2nd January is the unluckiest day of the year and also my birthday!

Chris Roberts MBE
3 min readJan 1, 2022

Officially and historically the 2nd of January is the most unlucky day of the year! According to the Anglo-Saxons, 2nd January is an unlucky day to do any work or do anything! It was thought to be the unluckiest day of the year. If you were born on 2nd January, you were thought to be destined for an early and unpleasant death!

When I was a child, my aunts and uncles always used to say that my Christmas present was a combined birthday and Christmas present. The gift was never any bigger or more expensive than a normal Christmas present, but somehow I was expected to hang on to it for another 8 days to appreciate again the thought involved in the giving of it — or the lack of thought in the giving!!

As I got older, I realised that friends would be too busy thinking about Christmas cards and presents before Christmas that they did not think ahead to my birthday at the beginning of January. Then there was always New Year’s Eve to put a spanner in the works with the mandatory hangover on 1st January, which was also a Bank Holiday. So not possible for last minute shopping for cards or presents for me on the 1st and no Royal Mail for cards to reach me on the 2nd.

To add insult to injury, invariably, after weeks of dining out and partying over the Christmas and New Year period, restaurants and takeaways would be closed on the 2nd, so no chance of me going out enjoying myself!

I also didn’t think things through when I married my husband! His birthday is on 11th December, which is usually the start of Christmas celebrations. We go out and have a lovely meal in a restaurant on his birthday and this kicks off a whole fortnight of indulgence. We also put up the Christmas decorations on his birthday and make our house look very fun and festive.

Guess what? On my birthday, everyone is party’ed out and no one feels like going out — again! It is also coming up to 12th night and so we use 2nd January as the day to take down the Christmas lights and decorations and give the house a good dust and polish! I mean, what else would you do on your birthday other than housework?

Anyway, for whatever reason, perhaps because of a hellish 2020 and then only a marginally better 2021, several lockdowns to contend with and many Covid restrictions in varying degrees, I was incredibly fortunate to have some really lovely surprises last year. My husband seemed to have gone overboard with wonderful, beautiful, fabulous presents for me and a birthday card with a lovely sentimental message; my son and daughter gave me presents that I actually wanted and had real meanings behind them; I had nearly 100 birthday messages on Facebook and What’s App and phone calls from friends that don’t usually phone me on my birthday and so I was able to spend hours on the phone to them and catching up on news. The most touching surprise happened towards the end of my ‘unlucky’ day 2021.

The front door bell chimed and, when I opened the door, there was nothing but darkness — well it was 5.30pm at night! But, looking down, there was a small plastic takeaway container with a note on it saying ‘Happy birthday’ from my next door neighbours. Inside were some home-made brownies! What a lovely surprise and how thoughtful are they? I’ve always got on with my neighbours, but we are not really close friends, but I think that from now on, they will be on my list of close friends!

Now we are venturing into another new year — 2022 — and I wonder what this year will hold for everyone. I am — as always — looking forward to my birthday despite it being the unluckiest day of the year and hope that I can make my own luck and really enjoy the day.

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