November and Birthdays!

horseheader1.jpeGood Morning Western Romance Lovers!

 Strange topic for discussion, isn’t it?  But November means more to me than just Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season.  For me, it spells birthdays.  And today I’d love to hear about your birthday and anything special that you would like to share with us about them.

Okay, so why November and birthdays?  Well, it begins with my own, I supppose.  I’m a November baby.  Now, I must make mention here that I do not like my sign, never have.  And though some friends of mine might say that it fits me (somewhat at least) — to my way of thinking, it does not.

That aside, when I was young I always thought that my birthday was special, because in southern Illinois (where I grew up), November was probably the most beautiful month of the year.  Smells of leaves and the crisp air, combining with the scent of smoke from the leaves being burned (yes, in southern IL at that time, we burned our leaves) all made the month special for me.  However, never, not once in all my growing up, did I ever have an actual birthday party — not until I was older and with a family of my own did that ever occur.

2000-11.jpgMy children say that November is a tough time for them because of all the birthdays in the month.  To start off, there’s mine, then there’s my brother-in-law’s and my favorite cousin’s, then there’s my ex-hubby’s wife’s birthday toward the end of the month and then right at the end of the month is my ex-hubby’s birthday.   There’s also a good friend’s birthday in there, as well.  The above picture to the left by the way, is of a birthday party for my kids a few years ago.

 roadtr71.jpgThis is Sammy, enjoying a birthday, as well.  Now, let’s also take a look at the traditional Native American style birthdays.  In the Lakota nation — or as I have been told — it was once customary for the person with the birthday to give gifts, not get them.  Note that in Native America, sharing with others was natural and one of the highest honors accorded to an individual.  No man could hold office who squandered his riches to himself.  But don’t think that this was a form of socialism, as I have read others to envision.  Definitely not, since socialism denotes the action of force in taking away the assets of another to give to someone else (and not necessarily to someone else who is more in need — often that asset goes directly into the pockets of the already rich and not-so-famous).

In Native America, sharing was an act of kindness and an act of selflessness.  It was considered one of the highest actions a human being could bestow upon another, and nothing was ever taken from one by force (as in our income tax system).  Things were given to others to show respect and to show one’s love of one’s fellows.

tour99111.jpgSo please come and share your stories with me and with others today.  I and our wonderful audience of romance lovers, would very much delight in hearing from you.  But most of all, have a truly super November!

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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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32 thoughts on “November and Birthdays!”

  1. In November I know ten people with birthdays. In fact, today is one of my very best friends birthday. She’s 29.

    My birthday is February 4th. I don’t mind the sign I was born under, but sometimes I don’t feel I fit the “profile” of mine either. I think it depends on planetary placements as well though.

    Now that I’m older I don’t really do much for my birthday in regard to parties or anything special really. Years ago though when I was still living in my hometown, we had a 2 foot snow and an ex of mine walked all the way from his house across town to the flower shop and then to my parents’ house to bring me a present. My mom always thought that was one of the most romantic things ever.

    My parents never threw parties for us, necessarily. My mom would bake us a cake or get a cake. My grandma always bought a store bought cake for us and when we were little, we’d get the birthday spanking….one for every year of your birth, and one to “grow” on. LOL Funny little memory.

    Hope you have a wonderful birthday Karen!

  2. I’ve got one daughter, Shelly, born in November. The tricky part of this is; come Christmas, usually way too close to the date, I’ll pull out whatever I’ve bought for the girls for Christmas, take inventory and discover … no gifts for Shelly!
    You’d think I’d get onto this, the kid is 24 this year, but for some reason it always feels like I’ve gotten enough for her but I gave it all to her for her BIRTHDAY.
    The weird thing about birthdays in my family is, we’ve got eight members of my immediate family.
    Four daughters
    Two son-in-laws
    Two parents.
    Well, three daughters, one sil and me…all have our birthdays WITHIN TWO WEEKS OF EACH OTHER! And a second son in law is about a month earlier.
    So late March through mid-April is like a birthday whirlwind.
    Then Ivan, my husband in July…do you suppose those three spring birthdays are the result of some kind of … birthday present for him???
    Need to count that one up!!!!!!!!
    And Shelly in November.
    The real truth is, because my birthday is first in the whirlwind and I saw what lies ahead, I kept it toned down for my birthday. But y’know, I don’t mind.
    Great, I got older again, whoopee! Let’s eat cake.

