Stranger Makes Birthday Surprise Complete

Birthdays can bring out the best in people. Not always in the person actually celebrating the birthday — she can get a bit demanding (she writes while pointing to herself). But other people often really step up to help someone celebrate a birthday and feel loved. That is the big reason I love birthdays so much.

Here’s a great example from Canada (my native land).

Birthday surprise

A Halifax woman who wanted to surprise her mother for her birthday turned to Reddit for help. The thing was her Mom lives 4,000 kilometres away, in a tiny rural community in Manitoba, nearly four hours northwest of Winnipeg, where there aren’t any floral delivery shops.

So, Alison Hill, put a post on Reddit the night before her mother’s 71st birthday to see if anyone nearby was willing to bring her mother flowers. Within minutes someone had volunteered!

Hill ordered flowers in Dauphin, Man., about a 40-minute drive from her mom’s place, and offered to pay for the gas. But the man wouldn’t take it.

The Surprise Happens

The next day, Tia Hill was sitting in her front yard enjoying birthday wine with her husband and a few neighbors. She told the CBC she said, “If I had known we were having company, I would have baked a cake.”

Moments later, a grey truck pulled up and a man got out to ask if she was Tia. When she said she was, the man went around to the passenger side and came back with an urn full of salmon pink hibiscus and a birthday cake.

The flowers were from Alison and her three-year-old son. The carrot cake was a surprise for both women.

“A perfect stranger,” Tia Hill remarked. “She just ordered the flowers, he ordered the cake. And I was so taken aback. What a wonderful thing to do for somebody.”

Alison Hill added, “I thought that was amazing. It never even occurred to me to get her a cake — I just wanted to send her flowers!”

Tia Hill even called the florist to track the man down and thank him, but he had given a different name there than he gave on Reddit. “I don’t know who this man is, but he came with flowers and a birthday cake, so I love him to death,” Tia Hill said.

Alison Hill wrote back to thank the man too:  “He just said that I’m very welcome, and he does these things because he hopes someday someone will look out for his mom, too.”


Birthday Surprise for Military Son

birthday surprise

Image source

I’m a fan of creative gift-giving. My friends did a scavenger hunt for me to find my present in college, and I loved it. I have aunts who sent the same plastic figure back and forth to each other embedded in other gifts. I’ve done the big box of empty to faux disappoint a child. Plus, a lump of coal for my husband one Christmas.

So, I get the idea behind the birthday gift prank played on the boy in this MilitaryKind video I saw shared on Facebook:


Birthday Prank

The boy is given a big box with more boxes inside of it. At one point he opens one to find a letter, which has him in tears reading out loud how his Dad won’t be able to make it home for his birthday. So sad. Then, he keeps on opening more boxes…Finally, he hits a note that says “Surprise” and out comes Dad — home after all.

Perhaps not as surprising is the mixed reactions on Facebook. Some people thought the whole thing so sweet — Father and Son reunion after all. Others were upset about the cruel trick played on the little boy.

One wrote: “Why put the kid through the emotional trauma of the first part of this surprise by first lying to him??? Cruel.”

I appreciated this response to that perspective: “…guess all of you saying how cruel this is have never done anything to tease anyone in your lives.”

Still, the comments made me view the video again in a different light. I’ve decided taking out the letter part, where the kid’s hopes are crushed, could have had the same surprise impact and softened the blow.

What’s the cruelest/cleverest thing you’ve done to celebrate a friend’s birthday?

What Birthdays Are About


Photo credit: Kalexanderson via / CC BY-NC-ND

Maybe you’ve already seen the viral video going around of a teacher moved to tears by his students when they throw him a surprise birthday party.

Not everyone loves a surprise, but this feel-good story is proof of the value of birthdays.

English teacher Kyle Simpler enjoys a cake (featuring his favorite cat Felix) and the students have decorated his Burleson High School classroom. Considering the 59-year-old says he’s typically private and his family doesn’t make a big deal of birthdays, the Inside Edition, HuffingtonPost, and 30,000 video views of his arrival in his classroom are certainly a change. Yet, I’d argue, it’s being made to feel special that has the true impact.

I live with a high school teacher. I can bet he too would be thrilled if his students showed him some birthday love. Not only because it’s his birthday, but because it shows appreciation of the hard work he does.

There are other examples online of students surprising their teachers on their birthdays. What I love about these videos is the joy on the birthday celebrant’s face, but also the enthusiasm the students feel for being part of this special day.

We enjoy being part of someone’s birthday. Even over the Internet. Seriously, google searching “students surprise teacher birthday” netted four pages of the same Texas schoolteacher story retold by news outlets around the world. Why? Because it makes us smile, wherever we are, whether we know the person or not, to see someone enjoying a birthday and feeling the love.

That, my loyal readers, is the true value of birthdays! Think I’m weird to love birthdays this much? Look again at the love shared on these special days and you’ll have better insight into why I am such a big birthday fan.