"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

December Birthday, Christmas, and Cate

It’s 3:53 am, and little puppy Duke is lying at my feet wondering why we aren’t going back to bed after he went outside. Doesn’t he know what day it is? It’s December 23rd – the birthday of my lovely bride, Cate (also his human momma). I think he’s just thinking, “There he goes again, on the computer, ignoring me, when we should be in bed sleeping. And he’s probably right.


While she is sleeping (no reference to the Bill Pullman, Sandra Bullock movie intended :)), we’re going to get this post out to celebrate her birthday. That way when the ever-stunning Cate wakes up, we won’t be asked, “Are you on the computer, blogging on my birthday?” We can’t have that; it wouldn’t be right! *he says with the knowledge that none of his fellow bloggers would ever put themselves in this position because they are SO much wiser than he is*

I’ve always tried to make her birthday special in spite of the date being two days from Christmas. No matter how hectic it is, she will get treasures, and time, that recognize her day of birth is separate from the celebration to follow. Those of you with December birthdays know how difficult this can be. Especially when there are kids in the house still. It was much harder to pull off when we had the pitter-patter of little feet. And moms don’t ever put themselves ahead of their kids before Christmas. There was always the  mad scramble to get the presents under the tree, the stockings ready, Santa cookies made, etc.

Occasionally, my poor bride, would find herself awash in “mommy-guilt” when I forced her to go to dinner and open presents on her birthday. Internally she struggled with sacrificing her precious time with what she “could be doing” instead. And there were years where this mental battle brought tears and sobbing – okay, quite a few years! The more I cajoled her into relaxing, the more stressed out she would get.


For all of you out there with December birthdays – and you moms, in particular – my hope is for a very anxiety-free birthday, and Christmas. I know … you didn’t get everything done that you wanted to do, you didn’t want to take the time to celebrate, and you still have lots to do! It’s okay, relax; as Cate always said, “I’m gonna do so much better … next year!”

Now that this post is written, “Come on, Duke, we have to get to bed. Momma’s gonna be up soon, and we have to be fresh for her birthday!”


  1. Happy Birthday to the Mrs. Monaghan!

    My father-in-law has his birthday ON Christmas. The first year I celebrated Christmas with my husband’s family I did not know this. Imagine my surprise when the family suddenly busted out a cake on Christmas night and began singing happy birthday. There was a good 3 minutes where I thought they were singing to Jesus. It made sense I suppose, but it was quite baffling at the time!

    • Thank you, Jess! Love that story about your father-in-law – I can see that happening. That would have been a good piece of information to pass on to you before you arrived at the house, huh? :)

  2. Happy Birth Day to Mrs Monaghan!
    Lots of celebration must be going on at your home. Maximum of my family member’s birthday fall on December and my dad’s on Christmas. We all get together that day to celebrate. This year for the first time, i am going to miss it. And your post brought back those memory.
    Enjoy this holidays season! Best wishes to you and your family from my side. :)

    • Arindam, thank you sir! Too bad you can’t be with your family this year. Maybe next year?

      Happy holidays to you and all the best in the coming new year, my friend!

  3. I always feel for my sister today. It’s her wedding anniversary and she’s ferocious about others making family plans on HER day with her husband. We have several family members with birthdays on holidays and the same protective attitude prevails to have “their” day. I think it is important to separate the two and not mesh it all into one… when was convenience ever important in matters of the heart?

    Happy Birthday to Cate, and bravo to you and Duke for rising in the wee hours to get things underway for a grand celebration!

    • I can understand how your sister feels.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes for Cate, and Duke says, “ruff, ruff.” Which I think is his way of saying it’s the least he can do for his momma.

  4. Well, MJ, you’ve made the ultimate gesture for your bride: the gift of time. I’m sure if she’s like many wives/mothers out there, she will be grateful for this precious gift more than anything wrapped in a bow. You’re showing her how important she is through a symbolic gesture like taking care of your blogging commitments early — good for you.

    I’m way impressed!

    Now you did get her a diamond — and a Lexus — and the world’s most expensive perfume. Right?


    Happy birthday to Cate!

    • Mikalee, I’m afraid I did disappoint – no diamonds or Lexi (plural of Lexus??), but the watch did have some teeny-weeny Swarovski chips. Does that count? :)

      Thank you for the birthday wishes for Cate. BTW … I forced, woops, asked her to read a few of your recent posts and she was laughing REALLY hard! She loved your humor and poignancy.

  5. Happy Birthday to Cate!! I have a great niece with a birthday today — and I bet your wife is everything my Alex is — smart and funny and a bit mischievous!

    But relax, Cate. No one ever gets everything done by Christmas!

