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by Rose-Mary Rumbley

You know you're old when you celebrate a 90th birthday!!!! I never dreamed I'd write this column when I started writing for Celebration 10 years ago!!!!

A BIG, BIG, BIG THANK YOU TO DEBRA SAXON AND THE CELEBRATION MAGAZINE TEAM FOR THE GREATEST BIRTHDAY PARTY ANYONE HAS EVER HAD! All of my friends were there, including my oldest childhood friend. What a great surprise!

I love birthday parties!

Have you ever questioned, "When was the first birthday party?" Here is the answer.

Birthday parties started in ancient Egypt, where they paid honor to their gods. Later, in Greece there were parties honoring the god Zeus! Then the Romans began to celebrate the birthday of the Emperor's son. But it was the Germans, the good old Germans, who began to have parties for the one having the birthday. Gods and Emperor's sons were forgotten.

The "birthday person" was honored.

The hosts of the party then added the cake with candles to make it all more festive! This was in the middle ages.

The birthday party was brought to America by the early settlers and today, 350 million birthday cakes are consumed each year in our country. This is soooooo great! People crave recognition, and what better time to recognize someone than on his birthday!!

The BIRTHDAY BOY OR GIRL feel so special, and this is good for them.

I remember so well, when I served on the staff of First Baptist Church, Dr. Criswell would tell us to "brag on people." BRAG ON THEM! I asked him if this wasn't considered flattery! NO! He insisted that it was good! DO NOTHING FROM SELFISH AMBITION OR CONCEIT, BUT IN HUMILITY, COUNT OTHERS MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN YOURSELVES. Philippians 2:3 I certainly felt nothing but love and devotion at my party at The Spot! I felt significant! Thank you all again and again!

Our country from its beginning days, remembered the birthdays of our presidents! When President Washington died in 1799, his birthday was remembered in 1800. Now, Presidents Day, a Federal holiday, is observed on the third Monday of February. This holiday was originally established in 1885 to honor only George Washington, the first and greatest president. But, then the country wanted to honor Abe Lincoln as well, so in 1971, Presidents Day was created and celebrated on Monday, so workers would have a three day weekend.

There was another day reserved to honor Washington, a day in July, 1845, when President Zachary Taylor laid the corner stone of the Washington Monument. That was the day, President Taylor at the celebration ate too much ice cream, and died the next day of indigestion. Unfortunately, Millard Fillmore, the Vice-President became President, and he proved to be too weak to handle the affairs of the day--keeping the country together. The country was splitting! Had Taylor lived we may not have had a Civil War!

Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday is celebrated. He is the first private citizen to have a Federal Birthday Party! President Ronald Reagan declared the third Monday in January, Dr. Martin Luther King day. Again, it's celebrated on a Monday to give workers another long weekend. This is good.

What about Columbus Day, the second Monday in October? It isn't a birthday, it's a landing day. However, I have always considered it the birthday of our country! I know today Columbus is considered controversial, but still, Columbus was a brave man and we're all here in this glorious place where all are free!

So, this brings us to the birthday of Jesus Christ, Christmas! Christians celebrate in a very special way on December 25. Of course, with the celebration of Christmas comes Christmas shopping, Christmas trees, the holly and the ivy, and yes, that jolly man with the beard and red suit, Santa Claus!

Well, I didn't know I was going to go on and on about birthdays, but the celebration at Celebration of my birthday, was so meaningful to me, I couldn't help myself.

All of us need to celebrate our lives. It's good for us! I repeat Philippians 2:3. DO NOTHING FROM SELFISH AMITION OR CONCEIT, BUT IN HUMILITY, COUNT OTHERS MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN YOUSELVES. Deborah Saxon and the precious people at Celebration certainly honored me in a very special way! THANK YOU AGAIN!

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