  3. I’ve always loved my birthday. It’s *my* day. With everyone around me, it seems, dreading theirs, I hope I keep having them because the alternative is not something I want to think about. LOL

    The ONLY thing I dread about my birthday is the fact that for as long as I can remember, I’m either getting over a cold, getting a cold, or right smack dab in the middle of a cold on my birthday. *sigh*

  4. Hi Karen! Very interesting about the Lakota Nation birthday customs.

    My mom’s birthday is on Thanksgiving this year, makes the holiday extra special. 🙂 Also have a neice and nephew in November.

    I’m a Leo (roar) 😉

  5. My birthday is February 9th, my mom’s is Feb. 3rd, one sil is Feb.1st and several cousins are also in February. My dh is in September, his late grandpa also, his dads, and a grandma & late grandma. My son’s is in October. He just turned 11. We have one in Noverber- our niece. One in December, a couple in Jan., and mil & sil in July. I always have a birthday party for my son, but we don’t for anyone else. Or we haven’t yet.

  6. Hi Karen,
    Your Sammy, looks like my Skittles! Is he also a tuxedo cat? I didn’t see any white on him, but then I only saw his cute face.
    I enjoyed learning about the Native Indians sharing rituals. I think it’s something we should all adopt in our lives as well.
    Our Crazy Birthday month starts at the end of March with my hubby.
    Don-hubby
    Angie- neice
    Jason-son
    Bill – brother-in-law
    Christina – BF’s daughter
    Pam – BF

    Seven birthdays within 9 days of each other. My son was born on my brother-in-laws BD.

    Happy November Birthday to you, Karen!!

  7. You know, Cindy’s ‘my day’ comment reminded me that the one thing I want to do on my birthday is ANYTHING I WANT AND NO GUILT.
    Well, that usually means the family feeds itself and I read a book. 🙂
    Pretty thrilling huh? Hey, I’m a simple person!

    I remember one year Jennifer Crusie was going to be in Omaha for a book signing…ON MY BIRTHDAY.
    I am a huge fan.
    So, I was excited. Okay, “my day” I’m going to this signing. Buy her book in HARDCOVER, the excitement was palpable.

    Maybe I’d take Jennifer a little gift…nothing stalkerish…just … something.

    Well, my dear and beloved daughters planned a birthday party for me. It was a big deal.

    We love you so much mom. Yay!

    So, instead of meeting Jennifer Crusie, I had to be surrounded by gifts and loved ones all day.
    Really no way to complain about that and not come off as a jerk.

    So, I smiled and thanked everybody and just generally behaved myself.
    And Jennifer’s never been back.
    Sigh

  8. That is ALL I ask for too, Mary.

    It’s *my* day and I want to do what *I* want with no guilt. That means if you get thirsty…ask your dad to fix it…not me. If you get hungry…ask your dad to fix it…not me…etc.

    I want to sleep, read, sleep, read…you get the picture. LOL

  9. My grandson’s birthday is Sept. 23rd, and mine is the 25th, so we celebrate together by my taking the family out to dinner. I like it because we can focus on his being a year older, not on me. Then I can have a quiet day with no hoopla for my own birthday. Works for me. Thanks for the fun blog, Karen.

  10. Karen, thank you for sharing that Lakota birthday custom! That’s really neat and I wish everyone would do that. I think we’ve become very selfish. When I give a gift, I love the warm feeling that steals over me like a soft blanket. But, I don’t do it often near often enough.

    I haven’t really celebrated my birthday since my kids left home. My hubby always took me out to eat though which was wonderful. Yea, I didn’t have to cook! But I remember growing up, my oldest sister who was grown by the time I came along, always baked me a birthday cake. She could make them so special and to me they looked professional. One year she made a doll cake. It was round and had a little doll stuck in the center of it. The cake part was her clothes. That was so cool. I never got to invite friends to my birthday. I only celebrated with family but we had such love for each other. Now, my parents are gone and my brother and three sisters are so scattered we rarely see each other. I miss that.

  11. Happy Birthday Month!

    I am a December baby…and it is a busy month for us with multiple birthdays and the holidays. Two of my younger cousins have birthdays that month as well (we were each born a year a part on different days though) so we always shared cakes and parties with family. I only had one birthday party with friends and that was when I was little. The rest of my birthday memories are of being with my family. We don’t really do anything for my birthday now.

  12. I think most Native American groups have the same thoughts. When a Nez Perce Indian died his belongings were given to friends and family as a show of his respect for them. And one of their sayings is: “He who thinks not of himself but of others is greatest”.

    My CP and her son have a birthday this month. Most years it falls on Thanksgiving day. My sister-in-law has a birthday this month and one of my daughter’s has an anniversary.

    I’m a summer baby and do love my time of the year! And if you ask my dh- I am my sign- the crab! LOL

  13. I think the native americans had the right idea! I’ve also heard that in some asian countries the child gives the mother a gift on their birthday – another neat idea lol. I’m also a November baby – 29th. I also never had a birthday party – still let my mom know about that since my sister – a june birthday – did have one lol. My husband has one this month, my nephew and my best friend too.
    Happy Birthday!!