    • Thank you so much, Elyse. I have passed this on to Cate. And yes, she is smart, funny, and a pinch mischievous!

      I’m glad you said no one ever gets everything done by Christmas. I’ve said it every year, but she doesn’t listen to me.

  6. That is very sweet! You are a good man! Happy Birthday to her!

  7. It is indeed very sweet. If only more people thought like you. Thank you for reminding us what is really important. Happy birthday Cate.

  8. Happy Birthday to Cate. 😀

  9. HI MJ. Cute post. My Grandpa’s birthday was December 21st, and my Mom always made sure he got his own party and mincemeat pie, which no one else cared for. It means a lot to be remembered in such a busy time, and I’m sure your wife appreciates it. Happy birthday to Cate.

    • I’m with you on the mincemeat pie – what is up with that “delectable?” Never got it.

      Thanks for passing on birthday wishes to Cate.

      It’s been a pleasure getting to know you, my blogging friend.

  10. Cute post! My birthday is the day after Christmas and you are exactly right. How sweet of you to make sure your wife’s birthday is special!

  11. Happy Birthday Cate! You are a very sweet husband MJ :)

  12. Love it, a beautiful post and Happy Birthday Cate!
    We have friends whose daughter’s birthday is the 26th. After dinner on the 25th, everything related to Xmas comes down so when said daughter arises it is all about her. A great way to do it. :)

  13. Ooh, what a nice *other* gift to get in the form of this post, doncha think, Cate?

    I began following mj after his recent brush with fame. One thing that I noticed (and liked) right off the bat was that he took time to acknowledge each poster’s comment, reply to them, visit *their* blog and drop a few lines *there*. Whew.

    The other thing I noticed (and liked, too) was how he refers to you, time and again as his “lovely bride”. Awww! You both sound like a lovely couple. My dad and mum were like you, and I want to be just like my parents and you ‘n Mike …. when I grow up. 😉

    Happy Birthday, Cate! Enjoy the strictly-birthday-with-no-overtones-of-Christmas celebration today! Mike couldn’t do the fine job of a blogger without your love and encouragement. So best wishes for a wonderful year to the woman behind the man!


    • Cate wanted me to pass on that she is very touched by your comments and birthday wishes, and that *he shudders* “our marriage had to go through some ‘tenderizing’ to reach this point of deliciousness :), but I know that I am blessed – and MJ is blessed – to have met people like you through his reflections.”

      You are very sweet Kate!

  14. My daughter is a December baby as well. Although her day’s a little far from Christmas, I do feel the need to scrimp a little — or her friends’ parents’ need to scrimp a little on her gifts since Christmas parties are lining up.

    So I try to make up for it by throwing her a party with all the works. A little heavy in the pockets but her excitement days before her party and obvious glee after the party is worth it.

    Oh, hear me gush about my only kid. Parents.

    I think it’s nice that you really make an effort so that you’re wife would feel special. I salute that. She’s one lucky woman!

    • Well, belated happy birthday to your daughter. That’s great that you give her the royal treatment.
      And you should be gushing!

      Thanks for the nice comment and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  15. Have fun – all of you! You deserve it!

  16. Happy Belated birthday wishes to Mrs. MJ’s wifey, Cate! Hope you guys had lots of fun celebrating!
    Enjoyed your story MJ! :)

  17. lifeloveandbaby says:

    As a fellow December birthday mother, I couldn’t think of a more loving and thoughtful gift than the very one that you described for your lovely wife. I’m sure she deeply appreciates your gesture (through tears and sobs) because usually, those tears and sobs are a sign of stress release. Mothers don’t cry unless the stress is over or there is a reprieve (albeit a short one) because crying takes too much time and focus away from the task at hand! Hope your wife had a lovely birthday.

  18. I’m a bit late, wishing a Happy Birthday to Cate!

    I hope it was wonderful. I always wondered how hard it would be to have a December birthday, especially so close to Christmas……….hang in there.

  19. Well, in true Vixy style…I am late, but I am here. Happy Birthday Cate and I hope it was truly fantastic. Great post mj. I’m still laughing about the whole ‘tenderizing to get to deliciousness’ comment.

  20. Lovely post and I hope your wife had a wonderful birthday (followed by an equally wonderful christmas and new year’s for everyone!) My mom’s birthday is also December 23, and we’ve always make sure that it’s her special day – cake, presents to spoil her and anything she wants to do! Even if it’s so close to christmas, it’s her birthday and she really deserves for that day to be entirely dedicated to her. She actually deserves more days like that than just her birthday, but that’s why we try to make it extra special!

    Really enjoying your blog – found it through Darla’s latest post on She’s a Maineiac, and looking forward to reading more!

Love to hear from you.

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