Birthdays and other traditions are a sign of the lack of having the Spirit of GOD in your life. They make people feel special. Essentially they are the opposite of humility.
Long ago birthdays were used exclusively for kings and such. It is a worldly tradition used to put someone on a pedestal. Today they are used for everyone.
Consider the idea that early followers of CHRIST never celebrated birthdays or many other traditions we see today. Why did this change over time? At some point, it took someone who did not have the Spirit of GOD in them. They were not serving the cause. Else, they would not have adopted birthdays.
Even if we have come centuries down the line, the Truth has never changed. If birthdays were considered improper then, they are still improper today. It is why we often hear that birthdays are a pagan tradition. But the bottom line is not where it comes from, but what is lost because of birthdays.
The only traditions we should be following are those that contribute to our spiritual trial throughout life. All things should be considered all of the time. As much as we sacrifice our worldly ways, we should not be walking in the hypocrisy of "hanging on to a few traditions". One thing leads to another. You adopt one tradition. Then comes another. Then another. It is why we see so many on a calendar. And the list is growing. They are coming up with every excuse to party and/or buy gifts.
If we let go of these things completely, we will become more immune to the ways of the world. For some people this will be more difficult. Because they might be older and more set in their ways. Not having been raised with proper spiritual upbringing. So they will have already been corrupted with traditions in their heart. He guides us where we need to go. But we still have to do the walking. Toss out the cake. Forget the party. There is a difference between randomly giving a gift for the right reasons, versus having one because its a tradition. There is a perspective to uphold. And if it cannot be upheld without worldly involvements, then a big sacrifice must be made.