The sound and the fury of December is always deafening: holiday songs on repeat, nothing on TV but saccharine Santa flicks, hand-wringing news reports lamenting the war on Christmas being tirelessly waged by Walmart greeters or Starbucks cups.
So, imagine the frustration for those whose birthdays fall in the middle of this cultural horror show. If these poor souls aren't completely forgotten, they can expect a half-hearted Facebook message at best. There usually aren't gifts—they're promised extra under the tree, but of course, that's never the case. There are no parties, either. No one's in town.
For 29-year-old Daniel Aguinaga—an old college pal of mine who happens to be a copywriter at The Martin Agency's New York office—recovering from having his Dec. 26 birthday overlooked year after year is his hero's journey. While at DDB California, Aguinaga's frustration reached fever pitch, and he, along with his then-creative partner and current DDB California art director Andre Cabral, decided to do something about it.
A line of 10 birthday cards was soon born. They're marketed to those with irreverent senses of humor and unfortunate birthdays.
"At first, most of the ideas we had were taking it too seriously," said Aguinaga, "and then we just thought to use the misery to our advantage and just be self-deprecating as a way of bringing attention to those with forgotten birthdays."
Irreverence isn't an understatement: One card features a monochromatic drawing of the Nativity on the front above the declaration, "You share the same birthday as the savior of humanity." Inside copy reads: "Too bad your mom isn't a virgin. Merry Birthmas!"
But it's all in good fun. "I think it's in the true spirit of friendship that friends like to poke fun at each other over inconveniences," said Aguinaga. "So I think the cards are for anyone who's looking to share a laugh over the holidays while also being able to let [their friend] know they haven't been forgotten."
The duo launched the line on Dec. 1, and all the cards are available on Etsy for $4 each.
For those with inconvenient birthdays at other times of the year? You haven't been forgotten either. "We're looking at how this first batch goes," said Cabral, "but if it takes off, I think we'd look forward to create other cards for other inconvenient birthdays."