(In)Sincere Birthday Greetings?

Welcome  Why do I feel the compulsive need to question the sincerity of others’ words?  You would think I could accept the compliments and greetings of a friend and leave it at that.  Unfortunately, and like many others, I have been victim to empty promises and shallow salutations.  Sadly, this has brought me to a place of skepticism and doubt.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.  At the very least I can tackle some of the smaller areas where I battle mistrust.  And I’m starting with social media birthday greetings.

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Food For Thought  Insincerity is one of my biggest pet peeves.  And where can we live more insincere lives than on social media?  I can’t see if you roll your eyes as you read my post, and then click the “like” button anyway.  I can’t hear what you tell your friend sitting nest to you about my post.  And for heaven’s sake, these days we are all about the number of “friends” and “likes” we have on social media, as opposed to actually being in real caring relationships with people.  You know how it is, “I can be your friend on the screen, but please don’t ask me to actually be there for you if you have a real problem or issue.”

I found this insincerity to especially rub me the wrong way around birthdays.  I’m sure part of this is my own mood struggles around my birthday.  Instead of being grateful for another year on earth to experience great things, I see it as another year closer to death and all the things I won’t accomplish in my time here on earth.  You could say I’m a glass half-empty kind of person.  But I digress.  Insincere birthday wishes.  That’s what I’m talking about.

If you are a person that knows nothing about my real, every day life or have not spoken to me, even through FB all year long, why in the world would I expect your “Happy Birthday” to be anything but forced and empty?  I would rather receive no greeting at all than one that is void of thought and feeling.  Well that’s pretty dark and extreme, now isn’t it?

I’m not sure what clicked for me last year, but I finally recognized my dejected point of view.  Something turned the tide in my brain about these online birthday greetings.  I thought, I’m looking at this all wrong (finally!)  Yes, I don’t ever speak to some of these people during the year.  In fact, we don’t really even know each other at all anymore.  But!  They took time out of their day to hit a few buttons on their mobile device because of ME and MY special day.  They are acknowledging my existence in this world.  They have let me know in this very simple way that they are thinking of me on my birthday.  Instead of looking at social media as taking away the sincerity of birthday, or other greetings for that matter, I can see it as just another way to stay connected as we move about our daily lives.  In fact, many of my closest friends and family live so far away, this is likely the only way we can express to one another, “Hey, I remembered your birthday and I’m thinking of you!”  Really, when you think about it, it’s no different than sending someone a birthday card.  Except cards and stamps cost money, so, hey, save yourself some money.

With my newest revelation, I have found myself also sending more birthday greetings in this manner.  I’m not perfect at getting messages to everyone on their birthdays, but I no longer ignore the pop-up reminders from FB telling me another friend has a birthday.

Finally, and probably more important, is the question, “Who am I to judge someone’s sincerity, especially through social media avenues?”  You don’t need to know every detail about my life to still hope I have a nice day and a blessed year.  And I can feel the same way toward you.  I wouldn’t want someone making assumptions about my genuineness.  Inferring mood and sincerity across nonverbal communications can be very dangerous and lead to so many misunderstandings.  Don’t let a “Happy Birthday” comment be one of those misunderstandings.  Oh, and if I missed your birthday…Happy Birthday (sincerely!)

Today’s Scripture

Today’s Recipe  Okay, it’s not my birthday.  Or my daughter’s or my husband’s.  But it’s always somebody’s birthday, right?  For all my fussing in this post about birthdays, I really do love looking at birthday party themes, decorations, and cakes.  Birthday parties and cakes just seem to be getting cuter and cuter.  And more over the top.  And more expensive.  Today’s make-at-home cake cost less than $20 and will serve a crowd, since it has four layers!

One of my favorite trends with birthday parties right now is the donut party.  I’ve seen this theme for little kids using the saying, “Donut grow up so fast!”  I love that!  My daughter is already growing up too fast, but still very fitting.  She’d love this cake for her birthday!  Oh, and may I suggest letting the birthday guest of honor have the biggest donut!

This cake is simple and festive for a birthday, but can also be used for a baby shower or “sprinkle.”  It would work well for celebrating other events, too.  Even if it’s not your birthday, today’s cake is so stinkin’ cute, it just might give you a reason to celebrate!

Sprinkles and Donuts Celebration Cake
The best of three worlds come together in this surprisingly easy celebration cake: sprinkles, donuts, and pink!

 

Sprinkles and Donuts Celebration Cake

  • 2 boxes of Funfetti Cake Mix (I used Betty Crocker.)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 eggs
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup flour (approximately)
  • 3 15.6 oz. containers of Funfetti Hot Pink Vanilla frosting (I used Pillsbury.  I did not use the pink sprinkles that came with the frosting.)
  • 1 10.5 oz. container of rainbow sprinkles (I used Betty Crocker.  I used about 2/3 of the package.)
  • 3 bakery donuts with frosting and sprinkles (I purchased from my supermarket’s bakery.)
  • You will also need some wax paper and toothpicks

 

Turn oven to 350 degrees.  Using nonstick spray, spray and flour four 9-inch round cake pans.  Set aside.

Using electric mixer, combine cake mixes, oil, water, and eggs.  Divide evenly between the four prepared pans.  Bake cakes for 32-34 minutes.  Remove pans from oven and place on cooling racks.  Allow cakes to cool in pans for about 15 minutes.  Flip pans to turn cakes onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely, about 90 minutes.

On a large cake plate or stand, spread a small circle of frosting.  Place first cake layer and then spread a layer of the frosting on the cake.  Repeat this procedure for each cake layer.  Frost the top and sides of the cake.

Cut some pieces of wax paper and place them around the edge of the top half of the cake.  This is how you will make your sprinkle-coated bottom half of the cake.  My wax paper edges weren’t perfect and don’t worry about the frosting, you will touch it up at the end.

After your wax paper is stuck to the top of your cake edge, pour half to 2/3 of the sprinkles all around the cake as close to the top of the uncovered edge as possible.  Start with more than you think you need.  Using a spoon, go around the cake scooping and pressing sprinkles into the bottom half of the cake, trying to get as much coverage as you can.  Gently peel away the wax paper and throw away.  Using a frosting spatula, touch up the frosting along the top edge of the cake.

Using a large spoon, carefully lift out as many leftover sprinkles on the bottom of the plate as possible.  Carefully use a napkin or paper towel to wipe away the sprinkle dust or remnants from the cake plate or stand.  Stick two tooth picks in the bottom of one whole donut and stick in the center of the cake so that the donut is standing up on its edge.  Take another donut and cut in half.  Again, using the toothpicks, attach the donuts, arranging as desired on the cake.  Cut the third donut into quarters.  Using toothpicks, attach the pieces you desire to the cake.  Be sure to remove toothpicks when serving.

Looking for more birthday party inspiration?  Check out my Birthday Party Ideas board on Pinterest!

Like creative cakes?  Check out my Food Craft board on Pinterest!