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In praise of - December birthdays.

Yesterday, I turned 29.

The day passed in the same way as most of my other birthdays: with a Christmas tree in the corner of the room, festive films on the television and the streets full of Christmas shoppers.

Having a December birthday can be a bit of a talking point, and it usually elicits a fair amount of pity. To be honest, I wouldn't trade it for a birthday in any other month.

The main advantages of having a birthday in the run-up to Christmas is the special festive feeling due to the wintry weather, the streets being full of festive decorations and the fact that people tend to be cheerier, as Christmas is just around the corner.

Even the hardest hearts tend to melt in December as seasonal milestones, such as putting up the tree, drinking mulled wine and watching classic Christmas films like It's a Wonderful Life, bring out the emotional side in all of us.

Everyone is generally in a good mood in December and up for celebrating, which means birthday parties are a big success.

December is the month for over-indulging so you can enjoy a culinary festive feast, washed down with copious amounts of wine and champagne, and no-one bats an eyelid at your gluttonous ways, as it is December.

Gift options are significantly better in this month too, as shops produce coveted creations intended for Christmas gifts.

So, you might have to put up with getting all your presents for the year within the same month, but the gifts you receive will be infinitely better as a result.

As a fan of all things Christmassy, from twinkling fairy lights to the earthy smell of the pine needles on a real Christmas tree, I can't think of a better time of year to celebrate a birthday.

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