Make a Material Wish
Have you ever sat down at the end of your birthday and put all your presents together, then wrote down all the people who called or came up to you personally to wish you a happy birthday? I have. I did that on many birthday evenings, many times. And then this one year, I think it was 2004, I was singing at this jazz club in another city on my birthday. We spent the day getting there by train, rehearsing, and performing. That was when I realized that for the first time since I've known myself, I wasn't obsessing over the fact that it was my birthday and it should be absolutely perfect. I was happy doing what I loved, and I didn't need the universe to remind me I'm special, or how much my friends loved me. I still carry that feeling around. 'Being' is usually enough. But sometimes 'having' accompanies that, which is nice.
I did give up the habit of putting all my presents together. But this year I loved my presents so much (some of them I picked, as you know) that I might do that again - just this one time.