"I don't believe in birthdays"
I would tell my curious friends.
For a day which is deemed to be full of excitement for the special birthday girl/boy, it's awfully lonely. Parents might be absent, people forget, and a day of unnecessarily high expectations only leads to a steep fall into the abyss of self pity.
In this way, when quiet little surprises appear, feelings of gratefulness rise for the friends who, even after the hurdles placed before them, cared.