What were the themes of your childhood birthday parties? Did you have a Barney cake? Care Bears? Batman? As you got older, did they evolve into roller skating and Chuck E. Cheese?
Mine have always been about one thing: Ohio State Buckeye football.
I was born in Buckeye Nation at the very start of the regular football season. I’m sure there are many of you also born during fall who know exactly what I’m talking about. Birthday parties this time of year can get nuts — and the focus isn’t necessarily on you.
Does it seem like fans of schools in ag country have a bit more “passion” to them than our cityfolk counterparts? I mean, all you have to do is think of land-grant schools such as the University of Nebraska or Virginia Tech or Auburn or Clemson. There’s a special kind of affinity for pigskin play at these places.
In these regions, many students dream of playing for their favorite college team from childhood. They’ve spent their whole lives learning about the work ethic of farming and building muscle, to boot. Seems like something that translates nicely to the gridiron.
And this environment is the perfect breeding ground for football-themes parties. Which brings us back to growing up amid the scarlet and gray of Ohio State.
As a super young kid, there was always an age-appropriate theme to go along with football, but the game was always on in the background.
One party in particular sticks out: I wanted to have it outside in our barn, but that wasn’t possible because that is where my dad’s “man-cave” is. There would be a few other parents present watching the game, which wasn’t appropriate for kids still in the single-digit age bracket.
After all of these years I have learned to embrace the inevitable fact that there will always be a football game on during my parties. While I rebelled against it in my pre-teen years, I cherish the tradition now.
Here are the reasons why it’s pretty cool to have a baby in September, October, or November:
- Birthdays are an incredible excuse to have a tailgate. Get all the friends and family together to celebrate the next year of your loved one’s life, bring over a few of their friends, have some cake, and call it a day.
- The party games are awesome! Cornhole, yard pong, giant Jenga, and hillbilly golf are flexible enough for both occasions.
- The weather is amazing. Fall has a more consistent weather pattern than any other season. Usually all you need is a sweatshirt, and everyone has one for their favorite team.
- Younger kids love to put on performances, so teach them your school’s fight song for some free entertainment.
- Two words: Buffalo. Wings. ‘Nuf said.
- If you’re in school, the likelihood your birthday falls on a school day is high. That means treats for the class, happy birthday probably sung to you, and if you have parents like mine, balloon bouquets delivered during homeroom.
- A celebration is the perfect break from harvest stress. Block out an hour, have some cake, hit a pinata, watch your team score a touchdown, and have a good time. Or take the cake with you back into the cab.
In the end, birthdays are a reason for celebration. The fact that fall babies are conveniently able to celebrate for multiple reasons at once is just a bonus. No matter what team you put you support behind, there are worse ways to spend a birthday than tailgating on a beautiful autumn day, eating buffalo chicken dip and birthday cake, and watching the Buckeyes — oops, I mean your favorite team — drive toward victory.
Jessy Woodworth is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where she studied agricultural communication and animal sciences.