i bet shepard, no matter their background, would place a lot of importance on birthdays.
spacer shep, never having other kids to celebrate with, just hannah, who always did the best she could.
earthborn shep, never even knowing their birthday, making one up when they enlisted and owning that day like it’d been theirs forever.
colonist shep, having big parties, a family who never forgot - and never forgetting their parents’, siblings’ birthdays after the raid, celebrating alone with a candle and a quiet song.
no matter where they came from, shepard would learn the birthdays of all the crew, down to the ensigns - would set up notifications on their ‘tool to make sure they never missed one. and on their birthday, every crewmember would find a little cardboardy cupcake with too-sweet frosting and a small cheerful candle in their locker.
on shepard’s birthday, they returned the favor. one cupcake from every crewmember, filling the table in the mess and overflowing the counters, with gaudy pink frosting that tasted just right.