Now, some of the world’s most famous people were born in December, including the most famous one of all.
But a gremlin in the latest version of the Android operating system means if you have a birthday in the last month of the year, you may find forgetful friends or family fail to buy you a present.
The problem is affecting the People app, which is what you use for keeping contact information on Android devices.
While the People app calendar has the months of November 2012 and January 2013 ready for you to fill in important details and reminders, December 2012 has been missed out altogether.
It comes as a blow for the likes of the new Google Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus tablet, which just went on sale last week and which run on the latest version of Android, 4.2 Jelly Bean, the most modern version of Google’s mobile operating system.
Up until now, Android has been seen as the more reliable system when it comes to apps after Apple’s problems with its mapping service – so this latest glitch will come as a blow for those devices running on 4.2 Jelly Bean.
The bug has been reported by the Android news website Android Police, which has gone for a rather melodramatic reaction to the issue. “Google forgot to include December. As in there are 11 months in a year. Christmas is ruined. Santa is dead. At least we’ll save money on buying presents, right?” said Android Police’s Artem Russakovskii.
The problem seems to have occurred because of a fairly simple programming error, where the array that has been used for month references is zero-indexed, meaning it starts at 0 rather than 1, thereby missing out month number 12.
And it’s not the only time this sort of issue has happened. Back in 2007, Facebook was accused of ruining Christmas with its Beacon feature, although that was about the nature of the program rather than a mistake.
A campaign was even launched against Beacon, which was described as an invasion of privacy as companies which sign up with Beacon notify Facebook every time a member purchases something from their websites, with the information showing up in a member’s mini-feed unless they opt out. Critics argued it could alert friends and family to Christmas present purchases before they received them.
The latest mistake has been the talk of all the technology websites and blogs. But analysts are predicting the weak spot will be swiftly sorted out.
Stuart Miles, who edits Pocket-Lint described the problem as “small,” adding: “It’s the equivalent of spelling something wrong on the front page of a newspaper – it’s embarrassing and frustrating but, ultimately, it’s not going to end the world.”
While early adopters of the new Android system would be affected, he said an update would be rushed out “very quickly”.
Thankfully, it looks then as if Google hasn’t really cancelled Christmas.
The search engine giant hasn’t commented so far, although a Google staffer has posted on a thread running on Rohit, saying only that the company was “tracking” the bug.