My birthday is next week (February 14) and although I'm not particularly religious, I think there is something special about it being my "Jesus Year". 33 on 2/14/14 - Isn't there a ring to that? I think there's magic in those numbers.
Celebrating another year of life is a must. It has nothing to do with presents but everything to deal with the appreciation of time. Time is a certainty that we as humans will never win against. We can never beat time, slow it down, speed it up, freeze it - we are all at it's mercy. Of course, I miss being a little kid and sometimes feel nostalgic but growing older and wiser makes time an ally and not an enemy.
I've found that time appears to slow down when I'm laughing with my family and friends. In these moments, I could care less about what happened before or what will happen. All I yearn for is to soak up as much of the "present" as I can.