That association with presents, parties and even pricey greeting cards in the snail mail ends sooner than later. Usually that occurs when we come to encounter age bias in our careers and age-related problems with our health. Betty White sized all that up with the observation that aging isn't for sissies.
Although we continue to get older, those on our network and who want to sell to us should have a different term for that phenomenon. The term "birthday" has to go.
Greeting card companies could find a boost in sales, AARP in membership and AgeWave in branding if any or all of them run a contest. The objective would be to reimagine aging through a new term for "birthday." We are our language.
The next step would be to reimagine rituals associated with that new concept. Perhaps, for example, there could be a ceremony to welcome that person into the Circle of Wisdom. Being a member would also come with a new name. Once part of Circle of Wisdom, I could become known as ________. That would be analoguous to taking a new name during the sacrament of confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church, symbolizing my adult status.
Among the intended consequences of the renaming will be pride in having survived on planet earth so long. Charles Darwin would be giving us the thumbs-up.