Happy birthday Stephanie Stepford!!
In high school, where Sara, Jairica, and Stephanie first became friends, we learned that Stephanie shared her birthday with Christmas. This had pros and cons for Stephanie....I remember her telling us how nice it was to always have school off and that all her family always had work off on her birthday. She was always surrounded by those near and dear to her on her special day. Unfortunately, it also meant there was a slight unfairness with her gift ratio. With no separation between Christmas and birthday, the two biggest gift giving events for children, she sometimes missed out. Her family got her gifts, but friends and teachers and church family only remembered the Christmas part. With the holiday season there were already so many parties that having a party just for her birthday never seemed to happen.
One day in high school we decided to have a girl's night out for Stephanie. She had had a particularly bad week where it seemed like nothing could go right for her, so by the time the weekend rolled around she was in need of some cheering up. We all bought her gifts and planned a special evening of dinner and a movie. Since we all had unreasonably (in our minds anyway) early curfews, we did the movie first and then dinner. We conspired with the hostess at the restaurant we had reservations to keep the gifts we bought her and bring them out after we had been seated, that way she would be surprised and not have to carry them around to the movies and such. The hostess and our waitress brought out our gifts, but they had a surprise of their own! The also brought out a dessert for Stephanie with a candle and they all sang happy birthday to her. We hadn't told them it was her birthday, but seeing all the gifts they just assumed. After that it was a tradition for someone in the group to tell the waitress or hostess that it was Stephanie's birthday whenever we all went out together. Since Stephanie never got to do this on her actual birthday we didn't feel we were abusing the system and we never did it more than once a year.
So Stephanie, be on the look out for singing waitresses the next time we go out :)