  14. My birthday is in November too, 16th!!! And my younger brother is also a November baby, 20th. When I was younger, I had birthday parties. One with my family and one with my friends. But I don’t have them anymore.
    Happy Birthday everybody!!

  15. My birthday is October 19th and I would love to have a day just for me. The funny thing I noticed this year was the people I hear from everyday didn’t call, isn’t that a little strange that people seem to act strange becuase it is your birthday?
    Our busy month is September
    2 daughters
    Mom
    Dad
    2 Nieces
    Old Boss
    Friend
    seems like each week someone has one. It keeps me very busy because I love to remember someone on their birthday because to me that is a special day and they need people to remember them.
    BY the way Happy Birthday and many more….

  16. Hi Taryn!

    February’s a wonderful month for a birthday. You know I think I always got the birthday spanking, as well…something I forgot all about when I had my own kids. : )

    Thanks for sharing your memory with us.

  17. Hi Mary!

    You made me laugh with the play down of your birthday nowadays. I’m the same way — great, one year old — whoopee…

    Isn’t it interesting how they all can seem to come at the same time?

    Thanks for the post.

  18. Hi Stacey Kayne!

    So you are a Leo — interesting that you don’t always fit your sign, either. At least I’m not alone in that…

    Thanks for the post.

  19. Hi Stacy S!

    So you are a February baby, as well as Taryn. I think February is a great month to have a birthday — fits right in there with Lincoln and Washington. : )

  20. Hi Charlene and Elizabeth and Linda!

    Thank you for coming and sharing your stories with us today. Charlene, yes Sammy is a tuxedo cat — black with white — he’s always well dressed

    Elizabeth and Linda, thank you so much for sharing your stories with us today, as well. Yes, I love to let people know the Native American stories about birthdays, as well.

  21. Hi Jennifer Y!

    So you are a December birthday — another great month — the only down point might be that it’s so close to Christmas — but then perhaps Christmas makes the December birthdays all the more festive. : )

    Thanks for the post.

  22. Hi Paty!

    Thanks for your post — you made me laugh aloud at your sign — sorry about that — it’s a respectible sign. Just hit me funny.

    Thanks so much for your post.

  23. Hi Brrenda!

    October is another of those beautiful months, I think — so happy belated birthday to you!

    That is so super that you remember others’ birthdays — so important.

    Have a super evening!

  24. Oddly enough, November is the only month there are no birthdays in our family. I sat here thinking about it and, nope, not a one. My sister has the worst birthday, or maybe the best, depending on how you look at it. She was born on New Year’s Eve. So it’s always party time on her birthday–but because it’s so soon after Christmas, the presents are usually in short supply.

    My daughter was born on Groundhog Day. My son and husband both in May. I’m in April, a Taurus, and boy am I ever. :o)

    I love the Native American custom. They really look out for each other, something not many people do these days. I have really strong beliefs about taking care of family, no matter what, and I’ve been put to the test and through the wringer a lot over the years because of it. Won’t go there, as Mary said, too depressing. But I respect people who are committed to their loved ones.

    Thanks for sharing. Your kitty is gorgeous! I have a black and white kitty, too. Believe it or not, he weighs 27 pounds. I should post a picture of him on my web site. :o)

  25. Hi Devon!

    Yes, I really respect the Native American customs, as well. Am researching about the Iroquois right now — and lo and behold, I have discovered that the Iroquois influenced our Founding Fathers in the writing of the Constitution. Not only that the real Hiawatha — not the one of the poem — but the real one and the Peacemaker spent here in America — on Native land — put together the Iroquois Confederacy for peace — it was their dream that all of Turtle Island (North America) would join in their peace — and abolish war and learn to live in peace and in freedom and harmony with each other.

    Interesting stuff. Love the sound of your cat, as well. We sure love Sammy.

    Thanks so much for sharing a little about yourself and your birthday! : )

  26. I’m late in commenting on this because I was out of town, but I’m a november baby too-the 25th. My birthday lands on Thanksgiving every few years and my golden birthday was on Thanksgiving. The only birthday tradition I can remember is celebrating with my dad and cousin, who were both born on December 13th exactly 50 years apart, at my grandmother’s house-she always bought an angel food cake. As I got older my mom didn’t make me a cake, she’d make me a birthday pie since I’m not much of a cake eater. For quite a few years it was chocolate pecan, then just pecan, now it’s been her chocolate pie. I make chocolate pie but it’s never as good as Mom’s!

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