“Money given is a gift—if it is paid back, then it was a loan” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Brett Gunlock by © Lindsay Lauckner-Gundlock

Image © Lindsay Lauckner

An Interview with Brett

Q. What is your best memory/moment from one of your past birthdays?

A. My birthday is on Christmas day so it’s never really just my day. Because of this I started celebrating on a different day of my choosing each year. My favourite part is getting to celebrate and have a great time with all my friends.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. One year I had to work in Toronto on Christmas day/my birthday while my parents were in southern Alberta. I flew to Calgary and got into town at 8pm. They picked me up and we went to a hotel to celebrate together. On top of that, in all the craziness my parents forgot to buy me a cake, so we just had christmas treats instead. Now I always request an ice-cream cake for my birthday.

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that most surprised you?

A. In my family we usually ask for things for birthdays, so I’m never really surprised but I’m always very happy with what I get!

Q. Is there one food or dish that you insist on eating during your birthday celebration?

A. Ice cream cake! A couple of years ago my family celebrated Christmas in California. Since we were travelling, we were all together all the time. We went grocery shopping and it was right before my birthday. My mom and granddad tried to sneak back into the grocery store to order my cake so I wouldn’t see, claiming to have ” forgotten something” while the rest of us waited by the car. I totally knew what was going on but it was really sweet that they were trying so hard to make me happy and have it a surprise. 

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. I don’t put too much weight on celebrating birthdays. I think it is because mine is on Christmas day, so when it’s my birthday people have different priorities of what they are celebrating. It would be rude to make it all about me. That being said, I think the most important aspect is having fun!

Q. Do you/your family/culture have any traditions/rituals/ceremonies that are performed to celebrate birthdays? What is it?

A. When I was a kid we always had my celebration a week before my birthday so I could see my friends to celebrate. Other than that, just the standard presents, cards, and cake.