12-12-12They’re 12 today but looking to Christmas

Published 11:28 am Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jalen Love and Colby White are both 12 today, but they are thinking more about Christmas than their birthdays.

While their lives don’t seem different than those of most boys their age, the two share something relatively unique.

Both turned 12 today, 12-12-12.

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Only about 11,000 of the 4 million children born in the United States in 2000 were born on Dec. 12, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The birthdays will be the last time the age, month, day and year are the same until children born Jan. 1, 2100 celebrate their first birthdays — on Jan. 1, 2101, or 01-01-01.

For the Vicksburg boys — both of whom are waiting to celebrate their birthdays this weekend because of school testing — the challenge of having a birthday right before Christmas stands out more than the date itself.

“You get less presents,” Colby said shaking his head.

Colby, son of the Rev. Willie and Patricia White, is a sixth-grader at Warrenton Elementary School and enjoys playing basketball for his YMCA team, the Nuggets.

“We normally do something small for his birthday and then have a big Christmas,” his mother said.

Christmas also takes precedence for Jalen’s celebrations.

“You barely get anything on your birthday because of Christmas,” Jalen said.

Colby said he hopes to keep playing basketball and eventually play professionally like his favorite player, Rajon Rondo, who plays for Colby’s favorite team, the Boston Celtics.

Jalen, the son of Eldridge Love and Felicia and Tekoa Banks, is a sixth-grader at South Park Elementary School. He just finished his youth football season with the Browns.

For Jalen’s birthday, he is asking for only one thing.

“Money,” Jalen said. “I would buy a cellphone with it, but my mom won’t let me until I’m in seventh grade.”

Until last weekend, he had not thought about the actual date when he would turn 12.

“My grandma told me about it, but I was just lollygagging around,” Jalen said as he laughed. “I didn’t really think about it myself.”

Jalen went on to say that he simply wanted to have a low-key birthday with his family.

“I was hoping we could sit down and watch movies and eat pizza,” Jalen said. “I really like scary movies.”

After a small birthday celebration, Tekoa Banks said, the family will start looking forward to Christmas.