Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 25, 2010

Andy Taylor: Sharing a birthday with Jesus

By ANDY TAYLOR
Record-Eagle copy editor

---- — According to all the proper documents, I came into this world at 12:25 a.m. on Dec. 25, 1981 — 12:25 on 12/25.

But before anyone goes off on a tangent about being "born under a good sign," or whatever, consider that in military time it was 0025 on 12/25 — not so special anymore. Plus, there's also the fact that my dad fudged the numbers to make it seem cooler — in reality, I was probably born at 12:23, 12:24, 12:26 or even 12:27. It's a mystery.

The plain truth is I was just an ordinary baby who had a 1/365 chance of being born on many people's favorite day of the year — Christmas Day. It fell on a Friday the year I was born, so my family would have had a three-day weekend anyway. If I had been born on Thursday, I could have made it a four-day weekend for them. Very inconsiderate of me.

Just like everyone else, celebrities have a 1/365 chance of being born on Christmas. I'm especially proud of the fact that Rod Serling, creator of "The Twilight Zone" and "Night Gallery," was a Christmas baby too. I've always felt a special kinship with him. And Sir Isaac Newton was a Christmas baby, as well as Sissy Spacek, Humphrey Bogart, Annie Lennox and Jimmy Buffett.

And then of course there was the ultimate celebrity — God himself, the Messiah Jesus Christ.

Although my father insists Jesus was more likely born closer to September (which, of course, happens to be dad's birth month), people will always associate the birth of Jesus with Dec. 25.

In some ways, it's not easy sharing a birthday with the savior of mankind. It's a lot to live up to. I imagine it's like being one of his siblings:

Mary: (speaking to one of Jesus' brothers) "Did you punch the neighbor boy in the face?"

Brother: "Ummm … Yes."

Mary: (sigh) "Jesus wouldn't have punched him. Why can't you be more like Jesus?"

But of course sharing a birthday with the Messiah isn't a bad thing. It makes it a bit easier to keep things in perspective. For example, when I compare suffering and dying for the forgiveness of all sins vs. potentially receiving fewer gifts due to the "Merry Christmas/Happy Birthday" all-purpose present, I think I can somehow manage to take one for the team.

Like it is for a lot of people, Christmas Day is usually a blur for me. Sometimes even I forget that it's my birthday. But I'm OK with that. I've never been one to enjoy being the center of attention, so I like to think Jesus did me a small personal favor by allowing me to share a birthday with him — the spotlight falls on him by default.

Just one more thing the ultimate Nice Guy helped me out with.

Reach Record-Eagle copy editor Andy Taylor by e-mail at ataylor@record-eagle.com.