Many Happy Returns – 10 Tips for A Happy Birthday

ALT="baby with birthday cake"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

I thought “returns” were things you took back to a store because they weren’t what you expected or because they were defective. Even online marketing mentions “free returns.”

But that’s not what “many happy returns” is talking about. The short phrase derives from a longer expression originating in the 1700s – “Many happy returns of the day.” Essentially it meant, “Hope this day comes around for you again and again.”

Modern usage of  “many happy returns” has been reserved for birthdays – those mile markers you can’t return or exchange.

Along the way, I’ve picked up a few tips for enjoying a happy birthday, and since this is my month to celebrate, I’m sharing those tips with you. Here’s hoping your “many happy returns” will be truly happy, regardless of how many you’d like to return.

10 Tips for A Happy Birthday

1. Don’t weigh yourself on your birthday. It’s depressing and you shouldn’t be depressed on your birthday.

2. Do not shop for a swimsuit on your birthday. See number 1.

3. Do not diet. Never eat diet food on your birthday. Eat whatever you are hungry for, which is usually cake and ice cream.

4. Do not eat the candles on the cake (if you get one). Wax sticks between your teeth and makes it look like you ate the candles on your cake.                                          

5. Do not expect people to remember your birthday. You are not Viggo Mortensen, a former first lady, or a prime minister. This means your spouse, children, parents, siblings, and co-workers may not remember. Yes, it is wonderful if they do, but don’t let their forgetfulness grab you by the throat, because when they forget (and some or all of them will) the unmet expectation will drag you down. Instead try one of the remaining five tips.

6. Send a card to someone you know with the same birth month.

7. Find someone with a need that you can meet and meet it – like a stay-at-home mother of small children who could use an afternoon off. Deliver groceries or do a chore for someone who has trouble getting around.

8. Donate your age in food by weight or dollar value to a local shelter.                   

9. Donate your age in money to the pregnancy center or other charitable organization.

10. Smile. Be grateful that you are under the sky and above the grass. Thank God for another year, day, hour, and breath. Some people would have given anything for just one more.

In everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

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ALT="An Improper Proposal"

   Her offer became more appealing as he tallied all the things he did himself besides work the ranch.
   “Can you ride?”
   She blinked up at him. Then again.
   His answer, but he asked again anyway. “Can you horseback?”
   Her chin rose higher. “I can learn.”
   He held in a snort. She’d not answered him directly, but she’d not lied either. “This business proposition—what’s in it for you?”
   At that she stood, and he noticed for the first time that she had no lady’s handbag. No satchel.    Her hands smoothed the sides of her suit, dark brown like his bay gelding tied near Reiker’s old wagon. A rip in her collar bore witness to the brooch she’d thrown at the gunman.
   He saw it now—her desperation.
   “A home and respectability. Safety.” Her color heightened and she lowered her gaze and her voice. “I have seen my twentieth birthday—plus a few—so if I do not appeal to you, we can live as man and wife in name only.”
   Plus a few? He’d wager one, maybe two. Nearly a decade stood between them, a surprising discovery since her dead groom had been closer to forty.
   “I have no expectations,” she added, “other than if you are not satisfied with my help and companionship, you send me away with enough funds for lodging until I can find employment elsewhere. You have my word that I shall repay you every penny.” ~An Improper Proposal

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2 thoughts on “Many Happy Returns – 10 Tips for A Happy Birthday

  1. Alicia Haney

    I enjoyed reading your post, thank you for sharing about it. Have a great week and stay safe.

    1. davalynn

      Thank you, Alicia. Blessings!


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