocol because I don’t enjoy lying to my sister and I would, in fact, like the day that specifically signifies the anniversary of her aliveness to be joyful, yo, I would also like to take a moment to be selfish. Because while wishing someone happy birthday is primarily for their benefit—to give congratulations and yo and all of that—it’s also a way to celebrate your enjoyment of the existence of the congratulations and the yo and all of that. So when it comes down to it, the anniversary of their birth is joyful for you because it means that you have had the opportunity to enjoy another year of their alive-ness.

So really, a premature birthday wish is a just selfish birthday wish. It doesn’t care about the formalities. All it cares about is the truth. And the truth is, I’m happy you were born, Natalee. I’m happy you were brought into this world and I’m happy you continue to live in it alongside me. And even though I can’t technically celebrate another year of your aliveness for another 24 hours, I basically celebrate your aliveness all the time, so the formalities don’t really matter that much, you see?

Happy birthday, today and everyday! May they all be joyful, yo.


7 responses to “Why You Should Always Say Happy Birthday Early”

  1. Yay! I celebrate Natalee every year too! And hey….I look at it as a suggestion. Happy Birthday! As in….when your actual birthday does arrive–make sure it IS happy! 🙂 xoxo

    1. I love that. And by the way, happy early birthday to you too! 🙂 ❤

  2. Happy birthday, yo!! Better early than late!! lol

  3. […] Rachel, presented me with a small packet of gummy bears. It was the last packet leftover from my sister’s birthday—which featured a taco piñata full of mini alcohol and candy—thus making it precious […]

  4. Nice to be so self-centered as though you’re the one that matters instead of the other person. I guess its okay if your sister doesn’t mind. For people from Germany, Russia, and other parts of Europe especially, a premature happy birthday is a wish for bad luck. Just because you don’t think it is, doesn’t change it.

    1. Ric, this was not written to be disrespectful in any way and I’m sorry if you interpreted as such. It is very common in the US, or at least in my group of family and friends, to wish people happy “early birthday”, especially if you aren’t going to see them on their actual birthday, just to send them good wishes. I wrote this very sarcastically, in the hopes of making my sister smile, and letting her know that I celebrate having her in my life every day.

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