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Birthday baskets: beloved tradition unique to DGS

March 4, 2019

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Birthday baskets: beloved tradition unique to DGS

Junior Elizabeth Chou smiles with joy as she sits with her birthday basket.

Junior Elizabeth Chou smiles with joy as she sits with her birthday basket.

Elizabeth Chou

Junior Elizabeth Chou smiles with joy as she sits with her birthday basket.

Elizabeth Chou

Elizabeth Chou

Junior Elizabeth Chou smiles with joy as she sits with her birthday basket.

Helium-filled balloons fill the hallway, floating above students’ heads as that special someone is dragged down by the weight of their gift-filled laundry basket. People stare at these obnoxious baskets, but as a long-running tradition at DGS, they are all the more welcomed.

Sweet 16’s are special but especially when you receive a birthday basket like sophomore Ginny Curtis. These baskets are commonly known as birthday baskets: a laundry basket filled with candy, toys and any other goodies of that sort. Physics teacher Drew Sobczak sees birthday baskets with the aforementioned contents many times a week.

“A birthday basket is a basket that is given to a girl, seems like it’s only girls, and it contains sweets and candies galore [and] teddy bears — extra soft — and toys in general. [Usually,] a girl walks around with it all day and has people praise her for her birthday,” Sobczak said.

Birthday baskets may seem like a recent trend, similar to avocado toast; however, according to Student Director Vince Walsh-Rock, birthday baskets have been handed out for decades.

“I seem to remember [birthday] baskets occurring when I first started teaching here in 1994. However, I do not remember them in use when I went to DGS as a student in the early 80’s,” Walsh-Rock said.

While this tradition seems to be popular at DGS, other schools such as DGN don’t have any traditions similar to birthday baskets.

¨Here at North, it is not common at all to receive a birthday basket. [Throughout] my four years in high school, I have never seen at least one of the birthday baskets,¨ DGN senior Mary Abd said.

Sweet sixteen’s can be very special but especially when you receive a birthday basket.

Much like DGN, Hinsdale Central lacks similar birthday festivities.

“I have never seen a birthday basket at Hinsdale Central and haven’t heard of them until I heard friends from other schools talk about them,” freshman and Hinsdale Central student Hannah Turek said.

Because of the lack of tradition, students expressed their desire to have a similar experience to birthday baskets. DGN senior and Abd’s twin sister Mariam Abd hopes to soon see this tradition be carried on at DGN.

¨I think birthday baskets are such a good idea and can make someone’s birthday [even better]. I did not even know what birthday baskets were, and I really hope that DGN adopts this tradition. I think it would be a great addition and something fun to do on a friend’s birthday, “ Mariam Abd said.

Students at DGS receive birthday baskets quite often. They are usually meant to make a person feel special on their birthday. Senior Alexa Flores shares her experience with receiving birthday baskets.

“I received a [birthday] basket sophomore year, and I felt happy because it was a nice gift from my friends. Having to carry it around was overwhelming, although it was a nice gesture,” Flores said.

While birthday baskets may be a well-known tradition, the meaning behind them can often get lost.

“I feel like it’s become a thing of, ‘I feel responsible, and I feel like I have to get a basket for somebody because, if I don’t then that girl will feel bad,’” Sobczak said.

These plain laundry baskets are more than just baskets filled with candy. Often times, the contents can have a deeper meaning to the person receiving the basket, or they can be a joke that is shared between the friends.  According to French teacher Mary McDonnell, the meaning can change based on the person and the situation.

“[They symbolize] friendship, and signifying that you are special. …  Sometimes, I feel bad for students whose birthday it is and they don’t get a basket because it a such a well-known tradition here at DGS to get a basket,” McDonnell said.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Birthday baskets: beloved tradition unique to DGS”

  1. Drew Sobczak on March 5th, 2019 11:03 am

    Great article! I really like that guy “Sobczak”. He seems to have things figured out about life in general. I can tell Srushti is a very good writer as well. She captured Sobczak’s essence perfectly. Keep the great articles coming!

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