Monday, July 14, 2003

Today we celebrated my daughter Irena's birthday. That's unusual because her birthday is December 27. We celebrate her birthday in June or July, rather than December, because her real birthday is so close to Christmas. She gets her presents on Christmas day, so what is she going to get on December 27? More presents? It seems kind of pointless. So we celebrate her half-birthday on a convenient day in June or July.

The celebration of half-birthdays might actually be an innovative way to stimulate the economy. What about a national campaign to begin celebrating every child's half-birthday? When you think about it, a year is an immense amount of time for a child to wait between birthdays. A child's year is equal to 100 or 200 adult years. A birthday celebration every 6 months would be a much better timespan from the child's standpoint.

Here are some of the economic benefits of a nationwide push to celebrate every child's birthday every six months:There are something like 50 million school-age children in the U.S. Assume that an average child receives $100 in presents at a birthday party, and an average of $50 is spent on cake, ice cream, streamers, entertainment, etc. That means that if every child started celebrating two birthdays every year, it would add $7.5 billion to the U.S. economy. To put that into perspective, the entire world-wide music industry is worth $15 billion.

Given the greeting card industry's record on pumping holidays specifically to spur card sales (mother's day, father's day and secretary's day come to mind), I am surprised that the industry has not already thought of the half-year birthday as a way to boost sales. Let's see if we hear more about it in the weeks to come...

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